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Monday, July 18, 2005

A penny for your thoughts

One of my daily reads, the talented SF Bay-area journalist, Maggie Mason ('famous among dozens' as ''Mighty Girl'), posted a poem by a poet named Ted kooser.  The poem is about the kind of person the poet would most want to read his work:

Selecting a Reader
by Ted Kooser

First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
"For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned." And she will

The poem is wonderful all by itself... but it also really got me thinking about who I picture in my minds eye when I'm writing.  Who am I speaking to? 

The truth is, I don't really know.

There have been plenty of times when I've written something and quickly deleted it because I felt it wasn't appropriate for a portion of treppenwitz's readers... but I honestly have never stopped to actively consider what it is that people come here looking for.  The more I thought about this, the more I realized that I have no worldly idea if I'm meeting your needs. 

There are 40 or 50 regular and semi-regular commenters who I have come to know from our frequent interaction... but my statistics tell me that there are a few hundred others who come here on a fairly regular basis, yet never say a word.

That's fine, of course... not everyone is looking for an interactive experience when they read a blog or journal.  But it leaves me somewhat in the dark as to what brings some of you back (or perhaps why some of you drift away).

So I have a favor to ask.  Would you be so kind as to answer a few easy questions that will help me understand you a bit better? 

All you have to do is select the answer that comes closest to reflecting your views... click the little circle next to the answer.... hit vote... and go on to the next question.  There are only eight questions in this survey.  You can can answer each question only once... and the results are completely anonymous.

Needless to say, if there is something you'd like to add that isn't mentioned in the survey... please share it in the comments section.

I really appreciate you taking a moment to give me some feedback.  I can't promise that I'll act on everything I find out from this survey... but it will help me have a better picture of who you (i.e. y'all, you lot, etc.), are in my mind's eye when I sit down to write.
221_16_18

Posted by David Bogner on July 18, 2005 | Permalink

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David, why are you even polling us? You really don't need to mess with a good thing. I believe THAT is the general consensus!

Posted by: Pearl | Jul 18, 2005 12:05:38 AM

How thoughtful and creative! Keep up the good work!

Posted by: vko | Jul 18, 2005 1:09:10 AM

I almost never comment.

Seriously, though, I think you'll just find that you've built a readership that has selected itself for their appreciation for what you do. If you start trying to cater to us, you'll inevitably please some and not others.

Just survey yourself, and stay true to that. (Search your feelings, Luke.) What do you like to write about? How frequently? Do you enjoy the banter in the comments section? Have the neighbors had a heart attack about the bees yet? Does your back hurt? Has anyone thought of throwing Feral Cheryl in one of the Lag B'omer bon fires? No? Then how 'bout throwing her overboard from one of the boats you build? Does Doctor Bean ramble on too much? Does he ever get out? Why can't he find some other blog to bother?

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jul 18, 2005 2:24:43 AM

I will comment in poem form:

words are not poems simply
because all the line breaks
are in the same place. I
usually read Treppenwitz
between answering the cries
of my children
"chocolate milk!" or "mommy!"
they scream
Instead of putting my head
in the oven, I turn on the
computer and read about life
in Israel.
Treppenwitz is perfect, though
I don't own a raincoat.

Posted by: ball-and-chain | Jul 18, 2005 2:27:25 AM

My wife has insprired me to offer a haiku.

I am very scared
for the dependents of
Ted Kooser, the poet.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jul 18, 2005 2:33:45 AM

