Michel Martin’s Web2.0Wednesday assignment this week is:“How do you manage your online time”.
I’ve given this some 24 hours of my thought, both in careful inspection and in aimless reflection, and come up with, “It varies”.
Today, for instance, I did my usual morning at work, attending the bevy of meetings before I eventually ended up in front of my PC. I’d just been given a new laptop. But I didn’t have much time to play around with it, for I was already behind with much of my student study-assignments for today. But because I had been hassled over sorting out all the settings and defaults on the machine, I thought I might as well have a look at Google Chrome, since I hadn’t set up my browser the way I’d like it on the lap-top anyway. I then took the liberty to skite about using Chrome in a comment on Christy Tucker's post.
Chrome was really easy to download and install. Though I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at all the features, those that did show themselves indicated that this browser showed promise. All else that I can report at this stage is that I liked the ‘new tab’, how it put the most visited pages in a default display. Maybe it was just because it was the manila Chrome, but it gave me the impression of being uncluttered (BTW Chrome doesn't like Windows 2000).
I didn’t spend much time online with students today, but I did get a surprise visit from Nancy White, almost immediately after I’d browsed to my blog on Chrome, as she’d left a comment - I’d met up with Nancy recently at the DEANZ Conference.
As you can tell, there is a lot of serendipity associated with what I do online at work – there certainly was today.
Nothing like a cup of tea
First thing in the morning, over a cup of tea, I check my email and if I have time I might check my blog for comments - then it's off to work in the City. Nearly all of the time I spend on blogs, including my own blog, is in the evening at home. Sometimes I do a bit more at weekends, though I’m weaning myself off that, as the better weather creeps in. Tonight, for instance, I checked my Reader for new posts on my favourite sites (there was one on Andrea Hernandez’s blog for instance) and responses to comments I’d left on older posts (one on Kate Foy’s). And I checked my blog (again) for comments.
I would usually spend about an hour reading what takes my interest from Reader and leaving comments where appropriate. If I feel a post coming on, or I’ve got one broiling in draft, I’ll set to and get it ready for publishing. Posts don’t usually take that long. This one has taken about 10 minutes so far, between the phone ringing and a new email arriving that I’ll re-read more carefully later. I’m just parking this as I got called for dinner . . .
. . . but time online? Most of the time I spend writing a post I’m not online. In fact, I tend to go offline to get the draft done, then go back on from time to time to check things, perhaps a previous post here, maybe another’s post or comment that I recalled there, or to do a Google for other required information.
I find being online is a distraction when I’m writing a post. Now that’s strange, since that doesn’t affect me when I’m writing a comment on another’s post, or replying to one on my own blog. When I write a post it’s usually in Word. When I’ve got the rough draft ready, I’ll copy it into Notepad and paste it from there into a draft post, and that’s when I go back online again, of course.
Stuffing a mushroom
I check the draft in preview, prepare an image in Photoshop if I need one, and bang the whole lot up on the Net once I’ve checked it as best I can. I will probably spend as much time pottering around with the look of the post online after it’s published as I spent writing the thing. I know! Stuffing a mushroom Shirley Conran would call it. Yes, I’m showing my age again!
Then I might do a bit more reading in Reader at the new posts that have arrived since the last time I checked (it’s amazing what time people publish their posts round the world!) I may also do a last check on email, have another cup of tea, and retire to sleep on it all.
Have you noticed that all the bloggers mentioned in this post, apart from me, are women? I assure you that it's sheer coincidence.