The Fantasy Blog Stock Market

I just came across a profile page for this blog on a website called Blogshares: “The fantasy blog stock market.” On the About page, the website is described thusly:

“BlogShares is a fantasy stock market where weblogs are the companies. Players invest fictional dollars in a wide spectrum of blogs. Blogs are valued by both incoming and outgoing links, and can add value to other blogs by linking to them. Prices increase or decrease based on trading and the underlying value of the blog. No actual ownership of blogs is transferred: BlogShares is purely a fictional marketplace for entertainment purposes only.”

My blog’s fantasy valuation is B$12,826.16 and the market share 0.00002 %. I’m not sure if that is good or bad, but it is mildly amusing.

I’ve always wondered what the real-world market value of my blog. At least, I now have a number to put on the fantasy market value. Sadly, I don’t get any of these fantasy profits. Someone else added my blog to the fantasy blog stock market, and I’m not even sure how to buy fantasy shares in my own blog or how any of it works.

Marmalade’s New Blogs

Marmalade’s New Blogs

Posted on Jan 3rd, 2009 by Marmalade : Gaia Explorer Marmalade
This blog is a continuation of an earlier blog about blogging:

Blogging Options

I’ve continued to have blogging sites on my mind, but my focus has been renewed.  I thought that getting a new blog started would be a good new year’s resolution.  Actually, I’ve had a number of blogs started for a long while.  I just haven’t done anything with them.

I’ve been playing around with these blogs.  I wanted to experiment with their options.  All have similar functions for my purposes. 

WordPress has pages that can be altered which the others don’t, but Blogger has categories that can be used in a similar way as pages.  The concensus is that WordPress is the best option if you are willing to pay for self-hosting and put a lot of effort into developing it.  As for hosted sites, Blogger seems to be better than WordPress… for most non-professional bloggers.  I’m not interested in self-hosting, but still the hosted WordPress isn’t a bad option.  It does have a lot of capability.

There are two blogs I had before my Gaia blog, but have only posted on either a couple of times.  Live Journal and My Opera are different in that they emphasize the social aspect and have types of functions you won’t find on many blogging platforms.  Both are major sites, and Live Journal in particular is very well established.

I joined Live Journal because of people I knew from MBTI forums.  I belong to some groups on Live Journal, but I haven’t visited them in a long time.  Live Journal is very basic in how it looks.  However, I care more about functionality than looks and Live Journal has much to offer.

My Opera was the blog I started right before this one.  I joined there because my favorite blogger (Quentin S. Crisp) posts there.  The downside I found was that there were a fair number of non-English blogs, but that could be seen as a positive in that it attracts an international crowd.  Even though My Opera is not very well known, its a major site that is quite impressive.  I’m surprised that it rarely gets brought up in comparisons between Blogger and WordPress.

There are really good bloggers using all of these.  A good blogger is a good blogger even on a simple blogging site, and vice versa.  I want to explore other people’s blogs on these sites to see what others are doing.  I’m also going to start posting on my own new blogs. 

Here are the links to the 4 blogs I’m now focused on:

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/

http://benjamindavidsteele.blogspot.com/

http://marminfp.livejournal.com/

http://my.opera.com/MarmaladeINFP/blog/

Access_public Access: Public 17 Comments Print Post this!views (301)  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 1 hour later

Marmalade said

My experiment began just now. I posted a blog about blogging on each site.

Live Journal actually was more confusing than I expected. I posted or thought I did, but couldn’t figure out if it actually posted or not. It showed as posted. Nonetheless, when I looked for it,I couldn’t find itwith my previous posts. Maybe there is a lag for posts to show. I’ll have to check it later.

Word Press was also confusing. Both Live Journal and Word Press were very cluttered. On Word Press, I couldn’t even figure out how to place a title on my post. I spent 10 minutes trying to figure it out, and ended up posting it without a title.

Blogger was easier. The page did freeze up, but that might’ve been connection issues unrelated to the site. I opened a new window and it seemed fine. One significant problem was that I wanted to remove a paragraph, but was unable. The “cut” option seemed to be disabled in my IE7 browser. So, I had to manually delete it using the “backspace” button. I’d hope that a major browser would work with a major site like that. I have some problems with Internet Exploerer here on Gaia, but I have lower expectations for this site.

The last site was My Opera. It was simple and easy. It has many options and yet isn’t cluttered. It felt very intuitive and posted without a single problem.

My Opera wins the first round of the experiment. Its hard to say who came in second, but offhand I’ll give second place to Blogger.

Nicole : wakingdreamer

1 day later

Nicole said

it will be cool to see how the experiment progresses!

starlight : StarLight Dancing

1 day later

starlight said

LOL…you’re a trip Ben…i was wondering what you been up to…joy*

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

1 day later

Marmalade said

Nice to see you both. Happy Happy Joy Joy 🙂

Because all of the praise I read about it, my guess is that I’ll like Word Press if I ever figure it out. I’m not sure why I couldn’t find the section for the title. I downloaded the new version (2.7 I believe) and maybe I was just experiencing a glitch. I’ll try it again. Someone from work brought up their Word Press page for posting and it looked entirely different. It might also be browser related. I’ll try my other browsers as part of this experiment.

I checked back with Live Journal. I still couldn’t find the entry I tried to post with the other previous entries. I kept the window open, and I was able to go back to the page that showed the posting. It seems to be posted somewhere. Its possible that Live Journal has the capacity for posting on multiple pages and somehow I unintentionally posted it on another page. If so, I need to learn how to control which page it posts to.

Marmalade : Gaia Child

1 day later

Marmalade said

Second Round:

I used Google Chrome this time.  I didn’t have any of the problems I had last time.  I like Google Chrome.  It seems to have less compatability issues with the blogging sites.

