Friday Five:

1. How long have you had a weblog?
Some of you might be surprised to learn that although I started web-goddess in January 2001, I’ve actually had a weblog since September 2000. It was for an earlier incarnation of the Purple Weasels site and it mainly focused on Notre Dame news. I was inspired by this question to log into Blogger and see if any of those old posts still exist. Amazingly, they’re still there! I’ve scraped ’em out and I’m hoping to bring them back online soon. Like I said, it’s mostly college news, but there are some gems in there too.

2. What was your first post about?
Well, everyone’s very first post is always the equivalent of “Testing 1…2…3”, right? Disregarding those, my first real post on the PW site was this article about the then-upcoming Notre Dame vs. Nebraska football game. My first web-goddess posts (which you can read for yourself) were an announcement about my Roald Dahl site and a rant about British retail culture.

3. How many changes (name, location, etc.) of your weblog have there been, if more than one?
Well, doing the PW blog for a few months made me eager to launch one of my own. Once web-goddess had started, though, I didn’t have much blogging energy left over. The PW blog (and site) eventually petered out. Other than that, the only major change has been the switch from “” to “.org”. The former still works, but I think the latter is easier to remember.

4. What CMS (content management system) do you use? Do you like it or do you want to try something else?
I started off using Blogger but quickly got pissed off with server outages and mysteriously disappearing archives. So I wrote my own, called GoddessBlog. It’s been a learning process, and I’ve done a lot of tinkering over the past year. You can download the source code yourself here. There are even a couple
other sites running it! It’s not the greatest thing ever, but it gets the job done and it feels pretty good to run your own system.

5. Do you read people who have both a journal and a weblog? Or do you prefer to read people who have all of their writing in one central place?
I’ve tried to get into journals before, but I always lose interest. It’s like when you meet someone in person, you know? You can only talk about yourself for so long. I don’t mind if people throw in some journal-type entries, as long as they also entertain me with posts about Buffy or politics or dance music. Once I get to know someone through their site, I’m more willing (and, indeed, eager) to read about their latest vacation or rants about their job. But you can’t launch straight into that stuff, because when it’s a stranger, it’s boring. So I guess what I mean is, I’m not really interested in reading the journals of random netizens, but I am interested in reading the journals of my friends.

(Sidenote: That last question brings to my mind my greatest site anxiety, that y’all are getting sick of hearing about me – and especially the Snook – and would rather I just stick to the links and quizzes. I mean, looking back through my archives I can see the the percentage of biographical-type entries has been on the increase. But then I get indignant and think, “Screw that. There are a million identical weblogs and the only thing that makes mine stand out is ME. So why should I change that?” Which is comforting… for a while.)

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  1. Re: Your answer to number 5 (and worries that we’d ever get “sick” of you)…as if! :-)–I have a theory that what makes blogs interesting are not just the links and autobio stuff, but the overall “backstory” (that’s the term I use, anyway) of the writer–the intangible combination of the interests and hobbies and job(s) and pet peeves and personal experiences and vulnerabilities that makes his or her site unique and fun to read. American expat in Australia with a thing for quilting? Check. Dance-music-loving tv addict who teaches high school English in Alabama? Check. NYC Research nurse with a passion for gardening, fantasy novels, and home renovation? Check. Crazy-cat-lady MSNBC writer who can’t stay away from Sanrio or funky food sites? Check. Broadway musical expert who can teach Latin to private schoolers? Check. Kitsch-loving Arizona design genius with an eye (and ear) for the beauty in all things retro? Check. And so on and so on…I mean, if you (or any of the other sites I read) stripped the personal stuff out (and those one-line descriptions above don’t even begin to do justice to the people they’re describing, of course) and only gave links, I think I’d quit visiting the sites altogether. I can hunt down links as well as anyone, but I want to get a little of the person, too, or else why bother? My sincere belief that there’s no major distinction between true “online friends” and “real life friends” only holds up if people put a little of themselves on the page. (But make sure the links stay, too, because then–as you say–it gets a bit old very fast. If I wanted a non-stop litany of decontextualized life stories, I’d watch the Biography channel on cable or assign some silly “Tell me about yourself” paper to my students.)

    So what I’m saying is, stick with the Snook stories–but give me my fun links too!

    Did any of this make sense? Is it sad that I’ve thought about this way too much?:-)

  2. Max – that’s just what I was hoping you’d say. I feel the exact same. 🙂

  3. I second (third?) Max’s comment!

  4. Here here, we like the Snook! 🙂

  5. That is indeed the whole point, as far as I can see it. Unfortunately for me, I’m always using really crappy dial-up and watching the clock so I rarely (of late) have any interesting links and such. I suppose I currently have more of a journal but I generally try and write as if talking to my friends or family so that it’s more than just a straight diary-type entry.

    Reading all the Friday Fives makes me realise how dull my blog must seem to many but I try to entertain where possible, as it gives me a buzz to read something of my own that I enjoy or am amused by(and not just by evocation of memories).

    Anyone who says their blog is solely for them and not some form of entertainment is a liar and a fool.

    So there.

  6. Dude, you just had a new baby and moved to France. That’s what I wanna hear about! I don’t expect you to spend hours a day digging up links for my perusal. I can see where it’s hard to build up new traffic like that, but there are more important things right now… like putting up pictures of French people and food and stuff so I can live vicariously through you! Now break out the camera, dammit! 🙂

  7. I have the pictures but I’m trying to perfect my gallery so that it resizes thumbnails on the fly. I’ve now finally got the code I need, I just need enough time and headspace to implement the bugger. It’s all part of my 99% preparation, 1% application approach.
    Which sucks.

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