Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

NaComPoMo

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First of all, thank you for voting me in as President at Heather Anne’s Hoagies.   The best thing about the election was that I learned about some really cool new blogs, including Heather Anne’s.

Currently, I have two items on my presidential agenda:

1)  Pushing for the legalization of gay marriage.

2)  But — after attending the Pet Shop Boys concert last night, I have also decided to ask for a ban on gay men wearing tight tank tops in public concert halls.

For last nine days, I have been participating in NaBloPoMo (National Post Blogging Month), conceived by the popular blogger, Fussy.  The idea of NaBloPoMo is that a blogger should post every day for the month of November.  While the idea is brilliant and I will continue doing it, I’m beginning to think it is the worst blogging concept ever created.

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I had an email exchange with Stacy at Jurgen Nation yesterday about how our readership has done a nosedive because so many bloggers are struggling with writing every day.   I have hardly read or commented on anyone’s blog because I feel overextended with writing every day.  This is embarrassing to admit, but I actually started crying yesterday as I was making my way down my blogroll, my body going into sensory overload from caring about the lives and dreams of so many people, and feeling as if I were “falling behind.”

Has anyone ever had a nervous breakdown from blogging?

On Saturday, I attended a writing group at the home at the inspiring Leah Peah.  There were a number of bloggers there, including one of my favorites, Deezee of Confessional Highway, who I carpooled with to Leah’s home.  I found it interesting to hear about the different motivations for starting a blog.  Some approached blogging as a purely promotional tool for themselves or their business.  Others use blogging to nurture their writing or creativity.   I blog for both those reasons, but if I were really honest, my main motivation is that I like to talk with hot babes living in faraway places like Belgium, considering I would probably never have to nerve to talk to these accomplished women in real life.   So, sue me for telling the truth!  I love the social part of blogging.  If I really wanted to “focus on my writing,” I’d write a book, rather than exploiting my relationship with Sophia for your enjoyment (and for free!). 

Last February, Fashion Week Daily interviewed six of the blogging success stories while all dressed in sexy pajamas (so don’t blame me for sexing up the blogging world).  One of the questions was,  “How often do you blog?”

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Jessica Cutler (www.jessicacutleronline.com): Whenever I feel like it, but never more than an hour per day.

Heather Hunter (www.thisfish.ivillage.com/love): Five hours a week.

Mimi Foe (www.miminewyork.blogspot.com): Usually about five or ten hours total [each week].

Melissa Lafsky (www.opinionistas.com):  About 20 or 30 minutes a day, if you count answering comments and e-mails.

Tweny mintutes a day!  It takes me that long just to wait for WordPress to publish a post and ping it to Technorati!

It’s clear to me that these women have moved beyond the blogging community, because there is no way to be part of it and blog 20 minutes a day (including writing posts!)  I see nothing wrong with this if you make this decision.  I might one day decide to just focus on writing rather than caring whether Charming but Single gets a date for Saturday night.

NaBloPoMo is great for your writing, but terrible for blogging.  If everyone really wrote EVERY SINGLE DAY, including weekends, no one would read anyone else.  We would be a bunch of highly creative writers writing for ourselves and our mothers.   I was much happier writing FOUR times a week.

Can I suggest a NaComPoMo for the month of December, where every blogger promises to COMMENT on at least one new blog a day to keep the interaction of the blogosphere going strong.   Hey, commenting is writing, too.

I truly believe that most of the best writing on my blog is done in the comment section.  I had this little exchange with Sophia while driving to the Pet Shop Boys last night:

Sophia:  Have you thought about putting advertisements on your blog? 

Neil:  I have.

Sophia:  So, do it already.  No one cares if you make a few dollars.

Neil:  You’re right.  But it seems a bit unfair.   Part of the fun of each post are the comments.  It’s like part of the post.  Make believe I make sixty dollars a month on the blog.  Shouldn’t I give each commenter 2% of the profits for their contribution?

The idea didn’t go over very well.