Its strange with Word Press.  The appearance of it was the same.  I put the title where I tried to put it last time, but for unknown reasons it allowed the title to appear this time.  I do like the Category option Word Press.  The closest thing I had to a problem was that I couldn’t sign into my Word Press blog on the page of my blog.  Instead, I had to go to the main page to sign in.

Nobody wins first place this time.  This round is a tie, but I’m thinking I’m going to learn to like Word Press more and more.

Marmalade : Gaia Child

1 day later

Marmalade said

There is one thing that this test is making clear. Gaia competesfairly wellwith the otherblogging sites. There aren’t as many choices here in terms of functions, but there is still plenty one can do. Gaia is very simple and intuitive. I’ve never had any major problems in blogging here.

Nicole : wakingdreamer

2 days later

Nicole said

that’s good to know, about Gaia and Google Chrome. I have the latter but haven’t used it much yet, force of habit.

Marmalade : Gaia Child

3 days later

Marmalade said

Yeah, Google Chrome seems decent. I haven’t had any major issues like I had with Internet Exploer 8 which made my virus scan non-functional. It took me a while to realize there was a problem. I hope I didn’t pick up any viruses. IE8=BAD!!!

The problem with Google Chrome is that it has compatability issues with playing videos. Whereas I’ve never had problems with videos with Internet Explorer. You just can’t have everything. I guessI have to choose whether you like blogging or watching videos more.

Annemieke : Similarity

3 days later

Annemieke said

“I couldn’t sign into my Word Press blog on the page of my blog. Instead, I had to go to the main page to sign in.”

Yes, very strange indeed. I mostly stay logged in, but when for some reason I have to sign in, I always wonder where I have to do that again.

“Gaia is very simple and intuitive.”

Totally agree with that. No matter how good I find WordPress, intuitive would not be a term to use. Although I am more and more ‘getting it’ lately.

I also like Google Chrome and at the moment I use it together with Internet Explorer. For some reason I like IE still best for bookmarking sites. But I noticed it is good to use other browsers to see how it all looks, because sites can look rather different with other browsers sometimes.

I so like that you share this kind of struggles. I am going through the same processes at times. But I totally love it.

Marmalade : Gaia Child

3 days later

Marmalade said

Its getting close to bedtime for me, but I shall comment first.

Yes, Annemieke, I prefer Internet Exploer overall. Maybe its because I’ve used it the most and I’m familiar with it. I never had major issues with it until I downloaded IE8.

You like that I share this kind of struggle… is that you’re way of saying you don’t want to hear me share my struggles withchanging my cats’ litter box? Sadly, neither Google Chrome nor Internet Exploer is compatible with the litter box. I should get a virtual cat with a virtual litter box. It would immensely simplify my life.

3 days later

Centria said

I love your analysis here. I was convinced blogger (blogspot? are they the same thing?) was going to be the best option. But within a day of posting there, I switched allegiance to wordpress. Even though some of the layouts are confusing, it seems easier for others to find your work through the categories and tags. No one has even found the blogger posting. But wordpress has proved more visible and likeable. Gaia, though, is simple and intuitive. It’s still preferable in many ways….

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

3 days later

Marmalade said

Blogger and blogspot are related but not the same… both relate to blogging with Google. Its technically more appropriate to say blogspot I suppose, but for some reason I was using the Blogger name instead. I was meaning the same thing anyways.

You seem attracted to Word Press for the same reasons as I. The category and tag system will be very helpful as I gather more blogs. I’m glad they also help others to find my blogs. That will be part of my comparison experiment. I’ll see which of my blogs get the most comments and what kinds of commenters they attract.

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

3 days later

Marmalade said

Third Round:

This time I used the Opera browser which is related to the Opera blogging site. It was a very easy to use browser except for one factor. When I tried to copy and paste from my Gaia blog, it didn’t carry over the hyperlinks. Both Google Chrome and Internet Explorer carry over hyperlinks.

I ended the third round at that point. So, none of the blogging sites were a winner in this round, but the Opera browser was the loser.

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

3 days later

Marmalade said

For the time being, I take my conclusion back for the Third Round. The hyperlink copy/paste problem seems to be failing on all of my browsers. That is very odd because it was just working. Is it something to do with my computer? Or are the various browsers somehow causing problems for eachother? I hope I can figure this out.

Nicole : wakingdreamer

4 days later

Nicole said

oooh, that’s a very annoying problem. really odd!

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

18 days later

Marmalade said

I’m bringing my experiment into a less formal mode. I decided to drop LIve Journal from the experiment just because the set up is somewhat confusing and not aesthetically pleasing. I’m going to continue to use the other 3 for a while. At the moment, I can’t say I entirely favorany one of themover the rest.

Nicole : wakingdreamer

19 days later

Nicole said

ok. i see you’re still having that words running into each other trouble!

Quentin S. Crisp: Fiction Writer and Blogger

Quentin S. Crisp: Fiction Writer and Blogger

Posted on Dec 23rd, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Child Marmalade
A favorite writer of mine is Quentin S. Crisp.  He is a fiction writer, but I admit I haven’t read much of his fiction.  He is moreso a favorite writer of my friend.  I primarily know him through his blog writings and I will say he is my favorite blogger.  He shares many of my interests and views.  I think he was raised by a psychotherapist or something.  Maybe that is the reason that, despite his occasional cynicism, he has a very accepting and easygoing attitude about life.  He is often designated as a horror writer, but does’t like that designation.  He is more just a weird write with dark streak.

