I just read a great article stating that in March of 2005…at that point in time…there were 40,000 – 50,000 new blogs created PER DAY. Ok, that’s a lot of blogs. Granted, most of these blogs are set up, posted to a few times and then fall into the abyss. This whole revelation got me thinking about what we are supposed to be writing in these things.
As you may have noticed, I like to write. I really enjoy the fact that I can have an experience, share that experience and maybe, just maybe, someone out there will get a kick out of something I wrote. People look at blogs for so many reasons, but I think I like it most when I bring back a memory of something someone experienced along the way. My Block Island post is a good example. With as much fun as I am having, there is still that nagging feeling like I am doing something wrong. I think that someone is going to read my posts and see that I am not following the “Proper” format or, I don’t know, screwing something up. I’m not the most experienced blogger out there. Some blogs I have read have archives back to 2000. I spoke with Paul the other day about this and he said that what I am doing is fine and that I should just write what comes to mind. I seem to remember, though, him mentioning a while ago, something about “Blog Etiquette,” which is something like “Netiquette.” (Who makes up these words?) I trusted him, but verified through a search. He was right and here is what I found:
“It seems like every human on the planet now has a blog. As with any other public display, there is an etiquette to having a blog that is appreciated.
The first thing to remember is that this is going to be public knowledge – not just today, but for the rest of your life. There are enough scanners and archivers and printers out there that even if you take down words after one day, those words can be part of your permanent record. Things that you feel are really nifty to say at age 16 can be incredibly damaging to your professional career when you’re 22 and looking for a job.
This isn’t a matter of censorship – it’s a matter of giving mature thought to each thing you publish. You are publishing to a world audience. The world will, in fact, judge you, and not always fairly. It’s a fact of life that we all have to accept. Be prepared for the consequences – and accept the responsibility – for each thing you choose to publish.
This leads into a second point. Always be accurate. Lies have a way of always being discovered. A blog’s reputation – and indeed a person’s reputation – is built on how well it can be trusted. If one lie is found in past blogs, it can destroy all the work you’ve put into blogs since then. We can find numerous examples of this happening in other media situations.
Use a spell checker on your content. Yes, the web is casual – but if people have trouble reading your content, they won’t come back even if it’s interesting. The easier you can make your content for people to read, the more readers you will have. Every person has a different tolerance for spelling problems. You might not mind certain errors, but laugh out loud when you see others. You need to consider that some might consider your own errors in the same manner.
Finally, be yourself. Speak with your own voice. Write about how you feel about the issues. There are plenty of “straight news sites” out there. There is only one you, coming from your own background and history. Share your insight and feelings on the topics you love. That will draw in people who appreciate that view and who want to hear more.”
I think that was very well written and verifies what Paul said. We all want original and insightful content for people to enjoy. There seems to be some limitations on what I can write about though. I have to admit, I don’t know if I like having to think so hard about everything I put here. What if I am in a bad mood on a certain day and my way of venting is to write hard and fast and what if I don’t necessarily want to cross my Ts and dot all my Is? Is that going to follow me around my whole life? Oh man, if it does, someone might actually find out that I am…HUMAN and not some blog writing robot. Boy, I wonder what my future employer will have to say when they find that out. But wait…what if someone actually judges me? What will happen then? Perhaps the very non-judgemental world we live in will spin out of orbit.
My advice: go ahead and write about what you want to write about and stop worrying about all the rules stiff people make up for us. Just be prepared to be called on it someday. Have a good comeback line. The most entertaining stuff out there is non-rehearsed and you know we all love a good scandal. I’m not sure Einstein cared too much about what his neighbor though of him.
Now that I have that out of the way, let me give you my opinion. I think this is the best blog out there. I think it should win awards and be praised on the evening news. After doing an extensive search, I have not found any others in the world that compare. With that said, I am now giving the opportunity for all you, YES all of you, to steal what I write about. You may have noticed some new buttons hanging out in the right column all about RSS and feeds and news and all that. Those are for you. Just click the one that relates best to you and go have a ball. You really have to like my golden nuggets of wisdom though, or else…well, that’s just silly.
I am sure this post had a point somewhere. I know I had one when I started. Oh well, I guess this is what happens when I am given too many toys to play with. Till next time…