RE: practicalities of blogging

Subject: RE: practicalities of blogging
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Flood, Donna" <DFlood -at- eoriginal -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 16:22:06 -0500

On Behalf Of Flood, Donna quite reasonably asked:

> I've been reading this with interest, and, for me, blogging always
comes
> back to the same question:
>
> Why? Why blog?
>
> I don't think I get it...

Why write?
It's the same question.

If you are a decently capable and engaging writer and you have something
to say, but aren't prepared to put it in a book, then why not blog? Some
blogs are very, very good.

Almost none of those are the journal type (sorry Janice, no personal
slight intended), though there have been blogs about family and
neighborhood life that had me alternately misty-eyed or rolling on the
floor.

I've found practical blogs that gave me more useful info than did
semi-static websites. Often a good blog is a counter to what is offered
on a commercial or dogmatic web site, and far more responsive.

I've found opinionated b*****ds who sounded off on political and
philosophical topics in ways so interesting, quirky or compelling that I
had to revise my views (on whatever the topic was). That's significant
when you're in your mid-fifties. :-)

Bloggers have tended to yield more interesting and useful information
and viewpoints on certain health questions than could be found on
"official" websites. The websites all seem to have disclaimer first and
content second... or they're selling something. Anecdotes are not data,
but good anecdotes and well-researched opinions are at least a starting
point in an investigation.

There's the hobby thing that others are mentioning. Lots of technical
discussion, tips, tricks, little-known facts, sources of <name
something>, and general comradery are to be found in blogs.

Blogs keep some associations on track better than their more static
websites do.

Of course, to keep this topically relevant, blogs are a worthy adjunct
to a professional website, for those of us who are contractors or who
have "political" ambitions within the industry. (STC)

Many personal/professional websites are too static. Content is updated
when the owner has time, and nothing better to do. Visitors tend to come
no more than twice. Add a blog, and you've got something pressing you to
keep producing, weekly, daily.

Finally, if you like to sound off / rant then where is better than a
blog?
Half the charm of writing is having (or imagining you have) an audience.

The print media will accept only so many Letters to the Editor or
Opinion pieces from an individual. The letters that don't get printed
aren't necessarily rejected for bad writing or poor content - the
editors are limited for space and they have to decide which topics, and
which of several voices per topic, will get heard. A blog is an outlet.
Instead of a harried editor, the reading public gets to decide if you
are worth reading. Even if they decide against you, and you still have
the burning urge to write... the blog is still an outlet. You at least
have some feedback that could help you improve, or shift viewpoints, or
perhaps just market yourself better.
The very open-ended-ness of the format is its attraction. Of course,
openness and ease also mean that your blog is awash in a sea of dreck,
and only some of "getting discovered" is due to your talent shining
through the fog of mediocrity which is the blogosphere (does anybody use
that term, or is it as dated and dead as I think it might be). The rest
is luck and timing - other people's timing, as much as your own.

For writers who are not socially expansive, it's an outlet and a way to
engage other people that might be easier than running your own newsgroup
or list.

One of the first things I'm going to post is how to rid your attic of
squirrels. What could be more motivating than that? :-)

Meanwhile, I've been getting some useful comments about the practical
side of the whole effort. Keep 'em coming.

Kevin
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References:
practicalities of blogging: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: practicalities of blogging: From: Nicholas Russon
Re: practicalities of blogging: From: Claire Conant
RE: practicalities of blogging: From: Flood, Donna

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