I like how he is usually very reserved and humble about his opinions.  He has written that he doesn’t take his opinions as ultimate truths but simply what makes sense to him in the given moment.  I like what he says here(this is from the comments section of one of his blogs):

Actually, I feel like adding that, although I used the word ‘pessimistic’ at one point, I don’t really think of myself as pessimistic. I know some people do, because they’ve told me. But for me to call myself that would suggest I had some preformed pessimistic bent to which I wished to shape any conclusion. I don’t. I actually have a sense of enormous potential within existence, which seems, rather tiresomely, to be thwarted again and again by human stupidity, my own included. Some people have tried to find the way out of this trap but it tends to turn to the way back in, because as soon as they call themselves ‘right’ and start preaching about it, it all goes wrong. I suppose that’s why I prefer to be wrong from the start, to be a ‘lost cause’ and to write fiction rather than philosophy.

Access_public Access: Public 3 Comments Print Post this!views (82)  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

37 minutes later

Marmalade said

Its funny how similar he is to me. He admires Ligotti and Burroughs, two very dark and cynical writers. But he also reads writers like Tolle.

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 2 hours later

Marmalade said

Its true, though, that I’m much less reluctant to philosophize than he is. I don’t find that I ve to assume I’m entirely right before stating my opinions. Even so, I get what he means about the difference between fiction as compared to philosophy, but some writers even let their ideology rule their fiction.

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

3 days later

Marmalade said

I have a comment that I’ll put here because it more or less relates. Crisp and Ligotti are of that common variety of great varieties that are mostly unknown. I’m not surewhat that says about ourculture, but it doesn’t seem to be uncommon for great artists to die poor.

Fortunately, Philip K. Dick escaped this fate near the end of his life. Crisp and Ligotti may yet escape this fate also. They’ve both been stuck in the small press world where actually some of the best writers get published and where many writers get their start.

Anyways, I mentioned Ligotti because he is another horror (or weird to be more exact) writer. Crisp admires Ligotti as many writers do. And if any dark weirdwriter could make it out of small press horror and getsomewhere near the mainstream (even if only the genre mainstream),I’d be willing to bet onLigotti.

It seems he may be have gotten a toe in. I was at the bookstore and noticed an anthology which was I believe titled The New Weird edited by Vandermeer. Vandermeer is a major force in the cross-genre field sometimes called Slipstream amongst other things. It makes sense that Ligotti is included. Horror writers have too long been stuck in their very small genre, and too many writers get labelled as horror never to escape. Crisp and Ligotti write stories that go beyond traditional horror even if horror might describe the general mood of many of their stories.

I likea lotof the writers that get into these new anthologies. I prefer stories that don’t easily fit into genre conventions which simply means that the authors are attempting to push the limits of imagination. I’ll have to blog about this later on.

Blogging Options

Blogging Options

Posted on Dec 4th, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Explorer Marmalade

I’ve been looking at my blogging options.  There is a lot out there and its hard to make a decision.  I’ve found reviews, but everything is always changing and so I have no way of knowing which reviews are still relevant.  At least, I have an idea of what types of things are available and so have a better sense of what I’m looking for.

I want to bring my blogging up a notch as part of my wanting to get more focused on my own writing.  I want a blog that is hosted by a site like Gaia, but something with more options. 

I have a couple particularly important factors.  I’m mostly interested in the big players in the field.  Since I’m planning to put a lot of time and effort into blogging, I want a stable system with a company that won’t go belly up.  There are way too many new companies popping up and not all of them will last.

However, problems can even arise with the big companies.  Blogs can get (accidentally?) deleted or frozen, and depending on the customer service it might be a challenge to retrieve your blog.  This has happened with some people on Google’s Blogger, but maybe they’ve fixed it by now. 

Blogger does seem to be the single most popular blogging site with WordPress in a close second.  Blogger is simpler and WordPress is fancier, but both are constantly improving.  Yahoo has jumped in with MyBlogLog which looks promising, but I haven’t looked into it very much yet. 

All these have definite advantages, but they’re focused just on blogging.  Part of me is attracted to white-label networking sites as they balance tons of options with ease of use.  Ning is the most popular, and is the only company in this category that I feel sure will continue to exist for many years.  The problem with blogging on Ning is that your blog is in a community that you set up.  You could make it a more private community, but the main problem is whether the blog is easy to find.  For instance, is it picked up by a websearch like any other blog would be?  I’d hate to have a blog that was simply hidden away somewhere.

The reason I’m looking at the networking sites is because they allow more complex designs.  WordPress does allow more complexity, but the learning curve on WordPress is quite large from what I understand.  I want to be able to (easily) set up multiple pages with categories (and possibly sub-categories).  I want to be able to have multiple blogs for different topics and maybe pages for longer articles.  Ideally, I’d like to even be able to set different accessability for the separate pages… some public, some private, and some viewable only to friends.  I don’t know if any blogging site has these functions, and so networking sites may have more of what I’m looking for.

There are many other networking sites that are similar to Ning.  Some of them even seem nicer than Ning, but its hard to tell which ones will last.  There so much hype and splogging (spam blogging) that its hard to determine what info is reliable.  Ning is the only one that gets consistent praise.

I’ve already joined a bunch of these sites.  I wanted to explore them for myself, but haven’t yet started blogging on any of them.  I was thinking of narrowing my choice down to two or three, and actually start using them.  In particular, I wanted to try out maybe Blogger and Ning as they’re two very popular and yet very different platforms. 

Anyways, I thought it would be good to keep two blogs going with the same posts.  They would act as backups for eachother instead of me saving my blog posts to my computer.  I have this fear about blogs.  I’d hate to wake up one day and see years of blogging entirely disappeared into the aether.

——————————————————————————————————————-

This continues in Part 2:

Marmalade’s New Blogs

——————————————————————————————————————-

Access_public Access: Public 17 Comments Print Post this!views (243)  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

27 minutes later

Marmalade said

Of course, the only blogging options I’m seriously considering are ones that are free.  I don’t feel like spending money unless it was very minimal and there was some great advantage to what I was getting for my money.  I’m fine with there being some advertising on my blog. 