The first comment above says a lot of what I feel about any perceiv ed need to "know your audience". One of the big ( and nice) differences between this kind of 'journaling' and articles in media of known or assumed mindsets (NY TIMES op ed, THE LOWVILLE REPUBLICAN, THE NEW YORKER, etc.) is that I am tunign in to an individual prspective, whose major obligations to me are clarity, reasonableness, honesty, a touch of style, (idealy) a sense of humor, a balanced sense of oneself and the world around us, and (absolutely) something to say.
In a word, I want all the attributes of a good essayist.
You have the luxury that writers for discrete media often don't enjoy --a healthy dollop of carte blanche in your choices of subject matter. Steering cler (as much as possible) from politics is good. The same with religion, as religious writing. I doubt if any of your readers come here for polemic.
To a large degree, you don't have to worry about your readers and what they "want". Your cogent and sensitive insights into your world and your thinking and your experience will probably, most of the time, be of interest to your readers.
And you have no editor to please, save only yourself, your good taste, and your good judgment. It cannot get too much better than that. So don't mess it up with too much self-scrutiny.
If I read your work only because you're my son, I'd prefer more personal emails! Of course, I want those, too.
Dad

Posted by: Delmar Bogner | Jul 18, 2005 2:42:44 AM

I appreciate your desire to "give us what we want," but as a professional journalist, I'd like to point out that when network television began relying heavily on focus groups, they began dumbing down their coverage. Now, I'm sure your average reader is rather intelligent, but as others have pointed out, the strength of Treppenwitz is its spontaneity and the depth of thought you put into your posts. There are a lot of idiots in journalism who will say that story X can't be neatly summed up in a lead paragraph and/or doesn't fit into our readers/viewers niche interests and therefore is not a story worth reporting. That kind of logic can kill some of the most fascinating stories out there -- the kind that straddle more than one area of interest and teach us quite a bit about life itself. It's nice of you to consider our feelings, but don't be self-conscious about your writing. What we love is the mulit-faceted, unpredictable mind of David Bogner.

Posted by: Susan | Jul 18, 2005 2:59:52 AM

I don't know that a poll really captures what one appreciates about your blog. David, you have your own perspective on life and you write about it very well. You treat us each Friday with beautiful photographs. You break our hearts with one post and make us laugh out loud with another one. Just keep doing it.

I just saw a movie this evening called The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. It's WONDERFUL and I highly recommend it. There was a line in there in which the "bird man" remarked that he started feeding and caring for the parrots while trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. And then, this thing he was doing while he tried to figure out his life turned out to be the direction of his life. (OK, he said it better, but you get the idea.)

That applies to many things, blogging as much as any other.

Posted by: Mirty | Jul 18, 2005 6:05:05 AM

I used to read your blog daily, and then I drifted away, but then someone quoted you somewhere else, so I drifted back. :)

You have an excellent voice - you're very easy to read. And your ordinary life is so extraordinary to someone living in Alberta, Canada! One of the reasons I like reading you is that you help me personalize the news.

Living here where life is relatively safe, it's sometimes hard to get terribly involved with world issues. Knowing you're living where you are makes it real. I feel that I "know" someone who is experiencing what are otherwise distant "World News" articles. And you still get up every day and make your coffee and feed your kids and go to work.

Reading your blog helps to make the world a less scary place for me. (which maybe says more about me than about you, but that's ok).

I don't usually comment, but I am out here.


:)

Posted by: Talmida | Jul 18, 2005 6:15:50 AM

Steve at PsychoToddler made a good point on my blog when he said that blogging allows him to engage in targeted socializing. There are a couple of elements that keep me coming back here.

1)You strike me as the kind of person that I would call a friend. That means that I think that you are a mensch who has similar interests to my own, yet does has an independent streak and is willing to go against the grain. I haven't any interest in beekeeping as a personal hobby, but it is kind of fun to hear about it as it is outside of my normal experience.

2) There is a nice group of people who hang out here. They are fun and that makes it enjoyable too.

3) You express yourself well. I have seen many blogs where the writing was so abysmal I couldn't stand it.

I think that if you go with your gut instinct you'll be just fine.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 18, 2005 8:08:43 AM

David, everyone has summed it up beautifully. You are an absolute joy to read no matter what you write and a great distraction.

Mirty, I lived in SF in the early 90's and one day looking out my window where I lived on Nob Hill, I spotted some parrots. I thought I was hallucinating, until my roommate told me that the parrots really did exist. Between listening to the sea lions barking from the wharf, and the parrots flying near my window...my SF experience was definitely filled with wild excitement!

