This is the little image / advert I designed for use on Entrecard. Feel free to stick a copy in your sidebar as a reminder to visit this blog more often!
Whenever I'm bloghopping (and websurfing) I always keep NOTEPAD open so I can copy URLS and jot down ideas as they come to mind. The days immediately before and after Christmas are interesting ones throughout the blogosphere, as you get the "Holiday Greeting" traffic, the "Christmas Eve/Christmas Day Lull" and then a spike around 6PM Christmas night, when those who have been given web-enabled devices take said devices out for a cruise on the Internet!
Of course if there is a huge newsworthy event (like the awful tsunami that killed thousands in Asia a couple of years back) there will be more traffic to your blog or website should you be carrying information relating to the event.
At the moment I'm making decisions / affirmations / plans:
1 - Whether or not to try to make this humble weblog a 3-column presentation. I MIGHT be able to do it. I'm NOT planning to download any templates because the problem with 3rd party material is this: suppose you have a great blog and you are using a 3rd party template, and for some reason, that 3rd party gets his or her photobucket or whatever account yanked or doesn;t renew it. Suddenly you got a blog that no longer works and you may not have the time (or patience) to repair it. I've seen this happen to others.
Actually, I'm okay with the layout I have, but a couple of other bloggers have advised going to 3-columns to make more content and widgets available "above the fold" --- another dude suggested reducing the number of current posts that appear on the blog landing page so it will load faster. I checked my blog against several others on a website that measures blog load time, and I did great: just about in the middle. Not incredibly fast, but certasinly not too slow! If I can't tweak the code I'll leave it be... I WILL toss some of the sidebar material that isn't critical to my blog.
2 - I still believe that building a loyal community of followers is essential to any blog's success, so any service, feature or widget that promotes community definitely stays. I'm still getting a feel for Entrecard, and so far I like the experience and think it definitely benefits my blog.
3 - The blog will continue on as a "mixed bag" of popular topics (because that way I can always write what I feel passionate about at any given moment) - and one thing I advise other bloggers: if you find a great link to a particular blog, website or service, put the link in your sidebar or blogroll! Circa 2004 there was a "portal craze" where certain websites begged visitors "make this your homepage" (and certain others used malicious code to make their site the hompage on your computer whether you liked it or not!) ::: My take on this: Make YOUR blog YOUR "homepage" - the place where YOU can jump to your favourite websites!
4 - Keep "Communciation Lines" open. I have left "halsocan comments," "blogger comments" and C-Box up, even though most of my readers use those services marginally, they're THERE so if someone really needed to say soemthing about something I've posted or try to contact me, they have a way to do it.
5 - Planning for 2010::: besides the 3-column idea (which may never see the light of day) I'll pretty much "carry on" with frequent postings about current events and pop culture. I try to make every post meaningful. I have a great group of regulars who've been with me since I began blogging, so I know at least a handul of people will read any article I upload. I try to check spelling - for me it's typing errors - mxinggg up cahracters - that happens when my brain is dictating faster than my fingers can press the keys. I tried a spell checker once but it screwed up the formatting when the articles were uploaded and published. So please excuse those here-and-there errors!
Right now I have a few blogs to visit, email to read and a few offline matters to attend. I still have a tiny bit of Christmas Shopping to do as I continue to prepare for the coming holidays!