It would be simpler (in some ways) if I was willing to put the money and time into designing my own website, but I’m not that motivated or that wealthy.  I don’t need perfection… just something that works good enough for my purposes.  I’d rather spend my time on my actual blogging and less time with endless tinkering and upkeep.  I don’t need any more distractions in my life.

Annemieke : Similarity

about 2 hours later

Annemieke said

Hi Ben

WordPress is not that difficult, it is rather easy, even for me. And I have never lost anything yet. Everything you are working on is saved every few minutes.

Something else to consider might be to become a member of  BlogCatalog. It is a very large and active community for bloggers and a great way to get to know other bloggers. 

Good luck,
Annemieke

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 5 hours later

Marmalade said

I just checked out your WordPress blog.  It looks nice.  You have multiple pages.  Was that at all difficult to set up?  One comparison showed that WordPress has the option of both categories and subcategories.  Are the pages what are considered categories?  Have you ever tried creating subcategoreis?

There is another thing about some of the white label sites.  Some of them have the capacity to create photo and video albums.  I’m not sure if any of the purely blogging platforms is capable of doing that.

As for learning curve, how long did it take you to design your blog?  The learning curve I heard about with WordPress is that it takes a lot of effort to do anything outside of basic functions.

BTW I had come across BlogCatalog.  It probably would be a good idea to become a member there.

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 5 hours later

Marmalade said

Hey, Annemieke, have you ever blogged anywhere else besides WordPress and here on Gaia?  Why did you pick WordPress?

about 5 hours later

WH said

I blog on both Blogger and WordPress, but I prefer Blogger, especially if you use Firefox. Blogger can be customized on Firefox, using Grease Monkey and other scripts, to make it do a lot of stuff. With Chrome or IE you are stuck with the Blogger interface as they created it.

The “new” Blogger is easy to use, but less easy to customize unless you are really good with html.

That’s my take.

Peace,
Bill

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 5 hours later

Marmalade said

The one thing I haven’t looked into yet is websearchability of blogging sites.  I’ve seen some comparisons that I plan to check out soon.  Personally, I want to be read, and so having my blog listed in relevant websearches is important.

There is another thing I’m keeping in the background of my researching this subject.  At some point, I might want to start a community group for my family.  I want a site that would have certain options.  Video and photo albums would be necessary of course, but also a way of organizing info about the family including genealogy.

Terrill : Spirit of butterfly

about 7 hours later

Terrill said

Hi Ben,

I have been having similar conversations with myself over the past few months. I now post on a ning community that I was asked to join. It is kind of cool to be part of a narrowly focused community and I am pretty much the only one who blogs there. I am not fussy about all the steps I have to do to put in hyperlinks and formating when I have pasted text in from word that already has everything.

I recently set up a blog on blogspot because it is nice and clean to link client into. But I have no idea who reads it or if anyone can search it. Not a good feeling… it somehow feels more like a post card instead of a blogging conversation.

I looked at wordpress and follow another blog that is on there. Humm… maybe I will check it out more closely.

Anyway, if you find anything that is super good, please let me know.

And thanks for posting your research.

Terrill

Annemieke : Similarity

about 13 hours later

Annemieke said

“You have multiple pages.  Was that at all difficult to set up?” 

The pages are not difficult to set up, the only thing that was a bit strange is the followup in the heading. It took me some time to find out why one showed up before another.


“One comparison showed that WordPress has the option of both categories and subcategories.  Are the pages what are considered categories?  Have you ever tried creating subcategoreis?”

No, the categories belong to the posts. For each post you choose one or several categories. The pages are just static on the header. I did not create subcategories but it should be rather easy to do, from each category you can make subcategories.  
Some of them have the capacity to create photo and video albums.  I’m not sure if any of the purely blogging platforms is capable of doing that.

I also don’t know if the blogging platforms have the capacity to create photo and video albums. I think the way to do that is to link to your own pages and posts, but the idea of albums seems more an external thing to do, I guess.
As for learning curve, how long did it take you to design your blog?  The learning curve I heard about with WordPress is that it takes a lot of effort to do anything outside of basic functions.”

It did not take that long as I just started it and I just learned along the way. Maybe not the best way to do it, but for me that usually works best. I also never read manuals very well but just start something and just see where it goes.

I can very well imagen that it is difficult to do anything outside the basic functions, but until now that has not been a problem for me because it was all very new and I just used what was available.  

” have you ever blogged anywhere else besides WordPress and here on Gaia?  Why did you pick WordPress?”

I haven’t blogged anywhere besides WordPress and Gaia. The reason I picked WordPress was just random. I just started blogging because at that time I read a homeopathy blog where someone said there should be more homeopathy blogs that where actually about homeopathy instead of the sceptic blogs that came up high in the search engines. And most of the blogs I read at that time where WordPress blogs so I just started there.

” having my blog listed in relevant websearches is important.”

Coming up in relevant websearches was not to hard. In fact it all worked to fast for me. I am very much on the edge of homeopathy, astrology and the periodic table and showing up there too prominent would be just provoking. I remember after my first posts I found myself all over the place. At least that is the idea I got. And I decided to leave a lot of words out of my posts and tags. So my idea is that showing up in relevant websearches is not to hard.
I might want to start a community group for my family.  I want a site that would have certain options.  Video and photo albums would be necessary of course, but also a way of organizing info about the family including genealogy.

About starting a community group for your family I don’t think that WordPress or Blogger would be your best options. But maybe it would be best to seperate that and use a personal blog which you can very easily handle, to be a sort of centre, maybe a daily journal of some sort, to link to albums, videos and other family activities. Just thinking out loud.