Posted by: Jaime | Jul 18, 2005 8:09:13 AM

Ditto the others. I wouldn't worry about who your audience is or what they want to hear. Just keep on being who you are and writing about the things that interest you. Yhat's why I keep coming back. :)

P.S. You go out of your way to answer all comments. That doesn't go unnoticed. :)

Posted by: Stacey | Jul 18, 2005 8:21:39 AM

People, people! Everyone take a deep breath... PLEASE!

I didn't post this survey in order to fish for compliments or stroke my ego (although I must say, I've had an extra spring in my step all morning). I also wasn't looking for suggestions on ways to make drastic changes in what I do here.

I'm not talking about putting Rush Limbaugh into the rotation on NPR, or introducing Muzak (TM) into MTV. I just wanted to try and clarify a few things about which I wasn't sure.

Haven't we all had a close friend or favorite relative who had one or two traits/habits that drove us insane... yet we couldn't bring ourselves to tell them? You know... the best friend who occasionally picked his nose... the uncle who never remembered telling you the same joke/story over and over again... the buddy who insisted on using his truck keys to clean the wax out of his ears. In every other way these people are among our favorite human beings... yet we cringe when they do that one thing that we can't bring ourselves to point out.

Well, I'm not asking anyone to affirm their everlasting loyalty to me or my journal. I'm just curious if maybe there is something I should know. Maybe you really enjoy my posts but rarely get to finish them because they are too long. Maybe you do all your reading in the morning and my subject matter is more 'evening fare'.

I don't know.... that's where the survey helps out.

Pearl... A consensus is the last thing I want! :-) I'm more interested in finding out what people really think.

VKO... Thank you, but this survey was probably the least creative thing I've posted all year! :-)

Doctor Bean... I guess you know that you are a charter member of the treppenwitz round table. While I certainly hope you don't feel pressured or obligated to comment... I'm sure I'm not the only one who looks forward to reading what you have to say. Oh, and I'm very tempted to by the collection of poems. The one that Maggie shared really caught my eye.

Ball and Chain... I'm pleased and proud to provide 'grown-up therapy' for you. I always get a smile out of what 'Doctor Bean's' better half has to add to the conversation.

Dad... I have to take your input with a large handful of salt. After all, you and mom still have one of my poems from 10th grade framed in your bedroom. It was a good effort for a lazy 10th grader... but let's face it... it wasn't Robert Frost. :-) As I said in my preamble to this comment (who does that anyway???), I'm not looking to make a format change. To be a bit crude for a moment, I sometimes feel like I'm peeing in the dark when I write. I can clearly hear that I'm hitting the water in the bowl... but I have no idea how close I am to the edge of the toilet. Once in a while it's sorta reassuring to turn on a night light. :-)

Susan... Don't worry... this is far from a focus group. In fact, one of the things that I love about treppenwitz is that it doesn't seem to demand any particular subject matter or genre. I also rarely censor myself except when I feel a post getting too deeply into religion or politics... or revealing too much about my family life. In short... very few 'stories' get nixed by the editors here (or edited for mistakes, for that matter)! BTW, you should send regards to Rabbi Wasserman for me... and remind him that now that both of his brothers and his parents have made aliyah, maybe he should start thinking about it! :-)

Mirty... You've just inspired me! I'm calling my wife right now to tell her that I've decided to quit my job and devote myself full time to my true calling; blogging! :-) Seriously, thanks for the compliment.... and I'll be sure to add that film to my 'must rent' list.

Talmida... First of all, I have to tell you that I actually giggle every time I read the name of your blog. I wish I had thought of it! :-) As to your point about my presense here 'making it more real' for you... that is wonderful to hear. Last year I wrote a post about how this was exactly the role I had hoped to play. However, having been in Manhattan on 9/11, I have to wonder if there is really such a thing as 'safe' anymore in the world.

