I started myself blogging with a grimace most commonly seen when a person scrapes their fingernail across a chalkboard. I had zero propensity to do it. Though, I considered myself a fair writer ( don’t we all? ) I considered it a chore, something that people become obligated to. Eventually the urge to give back won. When I started I gradually grew in confidence and then began thinking all of my words were golden. The one big tip to a blogger – they’re not. I’ve been looking over a few of my past blogs – as much as I like to read my own writing (rolleyes) – and began to think that maybe what I read at O’Reilly’s is was true: I’m not as good a blogger as I thought. Spencer Critchley writes that not all blogging is journalism and that not all blogging is good blogging. Like it or not, blogging as journalism, and some trends are beginning to show this. Bloggers are journalists and for my personal belief we have an obligation to the public. This means not only basic journalism ethics but other duties regarding behavior around people.
Some things I learned:
- Keep it short—not everyone wants to hear every detail. What is often fascinating to you is someone else that needs to check their email soon.
- Never ever rant—professional journalist can get away with this sometimes, but if you’re new its the most likely way that someone will stop visiting your page.
- Is this a diary or a publication?—some writers just seem to be venting but is it anything interesting? Sometimes it is. This one from White’s page is venting but you can tell that the person is actually telling an interesting story. I always enjoy visiting this site.
- Regular-ish timed post and quality is #1.—I very very guilty of this one. I’ve read some of my previous posts and I realized that sometimes I just wrote things because I felt obligated to. Some were even decent subjects but totally droned-on. If you don’t feel the urge, don’t do it, otherwise just do it once, twice a week and let the viewers know it.
- Proof read… repeat if necessary—Yes, I’m gonna be your 4th grade teacher here. But it’s important. People sometimes will stop reading if they can’t figure out a the meaning of a sentence. Proof read as much as necessary… accept good enough—we can always find little bits to improve, but this usually destroys the whole.