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 14 hours later

Marmalade said

WH – I don’t use Firefox.  I’m not too excited about adding further complications to the process of blogging.  I may not be computer illiterate, but I’m definitely not computer saavy.  I probably could figure out using all of that, but it sounds like a lot of work.  I’m an inherently lazy person who seeks the path of least resistance.

Terrill – I belong to several Ning groups.  I like it, but one problem is that your profile doesn’t carryover from one group to the next.  When I do a websearch for “Ning” and “Marmalade”, it shows my profile for each group separately.  I could blog in one of those groups, but I don’t want to blog in someone else’s space.  I even started a group there just to see its capabilities, but I have the group closed.

Your other blog on Blogspot is a good basic blog.  I mostly would be happy with something like that.  The main thing it lacks is multiple pages.  I wonder if there is a way to create multiple pages with it.  I think it does allow you to create multiple blogs which might serve a similar function.

I think I understand your view that it has a less personal feel to it.  That is the difference of a blogging site and other sites that offer blogging amongst many other services such as networking.  Also, a blogpost blog like you have can seem so much more plain than a WordPress blog.  WordPress gives one greater ability to personalize.

If you don’t like the feeling of anyone being able to read your blog, then you’d probably be better off making Ning (or another similar platform) your main blog.  Both Blogpost and WordPress come up in websearches very easily.  I tried to do a search on blogs in Ning and nothing seemed to come up other than Ning’s official blog.  Apparently, if you blog on Ning, you are hidden from the prying eyes of strangers.

I’d like some attention from websearching strangers or at least I don’t want to be isolated entirely.  My blogs here often come up in relevant websearches.  However, too much attention can be problematic.  I’ve heard that if you allow comments on the main blogging sites, you might have to install some anti-spam tools and spend some time removing spam.  That is one nice thing about Gaia.  I’ve only had one comment here that I assume must’ve been spam.

And I’ll be sure to keep you posted.  I’m taking my time in making a choice.

Annemieke – I like that starting a WordPress blog hasn’t been difficult for you.  Your blog looks pretty nice and I like what you did with the pages.  I’m like you in that I’d probably just figure it out as went along and hope for the best.  I’m fairly good at figuring things out as long as they’re reasonably intuitive in design.

Out of the blogging sites, WordPress does seem most impressive.  I have one lingering question which I don’t know if you can answer.  Some of the more general sites allow multiple pages that have different levels of privacy.  Is there a way of making private or friends-only pages?

You’re probably right about keeping the two separate.  It might be easier to think of them as two different objectives.  Although, its possible there could be a single platform that would allow me to separate them enough.  Some sites allow you not only to make pages and specific blogs private to varying degrees but also allow you to create multiple groups or multiple blogs.  There are many different ways I could go about all of this.

I’m glad I got all of these responses here.  Its given me a chance to think out loud.  I still have plenty of more research to do.  I need to play around with the various sites I’ve joined.  Once I narrow down my choices, I might start another blog to get at more detailed comparisons.

Annemieke : Similarity

about 15 hours later

Annemieke said

“Is there a way of making private or friends-only pages?”
Private is easy, you have the choice between public and private. Friends only I didn’t know, so I went looking and it seems you also have the choice ‘password protected’.

And you have the same choices for the pages.

Marmalade : Gaia Child

about 16 hours later

Marmalade said

I must say that WordPress is looking pretty nice.  Between Blogger and WordPress, I was leaning more to the former.  But, listening to you, I’m starting to lean the other way.

Annemieke : Similarity

about 16 hours later

Annemieke said

If you want some more comparison between the two, here are pages full of opinions from users. Some use Blogger, others WordPress and some even use (or have used) both.

Marmalade : Gaia Child

about 17 hours later

Marmalade said

Thanks!  I’ll check it out later.

about 19 hours later

Centria said

Ben, this blog is so timely!  Thank you for writing it.  Yesterday I asked (inwardly) to figure out some sites for blogging.  Have been thinking of doing a special “project” and writing about it every day next year.  Still in the planning stages, but was trying to figure out where I might blog about it.  Don’t want to do it here on Gaia because I still want to blog about other things here. 

Thanks also to Annemieke for her insights!  REally appreciate all of this information.   Kathy

Marmalade : Gaia Child

1 day later

Marmalade said

Hello Kathy! Yeah, this blog is so timely. I was just thinking about blogs the other day and then all of a sudden I saw this blog. I was like, dude, I wrote that. It was amazing. Its like I can read my own mind. 🙂

Anyways… If I blog elsewhere, I can’t say what will become of this blog. I was thinking I might reserve this blog for less serious writing and postings of videos. This is a good basic blog.

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

1 day later

Marmalade said

BTW I’m not being very focused… nothing new. lol I’ve been on a massive reconnaissance mission to discover every interesting thng that exists on the web. That is my humble aspiration. :))

I can’t help myself. My curiosity is my addiction. Its not my fault the internet is such an interesting place. For the past several months or so, I’ve been looking at all the ever-multiplying sites that involve: virtual reality (worlds and globes), video (tv and movies, video sharing), social networking, white label platforms, blogging sites, search engines, social bookmarking, portals, OpenID,etc.

They all start intermingling after awhile. I’m particularly interested in where these different services crossover in a single provider. For instance, I’m sure Google has more services than I’m aware of. Google has: Google Earth, Google Maps,Blogger, Google search engine, Google Reader, Lively (virtual world, social networking), OpenSocial, Google Groups, Google Books, and on and on. However, they’re not all in one place per se. Google is a rather sprawling megacorporation.

I like some of the white label platforms because they offer the diversity of services like Google but with the ability to create a niche market. The problem is niche markets are more precarious and don’t necessarily offer the best promise of longterm innovation.