Jack... You are wise to listen to what Mike at psychotoddler has to say... he's a smart guy! :-) I've also made some wonderful friends here - in a very real sense. But for the distance between us, I would be mooching kosher sausages off them at every opportunity... so count yourself lucky that you are over there in LA! :-)

Jaime... Thanks. I enjoy your contributions very much as well.

Stacey... Thanks. I never intended to stop writing about things that interest me... but there are so many things that interest me that I can afford to listen to what interests other people once in a while.

Posted by: David | Jul 18, 2005 10:54:45 AM

Now why would ‘anyone’ who loves humorous, inspired and realistic thoughts from Israel not read treppenwitz regularly? It’s addictive man! Those who don’t comment are obviously in the…../nothing-on-my-mind/no-time-to/not-cyber-social/weirdo/in-your-black-book-list/don’t-know-my-public-IP-I’m-in-black-shades…bracket. :)

Posted by: kakarizz | Jul 18, 2005 11:54:12 AM

What your readers want is what you write.
Obviously. Don't fiddle with that! If you try to please a certain demographic, you'll annoy/bore others. Some of your posts I blip over - but they still gets lots of comments from others. And I keep coming back because even if one post doesn't interest me, another will, because you're not a one-trick pony.

What I particularly like about Treppenwitz: the variety of topics presented;
the easy-going humour;
you respond to your commenters.

This latter is very significant to me. I've dropped otherwise interesting blogs because they never responded to their commenters. Why have a comment spot at all if you don't give feedback back?

It's also fun when the commenters start chatting amongst themselves. Sometimes silly, but fun.

Posted by: Mary | Jul 18, 2005 2:59:54 PM

I don't understand why our needs need to be met. If we read you it's bcs something you write is striking a chord, why does it have to be abt us? Your being curious abt your readership is one thing, I understand why people may choose to lurk but find it very dull (albeit having lurked here as well, moving on!), but I for one do NOT want you to write for me, I want you to write what you feel like writing! There's one big difference btwn your writing a post that you'll think we'll like and your catering to us. The fun of reading blogs lies in the unexpected that comes home nonetheless. I'm wearing a cow-pattern bracelet in favour of No Catering, Treppie Rules As Is. (The thought of you as a Treppie is hysterical)(As is the Haiku)

That being said, this is your blog and you'll do exactly as you please, as it should be. :)

Posted by: Lioness | Jul 18, 2005 3:53:03 PM

You write, "there are a few hundred others who come here on a fairly regular basis, yet never say a word."

I'm one of the few hundred, and I don't know exactly why. I find your blog consistently interesting, but I rarely feel that I have anything to contribute. That's unusual for me; I comment routinely on lots of other blogs.

It's my policy not to comment unless I've got something of value to contribute to the dialogue. And you already have a lot of readers who respond capably to your posts.

I keep reading because I'm very interested in the Jewish faith (I am a Christian, but the way our respective faiths intersect fascinates me) and I'm very interested in life in Israel.

From time to time, no doubt I'll have something to say. In the meantime, if I am a passive consumer, don't take it as a criticism.
Q

Posted by: Q | Jul 18, 2005 4:00:56 PM

Kakarizz... It's really OK if someone doesn't feel like commenting. I read lots of blogs and am not known for my prolific commenting. I mentioned that may treppenwitz readers lurk, not because I saw it as a problem... but because I have no idea what's on their minds.

Mary... as I said, I have no plans to tamper with things. This was mostly about my curiosity. However, I must say that I was deeply hurt by your statement that you 'blip over' some of my posts! (kidding!). Seriously, When I go back and occasionally re-read some of the stuff in my archives... it isn't interesting to me anymore either! :-) As far as responding to comments goes, I really treasure the interaction with readers. I also love sitting back and 'listening' to what readers have to say to each other. I am constantly amazed at how civil the discussions are here... even between people who are at opposite ends of a particular issue. And the good-natured joking is also nice to see. I wish my kids got along half as nicely! :-)

