August 5th, 2008

Thoughts on Blogging
Comments, Validation and Why We Need the Audience

Stephen wrote a interesting entry on blog validation in the form of comments at his blog One Life. I think most of us share what he is feeling sometimes (or most of the time).

When a blog entry is published, we can safely assume (with the exception of a locked private blog) that the author expects an appreciative audience . And rightly so, for we, as writers, would spend many hours trying to come up with, and edit to near-perfection, a post worthy of publishing to the world.

I used to spend quite a bit of my time wondering why only 1 out of 100 readers would leave me a comment but realised most of the time I myself am not participating in the conversation on other blogs because there’s really nothing new or interesting to add.

Unless a post is particularly provocative, the reaction generally consists of a few variations of agreement or disagreement. It’s like being in a classroom discussion– after the 11th person has voiced his opinion, there’s nothing much left to say that has not already been said.

Types of Blog Comments

Still, it’s great to have comments! My first blog was running for 7 months before I got my first comment – which is still one of the most exciting days in my early blogging history. :) I also look out for the best critics among my commenters as they are the ones who tell you like it is and probably move in between camps (for/against/neutral) according to what you’re posting.

Here’s something good to know: Problogger has about 50,000 subscribers (according to the displayed Feedburner widget). The actual number of readers may well be more than this but these 50,000 readers are the ones considered “engaged” — readers who care enough about the content of the blog to actually subscribe to the feed. A quick browse through some of the posts shows that less than 1% (or 500) of the readers would actually leave a comment. Steve Pavlina also mentioned in his blog that “well below 1% of visitors ever post a comment“. What are the other 99% doing? Probably just nodding quietly to themselves. How do I know? Because I myself did quite a bit of that nodding thing today. :D


While some of us see a comment count as the mark of a successful interactive blog, others preach high subscriber count at the true indicator of a blog’s success. Damien on the other hand has gone on to develop his own quantifiable rating system of measuring the success of his Funny Farm – i.e. CAN™.

With a blog that focuses on money-making, success is usually directly proportional to the number of readers the blog has. For other types of blogs, some people have said that the number of readers play a less important role in defining success.

I personally believe that we need an audience no matter what because we want to feel appreciated for our art, in this case, our writing. I don’t want to paint a beautiful picture and keep it locked in a room where nobody will ever see (even if I do not have the intention of selling it). I want it displayed in a gallery for all to appreciate and admire. I call this my “Excellence in Giving to Others”, or *ahem* ego for short. ;)

My Ego Can Be Huge. And Ugly.

My ego loves performing in front of huge appreciative audience. She would like to thank you for choosing to read this entry. She is also fond of comments so please leave one (or two)? :D

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July 29th, 2008

Road to Success - The Right Attitude and Hunger

Positive thinking plays a big part in determining whether you will be successful and this is how I’d chart their relation:

Success depends on how positive you are

The more positive you are the more likely your are to succeed.

I came across a graph from one of my newspaper clippings collection and promptly pin it up because I like how it outlines another key factor — success is not only determined by the kind of attitude you have but also by how bad you want it (which is to be followed by a plan of action).

Chance of success is determined by the right attitude
Through purely unscientific inference, I conclude that if we solely depend on positivity, we’ll likely fall into the “I think I might” to “I think I can” spectrum. Therefore, to increase our chances of success, we’ll need to rise to the next level. When you’re at “I can” or “I will”, a natural question that follows will be, “How can I make this work?” and you will be on your way to writing you own blueprint to success.

Of course, there are other factors that would influence your chance of success – connections, luck, fate, cats (having too many cats greatly reduce my chances of a spontaneous getaway — who’s gonna feed all the cats?!) — but as they say, success is 99% perspiration, so get sweating and good luck!

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April 29th, 2008

Specify Your Ideal Job Today

My internet connection has been, to put it mildly, crazy the past 5 days (still is). I’d be typing a long and carefully thought out comment on someone’s blog and then in the middle of posting, have it disappear into the dark cyberspace, never to be found again. The whole of my Monday was spent trying to rectify this problem. Alas, according to the service provider there’s nothing wrong with the connection, and the technician who checked the modem found no fault with it either (the problem was intermittent – he waited nearly 40 minutes for the connection to drop but NOTHING happened! Grrr! ) so I’ve been taking a lot of my work offline.

Speaking of work, I can’t help but be thankful for the fact that, being my own boss, I can choose my working (and blogging) hours. I’m typing this on a word processor, at 2:30am (I’d probably post this at a random time later, when the connection is up). Yes, I’ve never been so busy in my life — as I approach deadlines, I’d be sleeping just 6 hours a day ( the past week, I averaged 5 hours a night) — but I never had so much fun and joy doing work either.

Roger Ebert - Don\'t spend your life working at a job you\'d rather be retired from\

[Read more....]

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April 25th, 2008

If You’ve Never Failed, You’ve Never Lived
An Inspirational Video About Famous Failures

I was lucky to be taught by an exceptional teacher in school. No, she was not exceptionally good. In fact, she was the direct opposite. For some reasons, I was always one of the few people she constantly picked on, but that day was the culmination of her greatness. [Read more....]

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February 8th, 2008

Wish Granted: A Wacom Tablet

Not so new tablet to save lives
So I told my SO about this entry and upon reading it, he decided to give me his old, under-utilised Wacom tablet!

Wow! I’m starting to think that The Secret does work, at least for some wishes.Success!

Value: $300? $50? $0? It was an old model.
Time taken: 7 days
Granted by: My SO
How bad did I want this? Enough to give up donuts for a week.

Original Wish
Wacom Tablet

Previously on Wishes Granted
Donut (Granted)

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