Friday, February 12, 2010

Blogging about blogging: Part 2

Despite my feelings about blogging, and the fact that I don't quite understand it in terms of being grouped in the category of journalism, I do find it fascinating. I've been learning a lot about blogging and online media and the technical side of things, for which I see endless possibilities.

One post I came upon I found particularly interesting. Blogger Darren Rowse posted a blog called 29 Debates Bloggers Have about Blogging. He explores some of the key characteristics about blogging, from commenting to design to length to topic. He highlights everything from the most basic to the most advanced features.

I'm not going to list all 29 because if you want to read it, the link is above. Instead, I want to select a few points from his list and weigh in on what I think.

3.  Post Frequency – Post More vs Post Less:

I think it's essential to keep a blog updates as often as possible. Obviously, for people who blog for a living or have a lot invested in a blog, up to several times per day is ideal. But for someone who maintains a personal blog, a couple times a week is enough to keep the content fresh and interesting.

11. Links to External Sources – Should Open in a New Page vs Should Open in the Same Page:

With all I've heard about Web traffic lately, I'd have to say it'd be a better option for links to open in new pages. That means the reader won't just forget about your blog and jump from link to link. Instead, your page remains open so he/she can come back after exploring the links you've posted.

14. Topic – Niche vs Broad Topics:

Either can work. I see a lot of value in focusing a blog on a particular subject because it will certainly draw a specific audience who can contribute to the conversation. But I also think having a somewhat broader topic allows for more freedom, i.e. how my blog is about journalism and media, but not something so specific. But what I don't think works is a personal blog that has no focus at all, i.e. My Opinion on Anything and Everything in the World ... Ever. Unless someone is an established "character" who is really funny or entertaining, it probably won't work.

19. Personal Blogging – Sticking to Topic vs Injecting Personality and Personal details:

In personal blogging, it only makes sense to write in first person. And by referring to oneself, that alone makes the blogger a character in the blog. Therefore it seems fitting for the blogger to offer personal anecdotes, refer to his/her opinion and embrace the ability to be part of it all. But there has to be a balance between the two — too much of topic only would be too impersonal and too much of personal details could seem a bit self-involved.

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