Sunday, January 30, 2005

Personal blogs, ups and downs

So I'm reading an article on how to make killer posts. Part of me likes what I read, part of me doesn't. I keep going back and forth, having to remind myself the key word is killer.

It all boils down to the simple question: why do you blog?

If you want to make a good impression, reach a wide audience, get a point across and make your blog sticky, follow the killer blog guidelines.

But blogging is also a form of journaling. A way to put yourself out there, or as the case may be, your thoughts and experiences. Not in order to reach but in order to express, to let yourself out in a public space.

Sometimes I read posts that keep me coming back for more, sometimes I read a blog, cringe and vow never to come back. It's not the whitespace that keeps me coming for more, or the long word count that keeps me away. It's the way individual personalities manifest through the blog.

Things I don't like are dense, confusing, downer blogs. Things you may be able to edit out, but then I don't like edited blogs either. If it's not personal, I simply don't care.

Dense. I don't measure how long a post is by the word count, but by how long it takes me to reach the end. Blogs that are full of short posts that say nothing are just not captivating. Some writing styles make for quick reading, and time flies when you're having fun. But when it's dense and I find myself gasping for air, is when it become a struggle to read to the end.

Confusing. Some of my favorite posts are rambling, and people don't necessarily need to have a point. In fact, sharing the confusion is how we get to know people up close and personal. What drives me away are people who hide behind a wall of words, who use the style to dilute the content. Especially when I find a difference between what they write, and what it reads.

Downer. It's fun to vent and it's fun to read other people venting. Especially when people use sarcasm to paint a fresh view of the world. It's bloggers who focus on the problem instead of the solution that make me feel like clawing my eyes out. Or when they paint the world black with nothing but bitterness. The world is me, and I don't want to feel bad about myself reading your blog.

Posts I like are posts that can cut to the chase. They don't have a negative outlook on the world, or if they do vent about it, it's over by the end of the post. It's style follows content, not style hides content.

There's a part of me that just wants to scream, to tell people how to focus their writing and make their blogs engaging.

There's a part of me that realizes, this is who you are, you can change, but you can't edit yourself out of your blog.

4 Comments:

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Blogger abbyladybug said...

Beautifully said. I read that link about "killer" posts, and I liked it, but it is true that I just blog because I do. It isn't about increasing traffic or even having a point most of the time. It's just a pasttime I enjoy, and I think that's enough.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Frisbee Girl said...

Ms. Ochman's points are incredibly insightful, however, they are also geared toward a specific type of blog that operates on a factually informative and/or persuasive level.

The goals with my blog are much more self serving. It encourages me to write and provides a place where friends and family from all over the world can keep up and interact at their convenience. It also gives me a place to post my own work for expression and feedback, should there be any. Stylistically speaking, a great deal that she suggested would destroy my blog's identity and raison d'etre.

On the other hand, I've never really been one to adhere to stringent rules or afraid to blaze a path I felt was better suited. ;)

12:20 PM  
Blogger nomadichermit said...

would that be the anarchist side of you showing through, fris? ;)

12:45 PM  
Blogger disillusioned_one said...

I write because I view myself as a writer. I get pretty personal. I'm also not afraid to use profanity or say exactly what's on my mind. People either like the way I write a lot, or they hate it. There's no in between. Anyway, I was just cruising blogs and I found you. Pretty funny blog you have.

12:53 PM  

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4 Comments:

Blogger abbyladybug said...

Beautifully said. I read that link about "killer" posts, and I liked it, but it is true that I just blog because I do. It isn't about increasing traffic or even having a point most of the time. It's just a pasttime I enjoy, and I think that's enough.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Frisbee Girl said...

Ms. Ochman's points are incredibly insightful, however, they are also geared toward a specific type of blog that operates on a factually informative and/or persuasive level.

The goals with my blog are much more self serving. It encourages me to write and provides a place where friends and family from all over the world can keep up and interact at their convenience. It also gives me a place to post my own work for expression and feedback, should there be any. Stylistically speaking, a great deal that she suggested would destroy my blog's identity and raison d'etre.

On the other hand, I've never really been one to adhere to stringent rules or afraid to blaze a path I felt was better suited. ;)

12:20 PM  
Blogger nomadichermit said...

would that be the anarchist side of you showing through, fris? ;)

12:45 PM  
Blogger disillusioned_one said...

I write because I view myself as a writer. I get pretty personal. I'm also not afraid to use profanity or say exactly what's on my mind. People either like the way I write a lot, or they hate it. There's no in between. Anyway, I was just cruising blogs and I found you. Pretty funny blog you have.

12:53 PM  

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