Sunday, February 20, 2005

Things I've Learned About Blogging

Here are a few things to think about. Take it for what it’s worth.

1. Someone, somewhere, has a record of every web site you’ve ever visited and every page you’ve ever looked at. And false names or anonymous clicks don’t make a bit of difference. Every computer has a unique IP number, or address, that gets left behind like a fingerprint on every page it touches. If you have SITEMETER on your blog, take some time and look at some of those reports in detail…drill down a level on a few entries. You’ll be shocked at how much information you collected…and you’re NOT TRYING to collect information. Think about this if you’re surfing or blogging AT WORK, because it’s just as effortless to collect this information from the user end as from the destination end.

2. It doesn’t have to be “War and Peace”. If in doubt, go ahead and post. Not that you should slap slop up on your site just to have a new post, but if you find it interesting enough to write a paragraph or two, there’s somebody else out there who will also find it interesting. This is part of the beauty – and the power – of the internet. Two people separated by thousands of miles who share a passion for pre-1979 Rubbermaid products or Sgt. Rock comic books can find each other. (and yes, I know the mag was actually “Our Army at War featuring Sgt. Rock of Easy Company”). Also, visitors are more likely to return if they find something new on a regular basis.

3. Comment. Let’s face it, most of us would blog whether anybody reads it or not. But comments can make a blogger’s day. It tells you somebody was interested enough to… well…comment… on what you had to say. It will oftentimes lead to a return visit to your site, and who knows, it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Or not. But at any rate, be an active commenter, but don’t be a jackass about it. First, make your comment relevant to the post. You might think President Bush is a chimpanzee in a human suit, but that really has nothing to do with some blogger’s post about about the fact that not all tulip bulbs are truly perennial or the engine rebuild on his ’66 Chevy station wagon. When you leave comments that have nothing to do with the post what you’re really saying is “gee, I am so clever and everything in the world is about me.” Which is exactly the attitude of a typical five year old. Second, remember, like your mother taught you; “if you can’t say something nice…” so comment positively. That doesn’t mean your comments have to be limited to “wow, your website is awesome and this post is awesome and you must be really brilliant and your mother should be so proud.” Actually, something like “interesting post. But I have to disagree with your basic assumption because…” is also positive. “That is so stupid you obviously are an uneducated piece of trash…” is not positive. Finally, satire and sarcasm must be wielded like an artist’s brush, not a two-foot length of galvanized inch-and-a-half pipe. Don’t leave condescending comments. Ignorance and arrogance are generally directly proportional to one another.

4. Explore. If you’re on BLOGGER (Blogspot) use the “next blog” button every so often. I’ve discovered some very interesting spots that way. Of course, I’ve also discovered some stuff you couldn’t pay me to look at, and some stuff I really didn’t understand but was pretty sure I didn’t want to, anyway, and some stuff that was downright scary. Hey, not all the pebbles in the stream can be gold nuggets. Follow the links on other folks’ sites. And visit the sites of folks who leave you comments. Join Blogsnob and visit sites that pop up in the little ads. Blogroll. Link. Get yourself an aggregator and subscribe to feeds from blogs you like. Saves time going from site to site wondering if there’s anything new. I use Bloglines, but there are others out there for free, too.

5. You’re not getting paid for this. Well, most of us aren’t. OK, I’m not. Maybe you are. But I figure, if I’m not getting paid it had better be fun. So have fun with it.


At 10:56 AM, Blogger D-Thinker said...

I think you are right about caring whether other people see your Blog or not, but a comment I guess is more than a comment, I guess it is communication.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Scriptor said...

One thing, why do people always use the word interesting. Are we getting that uncreative. Maybe we should just sit down with a thesaurus and find all the synonyms for "interesting". Anyway, what I really meant with the Site News for yesterday was, thanks for the information, you seem to know something about the Constitution. Did you read it?


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