Anyways, I’m looking for something more than just a site to blog. My true desire is to find a main platform that will allow me to aggregate many different services. Some sites offer their own versions of services. Other sites allow importing services or other nifty ways to interconnect with other sites. Many networking sites offer an easy way to put services such as Twitter on your personal page or automatically show your favorite YouTube videos.

A similar concept are tools that allow simultaneous posting across multiple sites. There are tools that will post to all of your blogs. And there are tools that will post to all of the social bookmarking sites you belong to.

An even newer method of merging is happening with web browsers and browsing histories. Amazon has created A9 which is a search engine that not only remembers your search history on the browser, but also includes your history from your Amazon searches. This allows it to give you a tailored search that will show you the results that are the most relevant to you personally. Plus, it will tell you which pages you’ve visited before, and I think it might also allow you to make notes about sites.

Its cool (and scary)to consider where all this is heading, but I’m at thepresent simply interested in the immediate benefit for me.

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 1 month later

Marmalade said

I’ve just posted a new blog about blogging:

Marmalade’s New Blogs

Online World: Tropes, Types, and Trolls

Online World: Tropes, Types, and Trolls

Posted on Sep 16th, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Explorer Marmalade

I started this thread with a specific site in mind, but decided to expand upon it.  The aforementioned site is TV Tropes Wiki.  Its a great site that is about tropes of all kinds in all media.  For this thread I wanted to focus on the entries there that pertain to the online world.

  • Blog Tropes
  • Wiki Tropes
  • Friending Network
  • Online Personas
  •  First Post
  • Armchair Psychology
  • Double Post
  • Forum Pecking Order
  • Imageboards
  • Message Board
  • Play By Post Games
  • Sock Puppet
  • Flame War
  • Troll
  • Godwin’s Law
  • Image Macro
  • Internet Backdraft
  • Internet Counterattack
  • Thread Hopping
  • Thread Necromancy
    There are some other sites that I was thinking about:

    Forum Member Types:

    http://www.10e20.com/blog/2008/01/17/7-types-of-forum-members-you-should-get-to-know/

    http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/index.htm

    Blogger Types:

    http://www.chrisg.com/what-type-of-blogger-are-you/

    http://blogs.msdn.com/clemensv/archive/2007/03/21/blogger-types-who-are-they-who-are-you.aspx

    http://www.highrankings.com/10-blogger-types/

    http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2002/10/28/211050/43

    http://sitening.com/blog/what-kind-of-blogger-are-you/

    http://www.web-articles.info/e/a/title/Blogger-types/

    Trolling and Troll Types:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

    http://tantek.pbwiki.com/TrollTaxonomy


  • This is also a thread on the God Pod.


      

    Access_public Access: Public What do you think? Print Post this!views (300)  
      Nicole : wakingdreamer  

    Re: Online World: Tropes, Types, and Trolls

    Nicole said Sep 16, 2008, 3:16 PM:

      I really found the links about trolls and blogger and forum member types helpful.

    I’m still not really clear on the tropes though, which is why I just found myself scratching my head and not knowing what to say when I first saw your blog.

    Can you help me out there?

    Love,

    Nicole

    Spinner
      Marmalade : Gaia Child  

    Re: Online World: Tropes, Types, and Trolls

    Marmalade said Sep 16, 2008, 11:07 PM:

      I understand your head scratching about the tropes.  The TV Tropes site uses the term ‘tropes’ in a more general way than its traditional use in rhetoric.  In this context: tropes aren’t cliches even though they can become cliches; tropes  aren’t archetypes even though they’re often related to archetypes; and also tropes aren’t simply limited to fiction even though that is where they’re most obvious.   “Above all, a trope is a convention.”  And conventions can be found in every medium and in every aspect of life.

    As an example, a personality type wouldn’t be a trope because personality types are closer to archetypes.  However, an exaggeration of a personality type could become a trope.  As tropes can be character types so also tropes can be social roles.  This is the connection to the second half of my post.  So, a troll is a social role that has become a trope.  Likewise, something can start off as a trope in fiction and later on be played out in real life.

    I don’t know if I’m helping to clear things up.  If you really want to understand, you might need to skim through a bunch of different entries from the TV Tropes site in order to get a general sense.

    BTW did you resonate with any particular blogger and forum member types?

    Blessings,
    Marmalade

    Spinner
      Nicole : wakingdreamer  

    Re: Online World: Tropes, Types, and Trolls

    Nicole said Sep 17, 2008, 6:01 AM:

      ah, i’m starting to see, yes! Very helpful thanks.

    Blogger type now that’s easy I nearly always write the personal diary kind of blog.

    Forum member type – that was harder – I could identify with bits and pieces of many types, especially in my role here.

    I had no trouble finding you among the types though 🙂

    Love,

    Nicole

    Spinner
      Marmalade : Gaia Child  

    Re: Online World: Tropes, Types, and Trolls

    Marmalade said Sep 17, 2008, 2:30 PM:

      I’m looking at the site of the second forum members link.  Its amusing.  I must say, though, that there seems to be a bias against certain types.

    I’m a sensitive guy, but hopefully I’m not a Weenie.  I do have a bit of Eagle Scout in me.  I have elements of the Therapist as I’m interested in the psychological dynamics, but I don’t avoid direct engagement.  Even though I’m a bit of an Archivist, I don’t tend to use it against people.  I like the sound of Necromancer although I can’t say I attempt to resurrect old threads too often.  I can be a Philosopher when in the right mood and when a subject interests me.

    At the site of the first link of forum member types, I can sometimes play the role of The Protector of the Community.  But I usually prefer to be on the sidelines.

