Best of 2009 #7: Blog find of the year

I don’t like to play favorites when it comes to peo­ple I count among my friends, so I am not going to answer the 7th prompt in the Best of 2009 Blog Chal­lenge exact­ly. How­ev­er, I would like to share nine sug­ges­tions for suc­cess­ful blog­ging (all of which I am work­ing on myself):

  1. Be Authen­tic. I remem­ber back on Diary­land when I first real­ized that blog­ging is writ­ing for an audi­ence. Exper­i­ments with voice and theme come with the ter­ri­to­ry, but the blogs that stick with me the most are the ones with true authen­tic­i­ty and sense of self.
  2. Don’t Just Repost. It is easy to fall back on just repost­ing oth­er cool con­tent. I find myself doing it most when I feel a sense of oblig­a­tion about post­ing but have noth­ing in par­tic­u­lar to say. I think it is absolute­ly mean­ing­ful to share the links/media/ideas that inspire you. The for­mat of one of my favorite blogs basi­cal­ly just curates the web. But when all you do is repost with­out adding your own com­men­tary or edi­to­r­i­al voice, I lose inter­est.
  3. I Like Pic­tures. I am a visu­al per­son. I love to read sto­ries told thru pic­tures. Words are some­times over­rat­ed.
  4. T.L.D.R. Too long, did­n’t read. About half of the links I see on Twit­ter read a lot like “blah, blah, blah.” Para­graph breaks and for­mat­ting are your friend. If I have to skim the con­tent to get thru it, I am not like­ly to come back.
  5. Curb Appeal. There are an awful lot of web design blogs out there with hor­ri­ble design. There are an awful lot of blogs in gen­er­al with intru­sive ads. Looks (and usabil­i­ty) do mat­ter.
  6. Shame­less Pro­mo­tion. I appre­ci­ate that you want to let peo­ple know about the amaz­ing things your friends are doing, or about your own awe­some projects. It cheap­ens both if they are pre­sent­ed with a sales‑y tone. Like­wise, I like to win­dow shop for cre­ativ­i­ty and expe­ri­ences more than I do for prod­ucts.
  7. Jour­nal­ism Mat­ters. I real­ly, real­ly believe that blog­ging and oth­er social media is a com­ple­ment to but not a replace­ment for good jour­nal­ism. Blog­ging can give indi­vid­u­als, groups, and com­pa­nies a voice, a new chan­nel of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and a way to par­tic­i­pate in the world. One of the most excit­ing, poignant, and heart­break­ing events of 2009 was the twit­ter­ing of the Iran elec­tions. But in a world where every ama­teur can pub­lish (and prof­it off of) an opin­ion, real jour­nal­ism still mat­ters.
  8. I Am Read­ing This On My Phone. Okay, well I am not writ­ing this on a phone. The stu­pid Word­Press app kills my bat­ter­ies. But I am most like­ly read­ing your blog on my iPhone, from bed or the couch or the line or the car (don’t wor­ry, only from the pas­sen­ger seat!). I am not ashamed of my total­ly ADD ten­den­cy to mul­ti­task and I real­ly appre­ci­ate when your blog tem­plate works well on or is opti­mized for a mobile brows­er.
  9. Cre­ate Com­mu­ni­ty. This might be the hard­est one when you are just start­ing out! I have no idea how I would go about cre­at­ing com­mu­ni­ty when I might have all of five peo­ple that read this. I am total­ly inspired by things like this Best of 2009 Blog Chal­lenge, though, and will def­i­nite­ly be seek­ing more blog com­mu­ni­ty in 2010.
Posted: December 7th, 2009
Categories: things i like
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