Saturday, June 25, 2011

Another Blogger's Readers Opine on Writing

"Written By You"
Shawn Smucker blog (June 25, 2011)

"This week was a little different here at the blog as I abandoned my normal posts for something new: I gave you a quote on writing, a question, and you guys did the work. Here are some of the questions I asked, as well as some of my favorite responses:

"Are artists generally melancholy, dissatisfied people, or is that just a stereotype?

" 'While there are a variety of reasons that spur individuals toward the creative process, I think that history shows the best and/or most creative have survived through a degree of adversity....'..."

"What do you think about imitation? A helpful tool for aspiring artists? A poor excuse for plagiarism? Which writers or artists or musicians do you like to learn from?

" 'My default assumption when a "writer" tells me they don't really like to read much is that they are kidding themselves about being writers...'..."

There's more to that reader's response, by the way: about emulation, plagiarism, and all that.

Mr. Smucker's post is Brilliant! Insightful! Profound! A Must-Read! The Lemming may be a bit biased - since the Lemming pretty much agrees with what's there. There's also a missing apostrophe - but not the sort of scrambled syntax that makes reading difficult. And that's another topic.

You won't learn how to write in five easy steps from this post, earn millions in the privacy of your own home, or get a brighter smile. You may learn a little about writing, creativity, and what folks who actually practice both have to say.

Removing Content, and Other Ways To Avoid Visitors

The Lemming planned to link to five other posts in this blog on (vaguely) related topics. That's pretty common practice here at Apathetic Lemming of the North: Hey, if you don't like the post (and who could blame you?), maybe something else here will be worth a glance. Or, not.

Anyway, the Lemming discovered that - of five promising micro-reviews - One (1) still linked to an existing off-site page.


Also, fairly common.

Providing fresh content is, in the Lemming's considered opinion, somewhere between important and necessary where websites are concerned: necessary and vital for blogs. Just what constitutes "fresh" can vary, of course. Yet another topic.

Removing pages because they're not now and wow - not so smart, unless it's something like a current weather report.

The Lemming recognizes that there are managers and executives out there who apparently live in constant fear that somehow, somewhere, someone's going to visit their website. And come back.

Or, even worse, find some useful or entertaining content that's more than a year old: but still useful or entertaining.

A sincere desire to avoid new traffic and discourage return visits is, in the Lemming's view, a valid reason for taking down 'old' pages. Whether it makes sense to shun visitors like that - is yet again another topic.

Then there are university websites - and a few corporate ones - which seem to be reorganized every semester or so by caffeinated interns, or brilliant sophomores with all the answers and no field experience. Still one more topic.

Anyway, the Lemming did find one (1) related post, where the page that was micro-reviewed was still there. And four where that wasn't the case.

Well, a sort-of related post. The pictures are cool, anyway.

There are probably more, but who has time to go through several years of posts?*

Posts about creativity or writing, or something:
  • "Never mind: What was reviewed is gone"
    (November 17, 2009)
  • "This one, too"
    (July 8, 2009)
  • "The Lemming micro-reviewed a *good* resource - that's gone"
    (May 22, 2009)
  • "These Landscapes Look Good Enough to Eat"
    (July 8, 2008)
  • "More good advice - that's gone"
    (September 18, 2007)

A tip of the hat to @shawnsmucker, on Twitter, for the heads-up on that post.

* This will be the Lemming's 4,937th post in this blog - going back to July, 2007. And they're all still there. ;)


legbamel said...

Thanks for linking that post. Like you, I agree with it, particularly the part about writers that don't read.

And I agree with you that removing old content, particularly in this day and age of cheap servers and massive on-line storage, wastes the resource you should be building on your web site. I don't even delete the worst posts much less the ones that might be useful! If you're unhappy with a page, edit it.

Brian Gill said...


'What you said.'

Like you said, even the worst posts are likely to have one or two words that someone's going to search for - and that person might want to see if all of one of my blogs is as bad as the stinker.

Sure, I might want to be known as a genius who never makes a mistake. (*snort*) But I'll settle for getting traffic.

Thanks for taking time to read & comment!

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