My apologies to everyone, but I’ve written two posts today and deleted both of them. I can’t make up my mind. I go into one of these brain meltdowns once a week, and today’s the day. I’m so sorry to everyone.
I have my sleeping disorders as well as a coffee mania. The two are probably linked. I did intend this blog to be ideas based, and not a personal rant board. I lapse.
So, if you can’t decide which one, what do you do?
1. roll a dice
2. go to sleep
3. close your eyes, and hope for the best
4. have a temper tantrum
5. write, delete, write, delete
6. say sorry, so sorry
7. go drink some more coffee
hasn’t been the pleasantest of days, hope to be back tomorrow
Blogging is an artform. There is technique, there are to-dos. It is ultimately about the reading experience, and communicating a message. You want to be as effective as possible.
It’s not a con, it’s about making it work.
Here are 4 different ways of toning your message for greatest impact.
1. The Angry Post – this is the big rant. Hey, something’s gone wrong, and I’m pissed off! I’m telling you all! It can be quite a valid complaint (buying a crap phone, bad eating experience) or it can be a mild whinge (feeling tired today, kids playing up). Either way, it’s all about feeling unhappy. The Angry Post triggers a reflex response for readers who have had a similar experience.
2. The Gossip Post – hey, did you hear that x did this at work? Everyone likes rumours because it’s like being privy to special information. You’re in the know. In the secret club. It can be gossip about anything. About people. About gadgets. Remember this iPhone buzz? Gossip can be tantalizing, but quickly fades into airy nothings.
3. The Idea Post – my personal favourite :-). A new take on things, a new angle, then share it! Polish it up, make it readable, then get others excited. It can be a simple life experience drawn into something larger. It adds value to you, your readers, and everyone else. It becomes a long term contribution to the digital world.
4. The Group Post – all blogs have a niche audience. At times, it’s positive to restate who you are, what you are about, sharing a bit of yourself online. It forms a bond between you and your readers; a form of social grace. A great way to promote the two-way communication that blogs thrive on.
There are many other ways to blog. Share your experience!
expanded upon from Valleywag
Here at WordPress things are done a bit differently. There seems to be a bit more community spirit around. For one thing, when you come across a fellow WordPresser, the status bar at the top screams this out – it’s one of us! They’re a good guy!
Another key difference is the absense of ads. This does two things –
1) people don’t try to con you
2) you don’t try to con others.
Simple. We do what we do out of passion, and for the sake of expression. If we can help change the world without taking a toll on someone, then all the better.
People do make a living out of blogging, and I don’t begrudge them that. The internet is just another form of media, and media thrives on ads. But you have to concede it’s ugliness and it’s compromise.
Let’s all promote the WordPress ethos.
Duncan Riley posted a long analytical piece on the state of blogging now and into the future. I tried to post a comment, but for whatever reason, it didn’t make it through. I thought I’d repost my comment here as it will give you an idea of where I think blogging is headed this coming year –
Hi Duncan, just a response to some of your points –
“AOL is said to be launching Blogsmith in an already saturated market”
do I really want my blog to look like it’s part of the Weblogs Inc Empire? ie 3 columns, ads under the banner, categories in the center, contributors and plugs on the right?
“It’s sad to note that there has been no great innovation in the blogosphere since the successful uptake of WordPress some 2-3 years ago”
think of WordPress as Firefox with its extensions. There are any number of plugins that can be dropped into WordPress in a snap. Sure, there’s been no new competitor on the scene, but that’s because WordPress is capable of great adaptation to individual needs. (ie there hasn’t been a need for a new blogging platform)
“In terms of blog providers, such as SixApart and Automattic, 2007 should see growth slowing, if not plateauing”
I think Steve Rubel said something along the lines of – anyone who was going to take up blogging probably has tried it by now.
Maybe the amateur, hobbyist blogger might level off, but I see huge growth in the Hosted WordPress market. Given the chance to give it a real shot, get a domain name, buy hosting, all for $100, these Blogspot punters might decide to go pro. They’ve built up readerships, have got 12-24 months experience, can drop in adsense, I think there could be some big shakeups.
“In the past I have predicted that SixApart would be sold, and in the year passed I predicted it would not be, only because I was wrong in the years preceding.”
you go on to mention Yahoo as a suitor. I think they’re really gunning for Facebook (that’s my perpetual buy). SixApart is just too much of everything – delicious was a nice swallow, as was flickr. Lot’s of integration issues, and question marks on ROI. As with digg, I think they waited for too long.
All up, nice summary. You seem a bit down on things, but I think 2007 is going to be huge for blogging. I see blogs (or quasi blogs) totally replacing print mags, lots of new voices (freelance writers with no other avenue) and crazy new plugins for WordPress.
– So there it is, everyone man, woman, and child is their own publishing press. Now to find that mythical best-selling audience …
2007 is going to be big year for blogs. Like big big. As media money transfers its way onto the net, options open up for viable incomes. You can actually survive punching out blog posts!
Just think of it as freelance writing writ large. Except it’s an open field, so you have to be bloody good. And have an entrepreneurial spirit. But the barriers to entry are zilch.
Where do I start? What field? Excellent question, glad you asked.
1. Science – ripe for explosion. Although Science Blogs has been up for a year, there’s something still very amateurish about it. Nature and New Scientist haven’t made the transition very well. The next Stephen Hawking could make gazillions. Huge huge ad potential from universities, research groups, instrument makers. If I was a bit brighter, I would jump in now.
2. Marketing – Steve Rubel is the guru here. Everyone wants to know how to get their message across a congested pipeline. It ain’t about ads anymore, it’s about the vibe. Branches off into design and aesthetic issues, and even the psychology of persuasion. Blog once, and earn a living as a “new media” consultant.
3. The Global Blog – all this niche filling will trigger off a counter-trend, that is, people who can see the big picture. This is where someone like myself hopes to step in. Summarise, synthesise, articulate and express. The generalist pundit.
Stay Away From
1. Tech – the geeks have this all sown up. There’s mature blogging networks in the form of Weblogs Inc. Don’t even think about it.
2. Music – every dog and his owner have their opinion. Zilch ad revenue
3. Lifestyle (ie food, wine, furniture) – the big magazine guys are going to move in on this one. You’ll get crushed.
What’s your feeling on this issue?
Reputations are very important to human beings. And no less so than in the blogging world. And so we compare, we rate, we rank, we numerate, we technorati. We constantly check out where we are in relation to everyone else.
At present time (just before new years) I am officially, unabashedly an E List Blogger. What’s that? It means someone very, very, very low in the food chain. I, in fact, right now, have one link from one blog pointing to Ideas Man. Is that bad?
Of course it’s bad! Goddamn it, I’m an E Lister!
Has there been a change of mood in the blogosphere in the last three months? A whole raft of gited amateurs have abandoned their Blogger sites, either finally getting fed up with the erratic service, or ultimately embarassed by their gawky looking sites. Let’s face it, Blogger, despite it’s latest upgrade with tagging, is a service that hasn’t shifted in three years – which is a whole lifetime in internet evolution terms.
People with an interest in blogging are going either Myspace or WordPress. One is the for social networking, the other, the real professional outfit. And the numbers that are going the dedicated hosting route are just exploding. It’s a real demographic change. Everyone is backing their freelance writing capabilites, and punting on Adsense and Text-Link Ads. The small scale, niche publisher is going to really shake things up. Loyal, informed readers can drive real change.
What’s the change from 12 months ago? WordPress.