Lioness... I regretted that line about 'meeting your needs' as soon as I posted this survey... but I really try not to edit posts once the first comment arrives. My friend Pearl set what may be a new record by commenting within 2 minutes of the entry being posted! Anyway, What I was really trying to say is that while I absolutely write purely for my own enjoyment... I do enjoy the feeling of connecting with a reader on a subject that is important and timely for us both. I've published 371 posts (including this one) in the past year-and-a-half. There were plenty of them that were fun to write, but which were met by the sound of crickets. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it is possible to be selfish and self-indulgent with a blog or journal while still trying to sense what resonates with the readers. Oh, and is it 'trepie' now? I was just getting used to 'trep'. :-)

Q... The way you described your surfing/commenting habits almost exactly describes my own. I am not an extrovert by nature and keeping this journal is plenty challenging for someone who's former creative outlet allowed him to hide behind a trombone. The reason I am uber-present in my own comments section is because people engage me in conversation. I could never walk into a bar and just strike up a conversation with a stranger. But if someone walked over to me and started talking I would have no problem. also, it takes me a long time of reading someone else's blog to get up the nerve to comment... and when I do, I try to make sure it is something about which I feel passionate. So don't feel bad about lurking. So long as you feel welcome here and enjoy most of what you find, we're OK.

Posted by: David | Jul 18, 2005 5:14:11 PM

Interesting idea, the poll. Hope it helps and doesn't just befuddle you. Remember, if you carry on as you have been, you are pleasing all of us, and presumably yourself as well.

One modification: I read not at tea time, but at glass-of-wine-before-dinner time. Odd how that one didn't make the list...

And just FYI, in Northern California, the plural for you is "you guys." You might like to add that to your repetoire. ;o)

Posted by: AmyS | Jul 18, 2005 5:19:50 PM

I love your style and the fact that I never know what I'm gonna get when I bring up treppenwitz. I truly enjoy your perspective on life in Israel. And Photo Friday is a special treat each week. I appreciate that you created the poll and want to know what we all like and/or dislike, but I would have to agree with the others: keep up the great work. And write for yourself, not your readers!

Posted by: Essie | Jul 18, 2005 5:50:06 PM

I am having way too much fun at this campfire, but can someone tell Doctor Bean to stop hogging the marshamallows and the chocolate. I am ready to make my own smores. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Jul 18, 2005 6:00:40 PM

Jack: Oh, sorry. I was so busy realizing that I messed up the haiku syllable count that I spaced out. Here's the bag. Feel free to elbow me when I do that.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jul 18, 2005 6:14:37 PM

Doctor Bean, don't you have any patients to see this morning? Camp fires at this hour of the day?

Posted by: Pearl | Jul 18, 2005 6:38:04 PM

Don't worry about it Doc, you have done a fine job of keeping me supplied with Tang so I am feeling pretty good right now.

Ok, just one more question who is it with that awful singing voice. I am sorry, but if we are going to sit around singing CSN&Y songs someone has got to learn about harmony.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 18, 2005 6:55:20 PM

I am pretty much like Q, I rarely comment unless I feel like I have something to add. Sometimes I'll start to comment and then 'nevermind' it. I think it's really cool though that you respond individually to everybody who comments. It's very considerate but it also creates a very personal environment here, and I think it makes people be nice on the comments and remember that they're talking to actual other people. Sometimes I think I should comment more since you gave me a gmail invite for commenting!

It was hard to say which topics I like best on your blog because I really like how you write about all of them. You have a very gentle way of coming at a topic so that even if I might disagree with you, I can always find common ground and also respect your point of view. Sometimes I think your life in Israel posts with pictures make me the happiest (well, the happy life in Israel posts).

Anyway, for all the times I really liked a post and shoud have commented and didn't, and just in general too, thanks!

Posted by: Tara | Jul 18, 2005 7:49:44 PM

There's a pawnshop
On the corner
Where I usually keep
My overcoat

There's a bookie
Behind the pawnshop
Who handles
My investments

p.s. - Fewer posts about coffee!! (Kidding. Ouch!! Kidding!)

