Sunday, December 31, 2006

About time to read the instructions...

Now that I have been blogging for over a year, and have settled on fairly standard format, I thought I would share some tips about my blog and what the heck I'm trying to accomplish.

First, how stuff works.
  1. If you haven't already figured it out, I try to document my sources with hyperlinks or links This is the true power of Internet writing - you can read the same stuff I read and reach your own conclusions, rather than accept my arguably half-baked conclusions. When you mouse over a link, your cursor turns into a hand and a red dotted line appears under the link. If you left-click your mouse the link opens.
  2. You can choose to open the link in a new window (or tab for IE7 and FF2) by selecting that choice under "Tools/Options" on your browser command bar.
  3. Quotes from outside sources are shown indented and italicized. The full context is either found in an accompanying link or at the [More] link.
  4. Sometimes when I import quotes they screw up the fonts for a few paragraphs. I have no idea why, and it's fallen in that too-much-hassle-to-fix category.
  5. For the last two months or so, all posts have "labels". The trick here is if you click on a label you will see all the posts with that label. This makes it really hard for me to be inconsistent with my arguments, but it can help you "read more about it".
Now some editorial philosophy.
  • I do not pretend to be a journalist. I am instead more of an human aggregator. I would have used the term "presurfer", but somebody got there first. It pretty well describes my approach however.
  • The material I add is eclectic, but almost all but the purely fun stuff has some implication for those of us on farms. It may be slight, it may be in the distant future, or may be short-lived, but I think knowing about it might be helpful.
  • One of my goals is to scan sites not normally mined by ag journalism for news from the infamous "outside world" (which I like to call the "world"). It may be foreign agriculture, energy, economics, psychology, sociology, futurism, medicine, etc., but the goal is to add to, not duplicate other ag sites.
  • I post almost every day. When on vacation I leave some preloaded posts to fill in. Like my personal hygiene, I have no firm posting schedule.
  • While I welcome comments, and will try to answer questions, my guess it many of you will take some time to feel comfortable with this. That's cool, too. Always keep in mind you can post anonymously.
  • I love surfing and finding this stuff. The blog is a way I can save some you some time by highlighting what I have come up with.
  • Unlike my writing in Top Producer and Farm Journal, no real editing occurs between my writing and your reading. Now couple in the importance of speed. Unlike traditional media, bloggers can respond within minutes to new news. Mix all those factors together and you have the ingredients for misjudgments and flat out errors. Be sure to call me on them - you are my new editors. Gimme a break on the typos and grammar though, please.
I am not sure where this vehicle is headed. It has already exceeded my expectations.

Thanks for reading.

Happy New Year!

(BTW, In 2000 our son was in London for the Millennium. We watched on TV at 6 pm. our time and celebrated "with him". As a result, we got to bed on time and felt great the next morning. Consequently we celebrate New Year's on Greenwich time every year now. I recommend it.)

1 comment:

1029barn said...

John:

Your idea of celebrating New Years on GMT is an excellent one!

I have enjoyed your Blog and hope to continue to respond during this new year.

Barn