“People say they don’t want to read about your cat,” said Jeremy Freese, “but in fact the posts about your cat are the ones that get the most response.”I appreciate the nod, but this isn't really what I said. I did invoke the idea of blogging about one's cat. However, this was because when I introduced myself I said I had started blogging after seeing Kieran's blog, but I didn't want to misrepresent my own blog as having the same content orientation as Kieran's. So, what I said was that Kieran had once told me that when he started blogging he wasn't sure what he wanted to do but he knew I didn't want to blog about his cat, and I said that I didn't have a cat but if I did, I would almost certainly blog about it sometimes.
Chris was the one who said something about there being the idea that nobody is interested in what you had for lunch and then it turns out that, indeed, some people are interested in what you had for lunch, and might even be more interested in that than some serious post you spent a lot of time on.
Later, I made a related point, which is that audiences very much influence the content of blogs, as content of subsequent post tends to bend in a direction toward those previous posts that get the most response. I cited one example at the panel, which I won't repeat here, but I could cite others and, for that matter, this blog as well. Eszter argued against this as a normative argument--she argued that people should follow their muse because the explicit feedback they get isn't even a good indicator of what posts people actually like--but I intended the statement mainly as a descriptive one, as part of what typically happens with blogs.
I might write more about the blog panel later. Scott from Inside Higher Ed was there; I was sad we didn't get a story out of it, although he has provided good coverage of ASA.