Thursday, July 13, 2006

Blogger Q&A No.1: John Rains

This is the first of an occasional series of Q&As with bloggers. First up is John Rains, who created the Writing Coach site.

Do you know who your readers are and if so, do you have much interaction with them? Anything interesting to say about them?

I actually don't have a good idea, in part because the free blog service I'm using doesn't offer tools for tracking. I've thought about moving to another service, but I'm not sure whether that would help or hurt. I do know that my readers include some journalism teachers, some editors and some reporters. What I would say about them--all six of 'em--is that they are obviously smart people with excellent taste.

If you know, are your readers language or journalism experts or just regular folks?

Some of both, I think.

Do you try to post on a regular schedule or as topics arise?

I don't feel a compulsion to maintain a regular schedule. One of the things I love about being my own publisher is the freedom to publish only when I want to. I have gotten slack lately, but I usually put something up every couple of weeks or so.

Do you think we should think about linking in some fashion to deliver language or other advice by e-mail or share content more regularly? (This is completely off the top of my head and did not inspire this Q&A.)

Yes! Yes! I'd love to see something like this. I'd love to see some sort of repository of material on writing, editing and coaching. There is so much good material, and so little time to find it.

Do you consider yourself web savvy or up to date on technology? Will we still be blogging in five years or will technology completely replace this method of communication?

I'm not nearly as Web savvy as I wish I were. I don't know whether we'll be blogging in five years--I suspect we will, but with more capabilities. My own feeling is that we haven't begun to tap the potential for change that technology is making possible.

How much time do you spend each week on your blog?

Some weeks, none. Others, perhaps an hour or so. I spend more time reading other blogs and writing sites.

What are your favorite language web sites or blogs?

Bob Baker's Newsthinking, The Power of Words (Providence Journal), The Editorial Department (Rennie Brown), Uncle Orson's Writing Class (Orson Scott Card), No Train, No Gain,
Poynter, Words at Work, Common Sense Journalism, Word Witch, Professor Gibson's Wonderful World of Editing, ACES,
Guide to Grammar and Writing (the late Professor Charles Darling), American Press Institute (columns of Steve Buttry),, (Dick Weiss).

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Can't think of anything at the moment.

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