Dave The Web Guy

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Have Something to Say


The new first rules of blogging are to be sure to have something to say.  That means, establish that your message has these attributes:

  • Conviction/Passion 
  • Facts, Good Data (even if an opinion blog - support your position!)
  • Unique Perspective

Mind you, not having those qualifiers does not mean that your viewpoint or information is worthless in the grand scheme of things;  just that it may not contribute to the digital sphere.

Today's web is not the 2002 web.  

Let me explain.  Stream of conscious blogging centering around the events of your day or weigh-in in on national economic policy was and has "tried and died".  It died because millions of people deciding to give themselves the daily "homework" of self-reporting their day to an electronic diary could only end the way that it clearly did.  Until we're all forced to live our days hiding in attics, most of what we experience is mundane and in need of serious primping in order to properly storify.  It takes serious work, and that's after the work of maintaining the blog engine itself.

It's not that people lost the impulse to digitally share themselves.  As blogging limped through its lifecycle, services like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter showed up to the party.  And they offered ways, powerful and easy ways, to satiate this impulse.  Social media trimmed down the expectation for long form presentation into blurbs -- or -- quite literally "Tweets", if you will. 

Sure, it's all something you could be forgiven for, for still calling it "blogging", but these expression conduits are more in the moment and thus held to less an integral intellectual or grammatical standard.  My label for this kind of online writing is "bullet prose form" and in 2021 it's about the only thing people posting online at all anymore, know.

Personally, I am sure that I discounted how things would turn out way back before all this noise and sludge took over online.  I just assumed everyone's lives were fascinating if articulated and storified properly and that blogging would never die accordingly.  But the barrier to online publishing is now too low and the noise too great.  If you have a blog and bother to mention it, people have zero curiosity, sans other agendas, for checking it out. 

The attributes I list above will beat the assumptions and leave people interested in what you have to say, if you are consistent about applying them.  If it means you say things less often because the criteria just isn't there, that's fine.  Your social media blurbs, wherever you are making them, are probably ideal for the point.

My own custom engine, Battle Blog, includes a feature that actually accounts for posting lulls -- de-stigma-fying lulls in the process.  If you don't post in 10 days, no problem, the blog engine replaces the front page which normally contains your stream of blog postings, with a kind note that you are living life and building up to your next post.  It then offers to show you the blog anyway and gives other options to explore.  So far as I know, my clunky homebrew engine is the only blogging platform that does this, although I prodded the real blog engine makers to follow suit.

Someone landing on this text might wonder if as a whole my personal blog meets any of these criteria on a consistent basis.  Look it over, does it seem to?  Probably not.  But that's because my motivations have less to do with building an audience and more to do with keeping the craft alive personally and as a whole.  It's a living experiment in online publishing and as all experiments go may or may not prove to be anything of tangible value in the end.  Put another way, even though I do have other blogs and online efforts I do in fact care about, here at this blog, I may not add anything to the digital sphere in this specific effort and that doesn't bother me. 

  By Dave for Personal Blog.


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