“Find your obsession. Every day, explain it to one person you respect […] and try not to be a dick.” — Merlin Mann, 43 Folders
More than once in the past, I’ve tried to figure out ways to combine my various blogs in some way. The heart of the problem is that I’m uncomfortable with importing six years of gaming-related posts into this blog (smothering the stuff that’s already here), nor do I want to move THIS site over to Random-Average (which would marginalize anything that wasn’t part of the vast Gaming Majority).
What I’ve hit upon as a semi-solution involves a certain amount of cynicism about how the internet works today.
Assumption 1: Very few people actually read the website.
Which isn’t to say that no one reads what I’m saying, just that few people read it on the site. Instead, they get it via a newsreader.
Assumption 2: Newsreaders strip your ‘branding’.
It doesn’t matter if I have a certain color scheme on my gaming page and another on this page — the background images, the header images… hell, all the sidebar stuff… none of that is really relevant to most people reading the page, because they’re never going to see it.
The only thing that gets to you, the reader, are the words.
Basically, what that means is that I don’t have to combine my blogs, I just have to combine the signal.
So what does that mean?
It means that through the wonders of technology, the RSS feed for doycetesterman.com is also going to broadcast any updates I make to random-average, and that any changes to doycetesterman.com will be included in the feed going out from random-average. The result: you only have to listen to one radio station to hear everything I’m saying. As far as the majority of Gentle Readers are concerned, I have combined all my blogging in one place, without me actually having to do so.
“If the work that really matters to you involves understanding a relationship between a handful of seemingly unrelated things and then figuring out the best way to portray, magnify, or resolve those relationships, then you’re already doing creative work. Any time you make a connection between two or more axes that hadn’t occurred to you 10 minutes ago, yes, you’ve done something creative. Seriously. This does not require your wearing a beret.” — Merlin Mann
4 Replies to “Putting myself back together”
Neato! So should those of us that subscribe to both this and Random Average drop one of those feeds?
Can’t Stop The Signal.
Co they say.
Yes, you only need to be subscribed to one feed now.
Also, I managed to combine both feeds on the ‘front’ page of doycetesterman.com/index.html — which I forgot to mention in the post.
So Assumptions 1-2 are probably true. I suspect it for my own site as well, which has reduced my impetus to do a site redesign. I do wish there was a way to determine that, though.
The primary exception would be comments. People still have to come to the page to comment. Granted, that’s a small fraction of the readership, for both sites, but it’s still there.
I’m not sure, though, what combining the feeds, but not the blogs, does. While the person browsing to the particular blog won’t get overwhelmed by one blog or another, for the feed reader, the commingling will have just the effect you’re concerned about, i.e., assuming the gaming stuff will “overwhelm” the non-gaming stuff in an aggregated blog, the individual aggregated feed will have the same effect.
It will also be confusing to people who come to (say) this blog, subscribe to the feed, and get a lot of posts that they weren’t suspecting they’d get.
I would think a more “reader-oriented” solution would be to offer both an aggregated feed (for those who want to know All Things Doyce) and the separate ones (for those who only care about Doyce the Gamer or those who only care about Doyce the Rest of the Guy).
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