    As for the blogger types, I’m also a mix.  I have elements for many of the types except for the ones that have to do with a profession, or with making money, or becoming popular.  The type that most fit me was the fan/hobby type: “Hobby bloggers write about their fascinations, get a kick out of sharing with like-minded people and they need no more reward.”  I am similar to you as many of my blogs lean towards the personal diary type.  As you know, I certainly don’t separate out the personal.

    Blessings,

    Marmalade

    Spinner
      Nicole : wakingdreamer  

    Re: Online World: Tropes, Types, and Trolls

    Nicole said Sep 18, 2008, 6:09 AM:

      I agree, it’s not by any means objective! As always your self-assessment is spot-on.Fun eh?

    Hugs,

    Nicole

    Spinner
      Nicole : wakingdreamer  

    Re: Online World: Tropes, Types, and Trolls

    Nicole said Sep 18, 2008, 6:10 AM:

      I agree, it’s not by any means objective! As always your self-assessment is spot-on.Fun eh?

    Hugs,

    Nicole

    My Blog: “Marmalade” & “I’ve just pissed in my pants”

    Here are two recent websearches that led people to my blog:

    “factors leading to failure in marmalade”

    “is marmalade dying out”

    I wonder what this means.  If I got these in a fortune cookie, I’d be a bit worried.

    On a similar note, the most popular blog post I’ve ever written seems to be the following:

    I’ve just pissed in my pants…

    If anyone ever did a combined search of “marmalade” and “I’ve just pissed in my pants”, there is a high probability that they’d find my blog at the top of the search results.  I think I should focus on trying to corner this niche of the websearch market.

    Intelligent Christian Blog: The Website of Unknowing

    Let me recommend a rather lovely blog.  It’s well written and the author seems well informed.  The blog in question is The Website of Unknowing and the author of it is Carl McColman.  He apparently is also an author of a number of books on religion.

    Some things stood out to me about this blog and it’s author. 

    McColman began as a Christian who became a Neopagan and who then later returned to Christianity via mysticism.  I also noticed he has some interest in Flannery O’Connor.  Mysticism and O’Connor together immediately make me think of my good friend Mike.

    Beyond these interests, McColman demonstrates a fairly wide and intelligent selection of ideas and writers.  In particular, I was happy to see Ken Wilber mentioned rather prominently.  But he also blogs about a spectrum of Judeo-Christian writers and ideas from the traditional to the liberal (Teresa of Avila, Charism, C.S. Lewis , Philo’s Platonic allegorizing, Pagan Christianity).  And in one post he links to an article written by Harvey Cox.

    I had the immediate sense of what kind of religious person McColman is.  In some ways, his religious interests, although wide, are a bit more tame than my own.  He apparently avoids political issues (at least in this blog) and I didn’t see him write about the fiction genres of horror and sf (which often relate to theological concerns such as with PKD).  But I did find quite interesting his post about the movie Where the Wild Things Are.  All in all, his blog has a Boomer sensibility about it.  It turns out he is a young Boomer at the age of 48 (according to the generational model of Strauss and Howe).

    To me there is something simultaneously appealing and tame (in an inclusively politically correct way) about Boomer spirituality.  I grew up in a politically correct New Agey Christian church that attracted many lost Boomer souls seeking some form of religion they could tolerate.  However, McColman’s thinking has some meat to it.  He isn’t intellectually lazy and he is aware of the dangers of “boomeritis.”

    I guess my reason for sharing this Christian blog is because I’ve butted heads with some Christian fundamentalists lately (and also an ideological atheist).  I just wanted to turn some attention towards a more moderate and informed view of religion.

    Blog of Interest: Chas Darwin’s charles’ log

    I was checking out the blog titled charles’ log and the author is Chas Darwin.  On the about page, he wrote:

    The author of this blog is a very active Democrat, and a retired IT professional.  He is a member of  Americans United for Separation of Church and State, The Center For Inquiry, the ACLU, and American Mensa.

    It’s mostly a political blog with some social commentary.  Some of his posts fit in with my thinking at the moment.  Here are the posts that stood out to me:

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/how-will-the-growing-number-of-no-religion-voters-impact-politics/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/09/21/conservative-radicals-and-the-politics-of-vengeance/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/07/18/our-liberal-media/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/empathy-vs-the-gop/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/golly-gee-gop-guns-gods-and-gays/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/gop-and-religious-extremists/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/limbaughs-success-is-based-on/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/anyone-can-tell-small-lies-it-takes-conservatives-to-tell-really-big-ones/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/who-is-crying-now/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/it-cant-happen-here/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/democracy/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/the-way-we-were/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/the-ideologies-that-failed/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/new-ideas-are-dangerous/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/you-know-me-people-and-im-no-rush-limbaugh/

    http://charlog.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/gop-bias-in-three-majors-1992-2004/

    My Online Adventures

    I became interested in the Internet through researching ideas which is what I do even without the Internet, but the Internet has made it much easier and more enjoyable.  The first topic I web-searched to a great degree (by which I mean obsessively) was Tarot which led me to MBTI.  I was only vaguely familiar with MBTI and was happy to learn more about it as I was already deeply interested in Carl Jung’s ideas. 

    This search for info led me to an INFP discussion forum (INFP is my MBTI personality type).  It was utterly amazing because it was a large group of people who had a similar way of thinking and communicating, but it kind of spoiled me for more general forums I’d later join.  I had some truly awesome discussions there, but some of the members I interacted with on a regular basis ended up moving on.  I came to learn how informal web relationships are.  Most people don’t really want to connect.  I do want to connect, but when someone asked if I’d like to meet in person I realized I had my limits on how much I wanted to connect as well.  I’m somewhat of a loner and am contented with my few close real-world relationships.  However, I look for something different in my on-line friendships that my everyday relationships can’t satisfy.

