After more than a year I’ve finally managed to finish We’ve Got Blog — a first hand account of the origins of blogging. It’s a fantastic book. The only reason it took me so long to finish is because the only time I have to read is when I’m, ehem, going "number two."
Aside: In order to make some progress I had to extend my bathroom time to roughly an hour per session which has been great. Not only have I been able to finish a book, but I’ve also been able to avoid many household chores in the sake of "regularity." I would highly recommend this approach to any man looking to get out of doing dishes or mowing the lawn.
The book was mostly old school "A-List" bloggers high on their successes and so full of themselves that one could anchor a small ship with the head of a single one of them. Head-growing aside, the book managed to capture the spirit upon which blogging was founded. And there were a couple of darn good points too.
Blog with relevance
Lo, the blogging forefathers did blog so that all might benefit from the tiny nuggets of wisdom that had been topped with golden caramel and piled high with alternating layers of light and dark chocolate.
Even a personal blog can and should be relevant to other readers. Otherwise it’s just an online journal, which isn’t very interesting to anyone else at all.
So what’s the difference between the blog and the journal? The blog points outward. The journal points inward. The blog talks about the objective world. The journal talks about the subjective world…for the most part, weblogs talk about things that happen regardless of the writer’s existence. The subject matter of journals would not be there if the writers didn’t exist. > Talbot, Neal. > Put the Keyboard Down and Back Away from the Weblog
Take this very post, for example. It’s really a carefully crafted guise for my book notes and personal plan to take over Manhattan in an attempt to overthrow the local authorities and gain control of a small bank of houseboats stationed along the coast of Southern California (see The DaVinci Code for other far-fetched bogus hidden messages like this one).
Blog with style
Thou shalt not bore thine audience to death, however large or small; whether a great multitude beat down the bandwidth of thine web host or merely trickle in from time to time.
I didn’t realize it before but there are a lot of blogs that have good content and no personality. I love Dumb Little Man, for example. It’s filled with great content that improves my life almost weekly. But it’s lifeless. It’s not funny, it’s not controversial. It’s got an air of New Age Karma-esque self-helpiness which, frankly, makes me want to fall asleep at my desk.
Having a unique style is important. Having a consistent style in letter formatting helps in getting readers’ attention to a specific area. Having a unique style of writing helps in getting regular readers. Be funny if that’s your thing or be professional; just don’t be boring. > Shanmugasundaram, Kulesh. > Weblogging: Lessons Learned
Do yourself a favor and add a little character to your blog. Spruce it up with the best parts of you. Add a little sarcasm, humor, or playfulness to your posts. Be arrogant; you’ll at least get a rise out of it.
Note: I’ll be slow to post for about another week since I’m on vacaction.