There really is no doubt that blogging is an international phenomenon. PC Magazine recently named personal publishing pioneers Evan Williams, Meg Hourihan, Paul Baush (all of Blogger.com fame) and Mena G. Trott and Ben Trott (of Movable Type fame) people of the year. Blogging is gaining acceptance as a media channel, marketing tool, and research engine, but rules for blogging seem to be slow in coming. While I don’t claim to be one of the best bloggers, I have been blogging for quite some time (MovableType since 2003 and Blogger long before that) and have learned a few things through trial and error. Here they are:
– Posting to a blog is a lot like throwing a boomerang into the wind. Sometimes you can throw it and it disappears, never to be heard from again. Other times it flies back and hits you in the nuts (or ovaries if that’s your thing). If you blog about personal shit (like your job, your significant other, your proclivity for bestiality, etc) know that this information might fall into the wrong hands and be used against you. In fact, bet dollars to doughnuts that it will.
– Post pictures of yourself, your children, your pets, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, or your house with the understanding that someone may use that picture in ways you never imagined. If you can imagine what I’m talking about, you’re the kind of person I’m talking about.
– Your blog is your temple. Don’t pollute it with gif animations of dancing cats, smiley faced emoticons, “which dukes of hazzard character are you” quizzes, or worse yet, angst-ridden poetry about how you lost your one shot at love. Your regular readers will thank you and those who end up on your blog through one of the traffic generating portals might stay for a while (and if you’re lucky, come back on their own). Just remember, a pig with makeup is still a pig.
– Speaking of which, no one likes an attention whore. Pick one traffic generator, ride it out for a bit, and if doesn’t work for you, choose and use another. Having eight or nine different banners for blog traffic generators makes you look as desperate as my 9th grade English teacher Ms. Templeman. Advertising how desperate you are for attention isn’t attractive, much less entertaining.
– If you have a commenting system for your posts, be prepared to deal with people who disagree with you. You could ignore them, but it is much more fun to have long drawn out arguments in your commenting system in which you malign their heritage, race, religion and television viewing habits. Get extra points for calling them fartknocker as often as possible.
– Never, under any circumstances, believe or repost anything anyone ever sends you through email� especially if they found it on the Internet. 50 Cent did not get his arm chopped off in a car door, there were no satellite images of the East Coast blackout, there never were WMDs in Iraq, and there is no such thing as Santa Claus. When in doubt, check snopes.com for verification before you illustrate the theory of blind panic by reposting an urban legend as fact.
– Just because you don’t get comments to your post doesn’t mean no one is reading your blog. Don’t cry, pitch a fit, or otherwise berate your visitors because they don’t pat you on the back every time you spit out some witty pearl of wisdom.
– Spelling is important, but not as important as making sense. A post with stellar spelling, but the lucidity of Whitney Houston on a crack binge, is still crap. Forget spell-check and concentrate on making sense.
– And finally, never believe anything you read on a blog. Especially posts that claim they have a unique insight into how something should and shouldn’t be done.
Anyone else care* to share their blogging wisdom?