The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Blog Boggled: To Blog or Not To Blog

           So how's your holiday season shaping up so far?  Are you going to be blogging away like normal or do you have a special holiday schedule in store?

It's a Busy Time I Know!

             Last year I had a wedding to attend and a lot of travels and visits.  My blog was still relatively new and I was committed to a daily posting schedule.  Before leaving for my vacation I prepared daily bits of business to post automatically.  During the time away I was fortunate to have access to computers so I could check my posts and reply to comments and even comment on a few other blogs.

              This year I have a new grandchild to see and even more travels and visits.  I no longer post daily.  So far I have prepared nothing to post while I'm away.  Now I know that computers are usually available in the hotels where I tend to stay and I can always find access most of the time if I'm not in a hotel.  I still haven't gotten the laptop I had on my Christmas wishlist last year, but I'm not left computerless while I'm on the road.

              The question that remains for me is how am I going to handle my blogging this holiday season?   So using a method that often works best, let me look at the options and see what has worked best for you.

Pre-scheduled Auto Posts:

             This works if you allow enough time to do it properly.  Since I've not yet begun I could probably still whip together enough to put something up on my scheduled days.  I do like to stick to my announced schedule.  Posts would be shorter since I have limited time. 

              Quotes, pictures, videos, and other short easy to compose posts--do you think they are worth it?  Generally speaking do you enjoy these types of posts?


             I haven't tried this myself yet, but I have seen it done on a few other blogs.  Television of course does it all the time.  The advantage to the blog poster is obviously the shortcut of not having to come up with something new.  The followers have the opportunity to read something they may have enjoyed in the past or something they may have missed.

             Do you ever post blog reruns?   How do you feel about reposts?


              I've never unplugged yet.  I'm hesitant to do so since the advice on creating a successful blog usually indicates that blog content should be scheduled, consistent, and predictable.  It's not that any of my readers will forget me--I hope--but since I do have a schedule, I prefer to stay with it.

                Have you ever unplugged for a blogcation?  Do you find that it has any negative effect on your blog?

The Kamikaze Approach:

            What about some randomness?   I could pre-schedule some off-the -wall posts, toss in some reruns, and if I get a chance during the vacation, post updates about what I'm doing or whatever comes to mind.  This is the direction that I'm leaning since it fits my personality.  Besides this is almost what I do anyway.

             How random do you tend to be in composing blog bits?  Do you tend to keep a lot of unposted compositions waiting in the wings for eventual posting?

What Are You Planning For Your Holiday Blog Schedule?

             Are you going to take a break?   Do you travel during the holidays?   Are you expecting a houseful of company?    What will you be doing with your blog during this time?


  1. I am going to my daughter's on Christmas Eve and Christmas day but other than that nothing so will probably post as usual, I am hoping to get to Spain to see my son before I head off to Nashville in Feb, but it all depends on the weather,
    I have a laptop so can take that with me should something unexpected appears on the horizon,

    Have a good day

  2. All interesting questions to consider Arlee. I tend to blog by inspiration rather than schedule but try to post at least 3x/week. Times that I've found myself too busy to come up with posts, I just leave it be but I do like the idea of re-runs.

  3. I'll miss a few days but still post a couple times a week over the holidays. I always schedule my posts in advance, but if I know I won't have time to comment on other's blogs, I don't feel it's fair to post and expect comments. Never done a rerun - I have too much new stuff in my head!

  4. I'm finding I am already running into time constraints :( I have read some of the reruns, not sure I like the idea. I plan on posting as much as possible. I agree with Alex if you cannot comment it really is unfair. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  5. ah who cares about blogging if you have a new grandchild, grandpa? :))

    As usually, since Hollywood Spy's headquarters never sleep in these difficult times of showbiz chaos and international crises, I will be posting every day during Holidays as well, unless something unexpected happens (I get hit by a car or something, God forbid) ... I believe a person can always find at least 20 minutes to post a new post.

  6. I'm going to shut down for about 10 days. I need a break and have to get stuff done I've been neglecting.

  7. I'm terrible at trying to keep a schedule for myself. I have a number of authors scheduled to guest blog and I have a good many book reviews I need to get done so I can post them. Guess I'll just take it a day at a time and hope all works out. LOL Good luck with your schedule. I think most bloggers understand how crazy things get around the holidays.

