Monday, August 16, 2010

Night of the Living Blog

This blog is a living blog. I'd wager that the vast majority of blogs develop in a straight line: each new post becomes the main focus of the blog, and anything older than a few days (or hours!) fades out of view. Not so with our blog.

Like any long-running series or franchise, we frequently seize the opportunity to reference our previous posts. Alex and I produced nearly 800 pages of content in the first year alone; we can't bank on our readers all strolling through the archives or finding many of our posts in web searches, so self-referencing helps to keep our old material relevant.

That's a big part of why we do our Month in Review and Year in Review posts--if you haven't read one of our posts, we'd prefer it was because you weren't interested in the topic rather than not knowing it was there at all. Keeping the readers up to speed with where we've been helps to create a sense of continuity in our writing--not only are we weighing in on geeky matters, but we're growing as writers and developing as people. (Not to say that writers aren't people.)

Granted, we are not the only blog to relentlessly reference our previous posts, and we aren't the only ones with continuity between posts. There are other factors that make this a living blog. Comments, for example. Virtually every blog I've visited seems to reach a point where comments on a particular post are no longer acknowledged. If you take the time and effort to give us feedback, the least we can do is take a moment to respond.

I recognize that it's not always feasible for higher-traffic blogs to respond to dozens/hundreds of comments a day, but as long as we're able, there's this unspoken guarantee that we'll respond to any comment that warrants a response, no matter how old the post. We're not always so timely in that regard (read: I'm not so timely in that regard), but we'll get there.

I believe that what sets us apart most and truly qualifies this as a living blog is the fact that we go back and edit our old posts all the time. I'm not talking about the ubiquitous [EDIT:] addition that is typically made while the post is still fresh; sometimes we radically change or build on what we've already written.

The original intent of this blog was (and still is) to share the geeky things we like with other people. When we write an official Exfanding post to introduce a hobby or fandom, we want that post to be as timeless and up-to-date as possible. If a new installment of our favorite fandom swoops in, we want to make sure it's covered in our post. That's what's happened with Mega Man, Monkey Island, and Star Trek, just to name a few.

We also go back and re-tag our older posts every so often, when we've introduced some new tags that would apply. For the longest time, "Horror" was not a post tag because I didn't feel we discussed the genre enough to warrant cluttering our tag list with it, but in retrospect, Alex writes about a great deal of horror stories (both fictional and personal), so the tag has been added where it belongs.

Our blog does not travel in a straight line. Ours is a living blog. It continues to develop and change in multiple ways, in multiple directions. Even if we're not unique in that respect, we're happy this blog is truly a "web log" and not just a pile of posts.

If you'd like to get a better feel for the rich history of this blog, or if you're already well-versed and want to capitalize on your knowledge, we encourage you to enter The Second Easiest Contest on the Internet. Which, by the way, I've updated a few times since posting.

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