Tag Archives: blogs

Almost 30k

Seems like it was only yesterday that I posted about getting almost 10 000 views. 

Almost 10k « Disparate

That was on August 9, 2006. This blog started on January 9, 2006 (started blogging on March 28, 2005). We’re getting very close to 30 000 views here. Not that any of this really matters. But it’s fun to reflect on how our blogs change over time.

One thing that seems fairly stable for my blog is the few posts that get the most views. Some of my favourite posts rarely get read while some of my most boring posts (especially those about iPod recording and the eMachines power supply) regularly get a fair number of views. A bit sad, really.

One thing that isn’t clear, here on WordPress.com, is how many views are on the main page as opposed to specific blog entries. I tend not to use the “more” tag much so most of my posts can be read directly on the main page. My guess is that some of those posts that apparently get few views are still read from the main page.

Another thing that’s interesting to note is how people come to this blog. Because of my (probably annoying) tendency to over-label my posts with large numbers of keywords, quite a few visits come from searches for combinations of terms that appear in different posts. For instance, my blog entries on both food and polygyny get me a visit from someone searching for “food distribution in a polygyny marriage” (which is a nice anthropological topic that I didn’t tackle here). Quite often, looking at the search terms used to get here, I feel bad about people being misled into visiting this blog. In many respects, lower traffic numbers would be much better for me, especially if it got me more comments. Problem is, my blog is too disparate to get the kind of stable and focused/targeted readership I sometimes long for.

There really seems to be a tendency for older blogs to get more traffic, regardless of other factors like posting frequency or post quality. Well, part of that might have to do that meeting other bloggers tends to increase traffic. Which doesn’t mean that waiting for traffic to increase is a recipe for blogging success. For one thing, blogging, especially in English, will probably hit a plateau within the next few years. Newer blogs are unlikely to be noticed except for occasional visits from searchers.

Community-oriented features of blogging platforms (like the “tag surfer” and “friend surfer” on WordPress.com) are generating some interesting interactions but I personally find it time-consuming to have to go to those pages to connect with people. Having said that, my guess is that community-building and social-networking will become increasingly important with blogs. Tomorrow’s blogging platforms are likely to get increasingly like, say, Facebook. Interestingly, LiveJournal which has always been strong on the community-oriented features seems not to be capturing much of the newer crowds.

France and Higher Ed

[Yet another older draft…]

Choses Vues » Blog Archive » Higher education in France

(That link now leads to a paid article. Here’s another link to the article.) Perhaps typical of NYT pieces these days, this article is rather detailed without being edifying and somewhat provocative without being thought-provoking. It’s also very ethnocentric. Too bad, though, as the issue would merit a thorough analysis. Coming from French-speaking institutions outside of France and currently connected with academic institutions in the U.S., my personal perspective is quite different. Not that the issues with the French system are at all surprising to me. But comparison with the United States doesn’t really bring the issue forward. As Paul says, Scandinavian institutions could provide more interesting models. My experience in Switzerland and Quebec is also significantly different from what is described in the article. Not that any one of those post-secondary educational systems is perfect. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. But post-secondary education is not limited to France and the United States. In fact, France and the U.S. are isolated cases in today’s educational world. What might even be surprising to many people is that those two countries are often much more similar than different. For instance, the extremely high prestige afforded a precious few institutions is a striking feature of both educational systems (Grandes écoles, Ivy League…). It might exist in other places (say, England) but, at least, it’s not characteristic of universities in Quebec. In Canada generally, most academic institutions have much of the same status, despite attempts by MacLean’s to rank universities every year (à la Princeton Review). While the rankings have some effect, they are much less restrictive than what exists in either the U.S. or France. Also, faculty members across Canada get almost exactly the same salary for the same position, irrespective of their host institution. Disparities in salaries exist at many other levels but they usually don’t distinguish one institution from the rest. Will probably post a blog entry about this pretty soon.

Papa's Got a Brand New Blog

Switched to this here WordPress.com blog from Blogger. Mostly because of categories. And because my academic blog is on WordPress (but hosted on a university server). The beta version of Blogger does have labels, which work better than WordPress categories. And my Blogger account has recently been allowed to switch to the beta version. So, new blog:
Disparate 2

Not sure about switching to Blogger again. It’ll depend on the possibility to integrate other Google products. One major advantage of Blogger over WordPress.com is that templates are fully customizable. At this point, the main thing for me is that Javascript can be embedded so that Technorati can be integrated directly in the template. This has been possible in the previous version of Blogger but the new version makes it really simple.

Advantages of WordPress.com, at this point include a more complete blogroll mechanism (with OPML import, categories…), more post options, pages (though GooglePages makes this point moot), Akismet, more comment moderation features, and a few more sidebar widgets. But Blogger has better penetration (which is a benefit when using a Blogger account to post comments elsewhere), the interface is less cluttered, and the whole blogging system seems more like a complete system (while WordPress.com is more of a “lite” version of WordPress). If my new blog gets more comments than this one, the switch will make a lot of sense.