    Thoughts in Progress

  8. When I'm away, I post on as regular a schedule as possible. I do tell people I'm traveling, if I'm away for an extended time, and that I won't be commenting on their blogs as much as I usually do. Usually my posts will be shorter, though not always. Or I'll share something about my travels. For some reason if I set up a post to never does. Operator error, I'm sure. Sigh.

  9. First of all, let me say great blog and topic today. It is good to see one again that I can relate to. OOPS, that sentence ended in a preposition.

    No, I probably will not take a break from my blog. I usually prepare a week or more in advance anyway so I will just continue on.

    I have done one or two re-runs. I didn't have any followers or comments during the first few months of my blog and I thought there were some good posts posted. I re-ran one or two and got some good comments from folks who now follow and comment regular. As a whole I haven't considered this avenue.

    I like good quotes or even videos that are meaningful or interesting. I try to be very careful on my blog because I don't like feeling like I had "phoned it in."

    We will have 3 of my 4 girls, 3 of 4 grandchildren at my cousins house in Camas, WA this year. That is about 50 miles SE of Longview, so that really isn't traveling. Since we will be there all day on the 25th we won't have a house full of company.

    As previously stated I will have blogs ready in advance and will go on as usual.

    I have never unplugged yet for a blogcation. I don't think I could. I like my blog too much and wouldn't want to risk loosing readers and I love reading the other blogs each morning with coffee.

    I always have ideas or titles, topics, or "bits" in the wing waiting to be developed.

    Sometimes a blog develops out of a comment I make. Saturdays blog came from a email I was sending to Ron @ The Old Geezer in response to his comment, and this Friday's blog should I finish it, and choose to replace what was going to run, will be a blog that is growing out of a comment I made today on Larri's blog Seams Inspired.

    Sometimes I have had a blog ready to go and I have "preempted " it several times to make way for a new idea.

    Great questions and great topic!

  10. Lee-Go with the holiday flow; I'm iffy about reruns, too. I have so much in my head I could blog ahead, but signed up for #reverb10, a prompt a day for the month of Dec. You do not get the prompts til the wee hours of the morning. I discovered this past weekend. I am mixed about it, but I'm committed. Enjoy the new grandchild, how exciting, travel...we have a New Year to turn to, don't feel pressure. Blog when you feel the inspiration. I now need to play catch up on my commenting. I had a flu shot, not so sure it was a great idea.

  11. When I left for two weeks this summer, I pre-wrote a couple of posts, re-posted a couple of old ones, and wrangled up a few guest posters. It seemed to work out pretty well.

  12. Yvonne -- Hope you have a great time with your daughter. And I hope you have great weather for the Nashville trip.

    Wanda -- I do think reruns have their place.

    Alex -- Last Christmas when I wasn't commenting much the comments on my posts went way down, but I think I replied to most of the comments that I received.

    Jules- I don't know if it's so much an issue of fairness as it is expectations. If I'm posting but not commenting, then I naturally wouldn't expect many comments on my post. At least a post is there just in case someone runs across your blog during that time-- I had a few visitors like that last year. You just never know when someone's going to stop by and if they do I like to have at least an appearance of being open for business even if it's not business as usual.

    Dezmond -- 20 minutes is usually possible to post, but not enough time to comment as well, which is why it's nice to have some posts automatically scheduled.
    I didn't know they had cars in Serbia -- --Juat kidding!

  13. Stephen -- I will admit that you've seemed impressively busy of late.

    Mason -- It's not only busy for posting, I think a lot of us read less of the posts that are out there.

    Carol -- Last year I did have a few posts that I must have set up incorrectly because they did not autopost. That's why it's good to be able to check them. Someday I'll have that laptop for travelling.

    Gregg -- You do tend to mix up your posting styles pretty well and it does seem to be effective. Especially considering that some of your topics are so heavy, it would be hard to wrap one's brain around those every single day.
    I'm also hesitant to shut down for any length of time, but cutting back on posting days seems not to have hurt. Sounds like you have some great holiday plans in store.

    Ella --- I got my flu shot the other day as well. Then I read this post . Oh well. I have a hard time with those prompt challenges since I like to post ahead of time.

