Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Classic Matchup: Quality vs. Quantity

May 29, 2009 marked the beginning of an impressive streak that lives on to this day.  That Friday, I decided that I would make an effort to do a little writing--at least something--every single day.  It wasn't much, just a short paragraph or two about what I had done each day.  Sadly, that daily writing session typically amounted to a pretty uninteresting summary of the day's events, what with the painfully repetitive work routine.

But as of today, that Word document has turned into 417 pages and 283,000 words of single-spaced, action-packed awesomeness.  I'm waiting for a phone call from Cal Ripken Jr. to commend me on my impressive writing streak.  And believe me, it's not easy writing every single day, especially on the days when I'm traveling or just really, really busy.

And, over the course of those two-plus years, my writing efforts have overwhelmed Microsoft Word's ability to proofread my work.  Few people realize that around the time you hit the 300 page mark in a Word document, the program loses its ability to highlight misspelled words with the little red underline.  I have no doubt that with my hurried typing and lack of editing, the last hundred pages are littered with typos.  But that's beside the point...

Why did I bother starting this odd writing habit?  I figured that years later, it would be interesting to look back and see what I was doing and thinking every day--and I'm already surprised at how much I'd forgotten when I glace back at stuff that happened even a year or two ago. Plus, I was always frustrated when I'd remember some random event from the past few years, then struggle to recall the specifics of exactly when it happened or who was there. It's like hearing a familiar song and having the artist's name on the tip of your tongue, just out of your memory's reach. I decided the best way to win that battle would be to write down the highlights every day...and like I said, it would be cool to look back on that in three, five, twenty, thirty years, whenever.

And the next obvious question is...why start another blog?  Passionately Apathetic will continue in all it's glory, but I want to try something different at the same time.  Sometime last year (I could look up the specific day if I really want to), I read a magazine article about the top professional bloggers, and it mentioned that the real money makers publish five or six posts new posts before noon every day, which keeps office workers coming back day after day to check out the new posts during their lunch hour at work.

It crossed my mind that my monthly posts on Passionately Apathetic might be a bit too infrequent to keep the traffic flowing in my direction.  The monthly spike of three or four hits just isn't driving the ad revenue I'd hoped, as evidenced by the $2.37 I've generated in the past two years.  On a per-hour basis, I'm sitting so far below minimum wage that I seriously considered suing myself.  But before I filed the paperwork, I decided that I'd start a second blog.  It seems like just about every day, I encounter a random event or image that's worthy of a quick post, but perhaps not deserving of a full Passionately Apathetic-style write-up.

That's where this blog comes in--expect a big step up in frequency of posting, and a sharp drop-off in the length and quality of blog posts.  (Don't get too worried, I'm sure the decline in quality will be virtual invisible to the average reader.)  As always, posts will cover everything and anything...from time to time, a post might cover nothing more than the answer to a question that nobody asked nor cares to hear the answer to: what did you do today?

And I've finally found a formidable competitor to challenge my writing: myself!  Fans of Passionately Apathetic might recall that that the blog began as a blogging competition with James, my attempt to prove that quality writing easily trumps the excitement of life on another continent.  If you've bothered to check out his blog over the past year and half, you'll realize that I've won that competition hands down.  I'm on to bigger and better things: seeing if I can push this blog's ad revenue past the $2.37 barrier in less than twenty months.

Along with the new blog, I want to experiment with layouts, gadgets, widgets, and everything the blogging world has to offer.  Expect changes to colors, fonts, layouts, and just about everything as I fumble my way through the online world of amateur publishing.  My first addition is the Daily Mile widget in the upper right corner of the screen, a widget that lets me track workouts and shamelessly publish them on the blog.  Though I haven't spent much time on the site yet, it seems pretty cool so far, kind of a Facebook for fitness.  Best of all, it lacks all the annoying baby photos and posts that I can't seem to avoid on Facebook.

The self-challenge and the race to $2.37 is on.  Which style of blog will prove most successful--quality or quantity?  It's a classic rivalry, more heated and contentious than the epic Yankees/Red Sox battles over the decades.  Prepare for the excitement; it'll be like watching two turtles in a slow, painful race for ad revenue.  With a little luck and lots of ad clicking, I'll have earned myself a free sandwich over the course of a few short years.  So check back often...I'm already getting hungry.

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