A Year Ago in Citizen of the MonthTruth in Advertising
 

54 Comments

  1. OMG, I am not signing up for another ANYTHING I have to do for a whole month.

    The NaNoWhosit is actually making me post less. I used to post a few times a day, but now the pressure that I HAVE to do it has reduced me to just once a day. So Sad. Cry for me.

  2. Neil, if it would help, I could just send you an e-mail on Thursday mornings to keep you up to speed with my weekend plans. ;P

  3. I agree with you Neil, but I agree for my own selfish reasons. You see, I also agree with Sophia about making money from blogging, and, as you’ve so astutely pointed out, much of the actual dollar value in blogging is provided by the comments.

    I don’t know if you noticed, Mr. President, but someone we all know and love won the “Cleverest Commenter” Hoagie. That’s right, I won (IN YOUR FACE JANET AND KEEI ANNE! HA!)

    So, here’s the deal. From now on I’m charging for comments. $2 for clever, or I’ll just say, “Hello” to you for $1.

    This one’s on the house. It’s a teaser, to get you hooked. You’re welcome.

    Hello, Neil.

    A. Scott White
    2006 “Cleverest Commenter” Hoagie Award Winner

  4. I’d comment a whole lot more if I got a percentage.

  5. Dang, you keep complimenting me. I’m blushing.

    Very generous of you to want to share the wealth with you commenters. Hey, instead you could charge other bloggers for promoting them on your site. Afterall, I’ve found many new blogs to read from your commenters.

    (Or maybe just put up a tip jar designated for your and Sophia’s therapy. You’d make a bundle. I say that with love. Really.)

    Overall, this post cracked me up. I’m part of NaNoWriMo, which almost brought my writing to a grinding halt!

  6. BRAVO, Neil. Nicely stated, and so much better than I could ever have done. I’m loving your idea for NaCom-something. Are you going to set it up? I’ll be your first sign-up.

  7. I’ve been doing this too, and yeah, I’m writing every day, but I’m also resenting it, so really, what’s the point?

  8. I wish I’d written this post. I go to bed and wake up thinking about the next day’s post instead of the far more interesting “when might be the next time I have sex?” thoughts I had before NaBlo.

    Now that I think about it, unlike the other, NaBlo is the one constant in my life. *sniffle* Love you NaBlo!

  9. I want a T-shirt that says “NaBloMeMo”.

    Hello again.

  10. When I didn’t have a personal blog, I only read blogs through Bloglines. I almost never comment on blogs I read on the feed.

    Now that I have a blog, I clink on my own links. These people are all bloggy friends, so I feel a lot more comfortable commenting.

    When I mix my friends with my other daily reads, I guess I just don’t have time.

  11. What is so hard about posting every day?? No one said it had to be NaBloPulitzerMo.

  12. Good point, Lizardek. Put you have to promise to still come even if I write crappy posts.

  13. I think the fun of NaPoBloMo is the crappy posts. I love seeing inside my favorite bloggers a bit more- and what better than the stuff they come up with in order to write every day? It’s great fun to read, I think.

    In participating, it’s fun to break down the definition of your “perfect post”, and post things you would ordinarily dismiss. I think it helps expand us as bloggers/writers.

  14. Neil, I wouldn’t feel bad if you got paid a bit for blogging. I’d just expect a drink if I ever met you in person. 😉

  15. I have to take weekends off. It gives me time to do stupid sh*t to blog about. During the week, I’m too busy blogging that I don’t have time for anything else. Except flossing. I always take time to floss.

  16. You post nearly everyday anyway!

  17. “NamBloMeMo” Hahahaha. No wonder Scott won.

    I like the idea of commenting everyday. There better be buttons. But instead of Yoda, you could use Grand Moff Tarkin. No?

  18. I want Heather B. to be on my commenting button, with some clever catch phrase. That’d be awesome. 🙂

  19. I’m sure someone has had a nervous breakdown from writing too many blogs. Somewhere. Somebody.

    There’s a commenting game every weekend at MicheleAgnew.com but commenting every day for December sounds good.

  20. I wouldn’t begrudge you the money they make off ads, after all, you give so much entertainment value for free.

  21. It’s clear that these “popular bloggers in pajamas” are lying. Lying! Yes, I said it!

    Nobody “blogs” for 20 minutes a day! They must have ghostwriters, or extraordinarily vivid imaginations, or both.