    Karen -- I will have to try the guest post thing. I still haven't done that, but too late for the Christmas break I guess.

  14. I'm voting Kamikaze--maybe one or two old blogs, one or two that are just quick bragging piccies of your grandchild one pre-scheduled and one up-to-date of how your vacation is going... or something. So long as you include a reminder that you are vacationing, no one will mind.

    I haven't been gone... if it were a week, I'd probably just note a blog-cation and post once or twice as i could, but longer, I would fear losing readers.

  15. I'm pretty much the Kamikaze type, although I'm falling into a *loose* schedule: single posts on Sunday, M, T, T, F, and then repeat, unless there are awards/blogfests/etc that have to be done.

  16. I enjoy short posts, personal photos (not of you personally but that is okay too, I mean a photo you took not found on the net), fun videos are good too. Those are all good especially during this busy time of the year.

    If your blog has been up for years, reposts are okay.

    I’ll unplugged between Christmas and New Years. I don’t think it will hurt ‘cause I think a lot of other bloggers will too.

    I did setup my post for the rest of the year that way I can visit other blogs and keep up the life outside the internet.

  17. I think that you should just relax and enjoy the Christmas break with your family and new grandchild. Many bloggers will be doing so, and the world is not going to end, if you do. But if you must, I think that re-runs are fine, with maybe an short update post, here and there, with maybe a holiday photo. If not, you'd better put an I-Phone or laptop on your Christmas list! lol Cheers!

  18. Wow...after reading this i think i'm scared of blogging. what a commitment!

  19. "I didn't know they had cars in Serbia -- --Juat kidding! "

    indeed we do :) Haven't you heard of the worst car in the world? The pride and joy of old Yugoslavia, the car called YUGO? It was used in many Hollywood action films when they need a car to destroy or blow up in the air :)

  20. Hart -- I'm leaning toward kamikaze as well. I doubt whether vacating for a while would lose readers as long as they got reminded when you got back.

    Golden Eagle -- A loose schedule is at least a schedule.

    Holly -- I know last year there was a lot less blogging activity around Christmas and New Years.

    Marguerite-- I'll probably take your advice.

    Brian -- Don't worry. A blog is as much as you want it to be and any commitment is based on that.

    Dezmond -- Actually back in the late 80s I had considered buying a Yugo. A new one was going for about $5000 and the dealership was offering a buy one get one free promotion. It was very tempting, but I settled for a VW Rabbit instead for about $10,000. I've wondered how long those Yugos would have lasted.

  21. If you can do auto post & it's functional for you, that's the way to go. Also, no shame in doing a rerun blog, just indicate that's what it is.

    Me, I've got a story to tell & I try to stick to my twice a week schedule.

  22. ...had a little incident take place which means i'm starting all over again but now in three different blogs and themes. congratulations on the four hundred and fifty seven readers, Lee! i'm more content with a dozen:)

  23. You're so dedicated! That's great.

    I'm thinking of taking a vacation during the week between Christmas and New Year's. I need to get my writing batteries recharged so I can start the new year all jazzed and excited again.

    Good luck with your decision. :)

  24. I took an unexpected blogcation in November when I had a death in the family. No notice to preload posts and unknown internet capability, so I didn't post. I posted a few - "i'm out of town unexpectedly and not dissing you" things. Folks were very understanding about that. I was gone two weeks.

    For the holidays, I already have my posts ready to fire off for 2 of the 3 days I normally post. Next week, I'll only post 2x. New Years week I'll probably only post 2x, too.

    Do what makes you happy. Unplugging is good for a bit - to refresh ourselves. If you do, I have you on my blog roll and will come visit when you start posting again. :)

    Enjoy your holiday however you handle it!

  25. Lee-

    I find I like blogs with "irregular" schedules as well-I do not follow as many as you, so I see the updates pretty easily on my dashboard.

    I've actually dropped a few of the blogs I followed that were daily posters since I knew they'd be daily and it made my dash less busy. I still stop by, however.

    Sometimes those infrequent posters make for a nice surprise.

    And since every second of my day is scheduled in my work life, I can't stand a schedule in my personal life, hence my haphazard approach to posting.

  26. Lisa -- Yes in your case it's like a scheduled TV show.

    Bud -- I was wondering what happened to you. I'll check out what you've got going now.