    Anyways, the INFP forum and other MBTI-related forums were just too specific.  My mind wanders and my intellectual hunger wasn’t being sated.  I went looking around.  I’ve since belonged to many forums: Beliefnet, Truth Be Known, some Integral Theory forums, and various Atheist/Agnostic forums.  I realized no single group would satisfy and groups took too much effort and time for what usually turned out to be too little benefit.  I started considering blogs as I really just wanted a format to express myself without constantly worrying about what others thought.  I first tried My Opera because the only blog I was following at the time (Quentin S. Crisp’s Directory of Lost Causes) happened to be there, but I quickly realized that it had too many foreign language blogs for my taste. 

    I wanted to still be able to connect with people to an extent, and so I looked for places that offered blogging services along with social networking.  At first, I considered Ning because I already belonged to some groups there.  The problem I saw with Ning is that blogs seemed pretty isolated there.  There really weren’t too many other options that fit what I was looking for, but I kept looking and comparing.  I was also worried about newer start-ups that might not stick around and so I was trying to determine sites that had been around for years.  I finally settled on Gaia.com.  It had a good balance.  I was initially attracted to the fact that it had a very active Integral community.  I did enjoy it quite a bit and participated regularly in one of the groups.  I met some nice people and it was there that I developed my blogging abilities.  After awhile, though, it too felt confining.  It was really a site dedicated to people wanting to improve the world.  I have nothing against improving the world, but it really isn’t the reason I spend my time on-line and definitely not what I blog about for the most part.  Besides, the cynical side of my personality really grated with the large number of New Age types there.

    So, I decided that I just wasn’t going to find a community of people who were similar to me.  My interests are just too diverse.  It was an amazing experience whenever I met a person who shared even a small percentage of the same interests, but that happened too rarely.  I was just tired of trying to connect with others.

    I turned to sites that simply specialized in blogging.  I decided to instead use the blogging platforms themselves as the standard of my decision instead of anything to do with social networking.  I now was simply looking for an easy way to post my writings that gave me enough options to play around and personalize my blog.  I looked back at My Opera and checked out my old Live Journal account, but I mostly focused on Blogger and Word Press.  I posted the same thing on all of these blogs and compared their specific functions.  I did that for several months and Word Press won.  That is the story of how I ended up here.

    However, I still crave discussion.  I wish more people would comment and I wish the people who comment would return a second time.  A single comment a discussion does not make.  I’m not trying to drive traffic to my blog because I’m not trying to make money or anything.  I just figure there has to be other people like me with similar interests, and at least a few of them would be interested in discussion.  I don’t know if such people are fewer than I imagine or if it’s that they’re unlikely to find my blog for whatever reason.  As far as I can tell, my posts often come up in search results and I definitely show up in Word Press listings.  People visit my blog on a daily basis, but why do so few leave a comment?

    I suspect most people aren’t interested in discussion and especially not of the deep intellectual variety.  Even other deep intellectual types don’t seem all that interested in discussion.  Most people seem content to do their own thing in their own blog.  The people who seek out places to comment are often spammers and trolls.  It depresses me a bit.  I comment in other people’s blogs all of the time, but it doesn’t usually lead anywhere.  Most bloggers don’t respond back and certainly don’t try to connect in any way such as commenting in my blog in return.  This is partly explained by the statistics.  I was reading that 96% of bloggers haven’t posted in the last 4 months.

    Partly to satisfy my need for discussion, I’ve been commenting in the online version of my local paper.  That is somewhat more satisfying as I actually know some of the people commenting and the subject matter is a bit more personally relevant.  However, I’m not much of a news junky and so I just enjoy the interaction and I even partially enjoy the stupid debate.  There are a couple of intelligent posters which comes close to offseting all of the opinionated ignorance.

    I did recently connect with some fellow bloggers here on Word Press.  I’m feeling inspired to make my blog more interesting and new-person-friendly.  I wrote up an extensive ‘About’ page, a ‘Favorite Posts’ page, and finally got around to adding the blogs I visit to my blogroll.  I was thinking I should clean up my categories because they’re a bit of a jumble.  Also, my theme is rather mundane.  I picked it for practical reasons as I liked the way it was set up, but I should look at other options again.  If I ever feel extraordinarily motivated, I might add a picture to my banner.  It was only recently that I even got around to adding the icon of my kitty.  It sure is a lot of work.  If I was a motivated person, I’d probably be doing something in the real world rather than blogging.  lol

    To further break out of my isolated slump, I joined Technorati and Blog Catalog.  I’ll see how that turns out.  I doubt it will make much difference.  Blog Catalog looks like it could potentially be a place to connect, but there is a lot of crap to wade through.

    I’m happy to have a blog anyways with or without regular discussion.  I used to journal which got boring after a decade of being my own audience.  Blogging forces me to be more thorough and careful in my thinking process.  It’s good practice to have something that motivates me to write on a regular basis.  I enjoy writing and that is the important part.

    Showcasing Sites for Writing

    I was reading a blog post by Anne Whitaker (To the website! Chapter Three (at last!)) and came across these showcasing sites. 

    Author’s Den

    Creative Carnival

    Blog Carnival

    Technorati

    Zimbio

    I’d heard of Technorati before, but hadn’t ever looked into it.  I’m not sure that I’m all that interested in going out of my way to share my writing with the world.  Anyone who is interested in what I write about will probably (ignoring a recent exception) be able to find my blog posts just by doing a websearch.  But I could possibly enjoy a bit more interactivity than I get in my isolated blog world.  I was observing how very few of the people who visit my blog ever leave a comment… maybe one out of every few hundred visitors.  Half of the people who comment simply do so because I linked to their blog first.  So, I’ll explore these sites and see what I think of them.