    I was so chicken about NaBloPoMo I unofficially joined it, just to see if I could. It’s much harder than it looks, eh?

  22. Margaret — There’s a big difference between posting every day because you want to and posting every day because you are SUPPOSED to.

  23. I blog every day because I enjoy it.

  24. Neil, if you worked for a newspaper and had a column that ran everyday would you be stessed about that? Blogging is your column except I think of it first and foremost for my enjoyment and if others find it enjoyable I am happy to share.

  25. I love your idea for December!

  26. Two Roads — that is exactly my point. If I wanted a column, I would be trying to get a job as a columnist and not blogging so much. I don’t get stressed out by the writing as much as not having time to read and enjoy YOUR blog. I think the interaction is part of the experience and not just the writing my own blog. Why blog then? As my blogroll has expanded, it has become more difficult to keep up with everyone all the time, but I find reading about other people and their lives helps me with my own writing and creativity. I especially enjoy reading about those who have lives different than mine, like that of feisty women living in Atlanta.

  27. Feisty – hmmm. I enjoy reading the 50 or so blogs I have found but I don’t feel obligated to comment on each and every one of them every day. It’s not that the quality of their writing is bad, I just might not have anything to add. It also doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the post. There are some blogs I read where you don’t have the ability to post even if you wanted to. That’s okay too.

  28. I normally post about once a day, anyway, but the NaBloPoMo experiment is
    giving merit to the reasons I could never be a writer for hire. HAVING to do it just takes the pleasure right out of it. I love your NaCom idea, too. You should totally do it. Or maybe we should all just make a pact to do it here in your lively comments section and be on our honor to “participate”.

  29. I look forward to calling you Mr. President.

  30. i would never enter anything like that, i hate writing. i only blog so that i can find blogs to read.
    last year i was reading three different blogs that were doing that nano where you write an entire book in a month, i can’t remember how many words it was, but anyways, out of the three, only one finished. keep it up, i love the idea of you being forced to write something each and everyday, this month will just fly by.

  31. i like this whole commenting idea you are pitching. i wish i had the time to read everyone and when i do stumble upon a new blog i almost cringe because someone on the roll is gonna be neglected.

    i’ll never be a famous blogger. but, that isn’t why i blog anyway. 🙂

  32. I would totally participate in commenting everyday in December. I agree, this posting everyday is hard! However, I’ve found that I’m cutting down on content more than anything and some of my posts are just photos. I’m trying ANYTHING I can to keep those Wookies away!

  33. I support your comment campaign idea. You can’t use my site for it, though, as I don’t allow for comments. But I’m stubborn like that.

    As for the profit idea, I started my site for fun, and the money (and advertising) came later. While I still do it for the enjoyment of what I write, it’s nice to see that direct deposit check show up in my bank account every month. I think you’d like it, too.

  34. hell, it takes me 20 minutes to shit out the first sentence. i’m definitely not the pro-blogger these women attest to be.

    i’ll be third in line for your commenting blog-o-whatever. i can comment everyday but definitely can’t write everyday.

  35. If you are being crushed by the pressure of daily blogging,imagine poor lil me getting absolutely flattened by this NaNo novel thingie I’m failing at…Jesus Christ! ooops.. Yahweh…I sneak to my blog to write like its a cheating. My mistress (mr??)is poetry. How sexy is that!!! I like everyone on my blog list…and I have never met any of them. I check on Karl to make sure he is ok..and worry about my kiwi friends and my other friends when I havent read from them lately. Isn’t blogging supposed to be a conversation? Isnt that someones tag line??

  36. The Pet Shop Boys? Was that at Dancing With the Stars? And as for blogging every day, I thought you already post almost every day. I never cease to be amazed at how you can come up with so many funny topics! As for ads, I don’t get people who are turned off of them. If it allowed you to write more and helped with the non-stop bills, why not?