Posted by: Tanya | Jul 18, 2005 8:14:01 PM

i like reading about life in Israel. i am inspired by ordinary Israelis just trying to live ordinary lives in a place that can be randomly dangerous.

Posted by: david bailey | Jul 18, 2005 9:34:33 PM

I read your blog every day. Yet, I have only commented once before. For me it is an invaluable way of keeping the pulse on a place I care very much about, from a perspective that is honest and sincere. There is no reason to worry about your perspective or opinion, that is to say "bias". Reading your blog is like having a conversation with a friend about Israel everyday.

Posted by: Jonah | Jul 18, 2005 10:24:38 PM

The poem you started with here is included in the book Poetry 180, edited by Billy Collins. It has 180 accessible poems for the 180 USA school days a year. Here is Collins' own poetry related poem that I relate to.

Introduction to Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

Posted by: rabbineilfleischmann | Jul 18, 2005 10:51:54 PM

AmyS... And in the Bronx they say 'yooze guys'... what's your point? :-) Don't worry... as easily befuddled as I might be, I don't think this survey will trip me up too badly.

Essie... Yup, that's me... just like a box of chocolates... ya never know what you're gonna get! :-) I'm glad you like photo Friday... I look forward to it all week too.

Jack, Doctor Bean & Pearl... oh, never mind. I can't take you guys seriously while you're shouting at each other with chocolate and marshmallow all over your hands and faces! :-)

Tara... I'm so glad you said hello. If memory serves the last time you left a comment you were bothered by something I had written (or maybe it was something someone else had said... I don't remember now). When you didn't leave anymore comments I was sure you'd decided this wasn't for you. If I get nothing else from having posted this survey, I'm glad I found out you're still around.

Tanya... Wow, I was just getting used to you in your new 100 words or less role, and here I find out you're a poet too! You never cease to amaze!

David Bailey... Lucky for you, there is probably no more ordinary guy in the blogosphere than me! :-) Thank you for the compliment, though. I should point out that these days there really is no such thing as a completely safe place.

Jonah... Everyone is biased... and everyone has prejudices. I have a bag full of prejudices that would shock you... I just know what most of them look /sound like so I try not to take them (or let them) out too often. I'll give you an example. If I burn my hand on a hot stove I will probably be wary of all stoves from then on, regardless of the fact that not all stoves are hot. We go through life figuratively getting burned... and learning not to touch hot things. Sometimes we learn these lessons through first-hand experience and other times we rely on the advice or warnings of others. The trick is knowing who to trust with second-hand information.

Rabbi Neil Fleischmann... Thanks for sharing the poem. I especially like the line about pressing 'an ear against his hive'. I do that all the time with my bees just to hear them in there working away.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 18, 2005 11:01:02 PM

Jack, Doctor Bean & Pearl... oh, never mind. I can't take you guys seriously while you're shouting at each other with chocolate and marshmallow all over your hands and faces! :-)

Don't worry about it, just pass the bourbon and enjoy yourself.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 18, 2005 11:09:32 PM

[with a very full mouth]
Purl, Chak: Hoo got the raham krakerth?

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jul 18, 2005 11:55:36 PM

David, thanks for the use of the Treppenwitz soapbox. However...

Next campfire will be at Kerckhoff Coffeehouse -- stale doughnuts, eclairs with the whipped cream missing, coffee mugs with cigarette butts floating around in them do not entice me...but the management is most courteous (like a real mom-and-pop establishment) and the maitre d' and little waitresses that work there are very cute.

Besides, there are little "jewkim" hanging around this Israeli campsite, as well as walking sticks. The only thing hanging around the Coffeehouse are squawking parrots in the morning.

Posted by: Pearl | Jul 19, 2005 2:24:53 AM

Does NOBODY think my poem is funny? Fine, I'm taking my keyboard and going home.

Posted by: ball-and-chain | Jul 19, 2005 6:13:31 AM

I think your blog is great as it is --it has a nice mix of many topics, photo fridays are always a treat, and you write well and thoughtfully (and often quite humorously). One of the things I find the most endearing and interesting about your blog is the level of commentary you get. I don't comment nearly as often as I think about commenting (lol, often feel intimidated by said level of posting and commentary) but I do keep reading. Remember, your blog is for you and the rest of us are just along for the ride --and a nice one it is too.