    Kathi -- A break is sometimes the right thing to do.

    M Pax -- I do plan to enjoy my vacation and hope you do the same.

    Larry -- Since I currently don't have a scheduled life like you do I need some order in my life.

  27. I think you should give yourself the opportunity to enjoy that new grandchild and not worry about blogging. I have taken a couple of blogcations. I don’t have near the followers you do, but I don’t think the breaks have done much damage. It’s a busy period for everyone and I expect visits to be reduced between now and the New Year anyway.

  28. Jane --I'm not going to be as focussed as I was last year. I don't feel as compelled to post daily like I did then. I'll take it as it comes.

  29. I'm doing shorter posts on one blog, but more detailed on the second blog.

    I have in the past "rerun" a post or grabbed something that was originally formatted for print publication.

    Right now, I'm working with a backlog of ideas but most of them won't be published until the new year.

    No matter what you decide to do Lee, I'll be checking in on your blog and I'm sure many of your other followers will be doing the same.

  30. I haven't unplugged yet, either. This is the first time I'm actually thinking about it, at least for the week during Christmas while my kids are home. I'm nervous, still unsure if I'm going to do it. I don't like to schedule posts and then not blog.'ve got me thinking. It's an epidemic this morning. lol

  31. Yup, I do the autopost thing and prepare posts ahead of time. I haven't reposted old posts either, though I have over a year's worth of posts, so I may pull out the fav's at some point. I post 3 days a week now, which is pretty manageable--and I like the regularity. I haven't taken a post-vacation so far...

    Happy Holidays!! :D

  32. I don't think there is any right or wrong way to do it. It seems to me that folks have a lot of good stories when they start blogging, but they have very few readers at that time. So, bringing them out again at a later date, is a very good idea.
    I do know one thing for sure though. It takes far more time to follow blogs than it does to post blog entries...

  33. I'm not going out of town and I usually don't post on the weekends anyway, so I really don't think much'll change around my blog during the holiday. I may miss a couple of days, but that's about it.

  34. I like the Kamikaze approach. :) Time off is good and often necessary, too, so I don't think that's a bad thing either. I will say that I've done the rerun thing as well as pre-programmed new stuffs to post when away (although I do tend to write and schedule the stuff that goes up anyway). I like quote posts, vids, and generally entertaining fodder occasionally, too. Do what suits you. Rest assured I'll be reading no matter what. :)

  35. i'm going for the random approach! thank you for stopping by my blog!

  36. Paula -- I appreciate all who come here to check out what I've posted.

    Salarsen -- Habits are hard to break.

    IBD -- Autopost is the way to go. I'm glad I discovered it!

    Pat -- Yeah, it seems like a shame to let those posts that nobody read go to waste.

    Carol -- The holidays all fall on the weekends this year so you can stay on schedule.

    Kim-- I do too. A bit of hodgepodgery can be fun sometimes.

    Carrie -- And thank you for visiting me! I enjoy randomness sometimes.

  37. I'm taking a whole week off this year, and I plan to enjoy every minute of it. I've made December all about me (movies, books, even an extra massage appointment), so relaxation is finally setting in.

    I don't use reruns on my blog, but posting photos or short posts is great. Folks are so busy this time of the year that I don't think they mind seeing short posts at all, and photos are always enjoyable (at least for me).

    As for pre-scheduling, I do that a lot, especially with my guest bloggers. By the way, would you like to be a guest on my blog sometime next year? I'd love to have you write something about how you've built your great following at tossing it out, and what you've gained from blogging.

  38. Patricia-- I would love to do a guest post like you've described. Maybe in January?

  39. Hi Lee .. just lost the comment! I'll be as erratic as I've been at posting .. but intend to sort myself out, clear the decks, do some studying and get myself ready for 2011. Thanks for popping by and seeing the Georgian Silver Swan!

    How glorious to have a new grandchild - enjoy that special trip, and the other visits .. sounds a wonderful Christmas season -

    cheers and here's to a happy and successful 2011 .. Hilary

  40. "I've wondered how long those Yugos would have lasted"

    I had one which was around 15 years old :) It "died" last year at the age of 17 or something like that :) The same factory which invented YUGO now produces Italian FIAT cars, and you can buy a new FIAT PUNTO for around 6,000 EURO.


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