We’ll see.

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Almost 10k

Started this WordPress.com blog on January 9, 2006 and will likely get to 10,000 views withing a few hours. Been getting anything from 60 to 130 views everyday day, for an average of maybe 80 views per day. The most popular entries seem to be:

Probably because of the way they’re referenced elsewhere.

None of this is really important, as my purpose is not to get as many eyeballs as possible. In terms of experimenting with blogs, it’s just interesting to see what’s happening here. Not that it’s representative.

If only more people could comment! 😉

Tikiboom, RocketBarTV

The latest Rocketboom episode is a cross-over with TikiBarTV. With speculation that LaLa might have been considered as a replacement for Amanda Congdon, the cross-referencing is even more likely to generate buzz.

Yes, as many have been saying, the new personalized/community-oriented syndicated online distribution systems for content (all these “Web 2.0” things based on versions of RSS and Atom) like blogs, podcasts, and vidcasts/vlogs are like an “echo chamber” or some other metaphor about self-referential, inward-looking, insular communities with rather high clustering coefficient. Cliques, so to speak. But not really elitist per se. And, in fact, not at all close-ended. Just groups which are their own little universe.

Bloguer au Québec

Vu d’ici – Seen from here: So you wanna be a rockstar?: L’état de la blogosphère Québécoise:
Des notions intéressantes sur le développement de plusieurs blogues au Québec. D’ailleurs, mon entrée de blogue sur le dynamisme et la vitalité de la culture québécoise était toujours dans ma liste de brouillons mais le billet de Marie-Chantal me pusse à le publier. Elle est un peu la suite de mon QueCon Blues d’il y a un mois mais avec plus de commentaires sur la sphère médiatique québécoise (et la convergence) de mon point de vue semi-extérieur.
C’est vrai que le Québec n’est pas entré à pieds joints dans la blogosphère ou dans d’autres modes de distributions de contenus en-ligne. Mais certains blogueurs sont suffisamment visibles que l’effet du phénomène du blogue se fait sentir au Québec presque autant qu’ailleurs. Une partie de la situation s’explique par le fait d’être une société relativement petite, de la même taille que la Suisse ou la Suède, disons. D’un autre côté, nos blogues ont souvent une saveur particulière, comme semblent le souligner certaines études (voulais justement bloguer là-dessus, un de ces jours).
Pour ce qui est de la langue, c’est une grande question, évidemment. Pour ma part, elle se pose un peu moins dans le contexte de mes séjours aux États-Unis (à Northampton, MA en ce moment) et de mon travail académique en anglais. Bloguer en anglais, c’est une façon pour moi de pratiquer certaines techniques d’écriture en anglais. Et comme on le sait tous, on peut pas vraiment écrire en anglais comme on écrit en français.
Malgré tout, ça demeure mon intention de bloguer plus souvent en français. Quoique, cette intention a changé un peu. Puisque les Anglophones en général connaissent moins ce qui se passe chez les Francophones, ça me tente souvent d’écrire en anglais sur des choses qui touchent les francophones. Il y a déjà un blogue montréalais qui fait un peu ça, mais ma position est un peu plus extérieure (après avoir vécu hors du Québec un certain temps: Suisse, Mali, Indiana, Nouveau-Brunswick, Massachusetts). La nostalgie me pogne assez souvent, surtout au début de l’été! (Saint-Jean, terrasses, Festival de Jazz, gens heureux dans les rues, etc.). Parler du Québec à des gens qui ne le connaisse pas, ça me fait plaisir. Parler du Québec à des Québécois, ça vire vite à une discussion sur les faits d’actualité.
La question de la présence des femmes sur la blogosphère est intéressante. On voit souvent le Québec comme un des rares coins de l’Amérique du Nord où les femmes et les hommes sont assez souvent (vraiment pas toujours, mais assez souvent) traités de façon pas mal similaire. Plus qu’aux États-Unis, en tous cas! Mais le Québec est pas trop le royaume de la geekette. La proportion femmes/hommes est certainement plus élevées qu’elle était il y a quelques années (avant la fameuse catastrophe) mais probablement encore assez basse. Pas que c’est si différent ailleurs mais dans une société qui accorde une place relativement importante à des femmes de tête, on dirait que l’aspect technologique est un peu mis de côté.
Aussi, c’est intéressant de parler de Julie Snyder puisque c’était un des points de départ de mon entrée sur la culture québécoise. Selon l’article qui m’a poussé à envoyé mon billet, Julie Snyder a probablement plus d’influence sur la culture québécois qu’on a tendance à le remarquer. Si elle se met à bloguer (ou à podcaster), ça peut être l’élément déclencheur de toutes sortes de choses, du plus cool au plus poche.