The recent flip of the calendar (well not so recent, jeez, it’s been two weeks) reminds me that February is the time for my annual blog hiatus– I take some time off from posting here and devote my attention to commenting on other people’s blogs. This makes for the fifth annual CogDogBlogMuzzle, having done so in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Usually this coincides with attending the Northern Voice conference but since apparently there is some other small event happening in Vancouver, NV10 has been nudged to May 2010.

I do this because I still believe, after all these years, that blogging is not just about your own blabbing, but equally the critical act of participating in the spaces of other blogs. That is, if I can find any, as we all now allegedly blogs are dead. Again. That twitter, facebook, buzz et al have killed blogging.


The only thing killing blogging, if indeed it is being killed, is people losing track of the value of having a publishing space of their own.

Again as before, I hope to find this invigorating and also to sample some blogs I’ve not read much. And also in tradition, I have run my yearly set of stats to find my top bloggers; this is a MySQL query I run in phpMyAdmin:

And here’s my applause for my leading commenters (well I wont applaud myself, that is not cool). I love you dearly.

  • Alan Levine 149
  • Jim Groom 37
  • D’Arcy Norman 31
  • Gardner 24
  • Cole 18
  • Stephen Downes 17
  • Harriet 13
  • Patrick Murray-John 13
  • TOM 12
  • Darren Kuropatwa 11
  • Robin Heyden 11
  • Russ Goerend 11
  • Chris L 8
  • Gerry 7
  • Devon 6
  • Susan WB 6
  • Scott Leslie 6
  • Beth Kanter 6
  • alexanderhayes 6
  • Kristina Hoeppner 6
  • Liz Dorland 5
  • Ed Webb 5
  • David 5
  • Rob Wall 5
  • Mathieu Plourde 5
  • michael chalk 5
  • Allanah K 5
  • Laura 5
  • Suzanne Aurilio 5

But alas, the stats do show a drop in activity, both in my posting and comment activity, here in a chart generated in my Google doc of stats:

Maybe blogging is dying? My number of posts this year fell to almost what they were my first year. Am I my own hypocrite? Is it true the Nobody blogs like the Bava? NOBODY?

Yeah, I”ve been busy. Or maybe I shifted from blogging about neat web sites to… crap, I am an excuse machine.

I’ll come back to it- but in short the idea that blogging is only something that happens in a blog site is what I aim to challenge later this year.

So for the next week (at least, I might go longer), I’m prowling other blogs, anxious to see if they are shuttered ghost town as the pundits claim. I’m not relying on any comment tracking tool, since, well they never work. Instead, I will do some delicious tagging of where I leave my tracks– using tags of 2010 and commentblog to track my own activity — This embedded feed will change as i do my stuff….

So if you want me to write all over your blog, leave me a link and comment below (spammers need not apply).

cc licensed flickr photo shared by mondopiccolo

I’ve got nothing more to say (here) til February 21.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. Dammit! Jim took the #1 non-cogdog-commenter position! I clearly have my work cut out for me. Let the toy commenting begin!

    He also took the #1 non-dnorman-commenter position on my blog for the last 12 months.

    Nobody comments like the Bava. Nobody!

  2. Bravo! Yes, “the rumours of the death of the blog have been greatly exaggerated” it would seem. For my money, the most valuable application of micro-blogging services such as Twitter, Facebook and the like are to link, reference, and share original source material which, as often than not, comes from a blog post somewhere on the Net. Without folks creating fresh new material all we’d have left are the rest of us tweeting about what we had for lunch and uploading pictures of our cats. Not a blogosphere I welcome. Keep up the good work!

  3. My disappointment at not being in your top commenters list (not even five this year?) proves that I am merely a vain publicity hound whose blog is undeserving of any comments from your own August Caninity. The madding crowds have judged my blog to be unworthy, so instead please go comment on other dog-themed blogs such as Unqualified Offerings (academic physics) or Bark Bark Woof Woof (Miami public schools).

  4. Thanks for making this post Alan. As usual you have a great way of sharing an observation and working it through using the tools at your fingertips and making it all seem easy. Great way to model what you bark!

  5. It was funny, Alan.. recently i was on twitter, and picked up someone’s messages from a conference. Of course i had to backtrack about 5-6 comments to work out what on earth they were talking about.

    i’d find it so much more useful if that person would wait until the end of the session, and then write a quick paragraph summarising what had been covered. So i could read it sequentially, and with some depth of thought.

    Imagine if every time you read an article, you posted a tweet per paragraph.. that’s what these conference twitter sessions are like. (Though i do admit the real time updates can be great for people *at* the conference.)

    No, blogging isn’t over.. it’s just the fields of communication tools and strategies keep getting more vast and intricate.

    enjoy your break,

  6. I think your graph could be titled ‘The impact of twitter on blog comments’ – the date pretty much corresponds to te arrival of twitter as a major force, and much of the conversation has shifted there. I keep meaning to comment more on blogs, heaven knows I value comments on my own one enough, but yet don’t seem to do it. This is me having another attempt…

  7. Pingback: the twitter effect
  8. Martin- I dont think that is a bad thing; twitter really is more fluid and easy for conversational flow. But there is still room, place for longer ideas in the blog space. Twitter is like a stream of stuff that flows away, off the edges, down the cracks of oblivion- my blog is more bedrock. Or fools gold.

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