Posted by: Yael | Jul 19, 2005 6:46:50 AM

Don't change. Just write what comes from the heart. I read yours and some others and to be honest, it's unimaginable to realize how many people can be affected by what another person says...yes, ONE CAN make a difference. Having said that, I have just recently started this blog thing, and am looking for my voice in the vast cyber world. Do I do the witty thing, the opinion thing, the political thing, or personal thing? Just finding that voice and knowing what to write is a challenge and a work in progress. I hope I can one day be worrying about who is reading what I have to say instead of worrying about whether or not I should even say anything at all. We all have a purpose here, and in this world it's nice to know that aside from all the political and religeous differences...we are all just people, trying to raise our families, trying to make a living, trying to understand our world...the small everyday one and the big one we all share. That gives us all hope.

Posted by: desertdiamond | Jul 19, 2005 7:52:37 AM

There's only one thing wrong with this blog: too many #$%@ing polls.

Posted by: Simon | Jul 19, 2005 8:02:57 AM

Jack... Bourbon & S'mores?! Now there's a repulsive combination if ever there was one! [grimace]

Pearl... I was wondering how long it would take before we were treated to one of your puns. Ouch!

Ball and Chain... I thought it was a hoot! Didn't you see line about "I always get a smile..."?

Yael... As I look back over the food fight going on between Jack, Doctor Bean and Pearl, I'm wondering exactly what you mean when you say you are "often ... intimidated by said level of posting and commentary". :-)

desert diamond... Perhaps the only thing I've learned about 'finding one's voice' that is worth sharing is that variety is the key. You wouldn't invest much in a relationship with a friend who always talked about the same things when you got together, right? Why would your readers feel any differently? share things you find interesting or important to you, and chances are others will find them interesting as well. Just beware of writing about country lyrics... that is something that is bound to turn off an entire reading audience in one fell swoop! :-)

Simon... I concur. :-)

Posted by: David | Jul 19, 2005 9:29:34 AM

Just one point - By closing the poll so quickly, you're really not getting feedback from those who read your blog less frequently.
But I don't think you need any input at all.
Your blog is a delight as it is.

Posted by: Dina | Jul 19, 2005 10:48:13 AM

Dina... I'm assuming that half of the people who stopped by during the 24 hours that the poll was open actually took the time to fill out the survey (my hit counter says that 4-5 times that number actually visited, but you have to toss out more than half your hits these days as 'bots' and search engines).

If my assumptions are true, then I think the 108 people who took the survey represent a pretty decent cross-section of the people who come here during an average day. The survey wasn't intended to be very scientific... just a way for me to shed a bit of light on an aspect of my journaling experience that was a bit murky.

Posted by: David | Jul 19, 2005 3:58:13 PM

I didn't write mine, it's from a Heinlein book called Time Enough For Love. I have heard that it was a real song, circa 1920, but no one's ever been able to tell me any details...

But it's the only "raincoat" poem I know.

Posted by: Tanya | Jul 19, 2005 5:26:51 PM

I know what you mean but still think that the crickets are part of that. Perplexing as they are at times.

Oh well then: more abt life baaretz please. Thank you!

Posted by: Lioness | Jul 19, 2005 9:57:11 PM

Tanya... And here I was soooo impressed! :-) Thanks for setting the record straight, though.

Linoess... Yes maam!

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 19, 2005 11:23:15 PM

I'm a bit surprised you haven't read it, actually...

Posted by: Tanya | Jul 20, 2005 2:44:47 AM

Tanya... Even though I have a degree in English Literature, I am embarrassed to say that while my knowledge of some authors' work is almost encyclopedic... my familiarity with many others is, at best, ankle deep. As with most things in my life, my real education began when I left the classroom.

Posted by: David | Jul 20, 2005 11:55:27 AM

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