Finally, here are some answers to the questions my Dad posted a while ago, for everyone to ruminate over...
1. do you find that blogging tends to make you frame your life experiences in the same way that carrying a camera tends to make you frame the things you see- it makes you look at everything, and say, i wonder if i could blog about that?
Yes. I think that's part of the lure. It makes you notice things you wouldn't otherwise and try to remember them. Since I always try to keep my blog optimistic, it makes me notice the good things more than the bad, and I think it has made me more cheerful in general.
2. do you engineer your posts in any way to attract more audience? if so, how? do you include words that will attract search engines? do you write posts about hot, frequently-searched public persona?
Yes. I was planning to write an entire post about this but haven't gotten around to it. I do all of the above and more, but only when it suits my fancy.
3. do you check who has come to visit you? do you notice what words they used to search and find you? do you notice how long they actually spent on your site? do you take the words they used, and use them again, or keep using them?
Yes, more so when I first started this blog, to all of your questions.
4. you know how important pictures are when you open up a site. do you choose your pictures in order to hold visitors, or do you just put in there whatever you can? do you look for free pictures, take them yourself, or shamelessly steal them from google images like everyone else?
I try to post pictures as often as possible, because I think it really helps get my point across if I can find the right one, but it takes a long time so I don't always get it done. I shamelessly take pictures from other websites whenever possible but also try to take my own whenever possible. Both take a while to get together and put into a post.
5. do you feel bad about bumping people from your blogroll? how important is a template to you when you visit blogs? do you really admire people who list thousands of blogs over there, or would you rather see someone who just has maybe ten or twelve best friends and relatives?
I have only once bumped someone from my blogroll, and it was because they closed down the blog. I like to see just ten or twelve blog links on a blogroll, but honestly I don't usually notice the blogroll, instead I tend to follow links that are within posts.
6. do you really visit all those blogs you list under "daily reads" or "blogs i visit?" do you read them? this seems like a herculean task. how much time can a person invest in being in the citizen's media, a regular?
I visit about four blogs a day from my blogroll, and most of the rest at least once a week (usually on weekends). I have replaced newspaper reading time with reading and posting to blogs, although now I include reading news websites as part of my morning ten minute ritual (over cereal).
7. has blogging changed your writing? your perspective? your alliances? your likes/dislikes? your politics? how has it affected the way you see things?
Blogging has not changed my writing as much as I hoped it would - I think if the goal is to improve your writing, you have to try harder than this (eg get feedback, move out of your comfort zone, etc). It has changed my perspective (see #1 above) but not much else.