  37. I see your point about the nosedive thing… however one very cool result of NaBloPoMo is having found great new blogs to read (including yours!) that I wasn’t aware of before. And still more to come, I haven’t even begun yet to peruse the finished official list of participants yet. Like I needed more stuff to read, but so far the new ones I’ve found have been a huge pleasure!

  38. Lynnster — Yes, that is the best thing about it — all the dedicated (and anal) bloggers doing it! So, we should definitely thank Fussy for coming up with the idea, just like I think it was pretty cool for Heather Anne to come up with the clever Hoagies — now that is what blogging is all about! We need to add both of them to our virtual Christmas card list.

  39. I’m anti-NaBloPoMo. I can barely keep up with reading all of my blog feeds as it is – now they gotta get all uppity-ups and look at us writin’ every day? Sheeeet.

    I’m going to NOT post any entries for an entire month. That’ll show them…

  40. For the first three or four months I wrote in my blog every single day. Now I can’t imagine how I did that and I’m lucky if I have one new post a week. But being told I have to write every day? Oy, for me that would sound the death knell of any creative thought. Why do I feel like I have less time for blogging now that I no longer have a full-time job? Maybe I need the pressure. Oh, Mr. President, what to do?

  41. Oh, and by the way, I am with Sophia on this one and say you should really start putting ads on your blog as an experiment to see if you can actually made a red cent that way. As long as you write about it and tell us how it’s working.

  42. Daily blogging…that’d add up to a lot of reading…and a lot of commenting! Yikes.

  43. Congratulations Mr. President.

    I would start a blog but evidently you have to be named Heather to write a blog. I can’t keep them all straight.

  44. I’ve already blown nabopomo and MAED, but nocompoblo is one I might be able to handle.

  45. I started a blog as a way to make myself write everyday. So far, I’m pretty consistent, so the Blogblome (as Scott so cleverly put it – sort of)thing hasn’t been much different in that respect. The problem for me has been the damn randomizer thing. Have you used it? It’s totally addictive. That’s the reason I’ve been neglecting some of my regular blogs – that and my regular blogs are posting everyday so there’s more to read on those as well. What a lot of self-imposed pressure.

    As far as ads are concerned. I love the idea that people can make money from their blogs. I try hard to remember to click on the ads because I know you have to on some in order to get anything.

  46. Stop writing and get your ass over to my blog and comment.

    (heh heh)

    Seriously – I’m thinking about cutting down on blogging. My right arm (the one I scroll with) is starting to tingle and I think that might be a bad thing …)

  47. Actually, I have slowed down a bit. I used to be able to bang out four or five posts a day, but I don’t seem to have the same fire anymore.

  48. Is there blogging Viagra out there to improve vitality and performance and make you go longer and harder?

    Check your bulk mail box, I’m sure there’s a cure for blogging breakdowns being sold by a company in Mexico.

    Here in Belgium, when you run out of things to blog about you shake down the kitchen for world-famous Belgian beer and chocolate. Not only do I get blogger block here, I have the very bad bad blogger butt thing going on….

  49. I don’t have to sign up for this or advertise it or anything. Check my archives; I’ve been posting every day for years.

    So there!

  50. Do the ad thing. Seriously. So long as you don’t have obnoxious, flashy things or pop-ups, nobody will care. I don’t, when I’m looking at blogs. I’m a former ad hater. But if you spend a lot of time writing and entertaining, and really think about your writing, why *shouldn’t* you get something extra for it? Again, nothing obnoxious, but if they’re subtle and just sitting there, I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s not selling out or going all corporate if you just stick them on your page and forget about it and not think of how much you’re earning. Go for it. You’re certainly popular enough for decent revenue! 🙂

  51. Yes, next year i’m doing Nadruwrinihttp://www.gawker.com/news/books/nadruwrini-we-cant-believe-we-missed-it–wait-did-we-212718.php , National drunk writing night on November4th. Mark your calenders!

  52. I had a much easier time writing out suggestions for blog posts on my blog than actually following that list. However, if you are having a hard time getting over the NaBloPoMo hump, here they are.

    P.S. Some of my favorite bloggers participated in that interview, and somehow I missed it! Thanks, Neil.

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