I recently came across a couple of articles about blogging. Well, I’ll be honest – they were in my Twitter feed and I took a look at them to see what other people’s views were on the subject of content in blogs. It was sort of distressing to me – according to those particular authors I’m doing absolutely everything wrong. For example:
- I mix subjects – I have technical stuff sitting side by side with personal stuff.
- I rarely have articles that have ‘xxx ways to do yyy’ as the title.
- I definitely don’t have a marketing plan for Joe’s Jottings
There were a few other items that cropped up in these pieces – enough to make me sit back in my chair (carefully moving Marvin the cat form behind me – he’s a big fellow and would not tolerate being squished) and think about this article. What goes in a blog?
I guess the bottom line answer is ‘What’s the blog about?’ If you’ve set out to write the world’s authoritative blog on Mousterian Variability then you will have a fairly shrewd idea of what’s good. A blog entry on your trip toLe Moustier is good, 500 words on your views on nearby spa towns, not so good in the consistency stakes. But if you’re writing a personal blog, then I’m afraid that as far as I’m concerned it should be a case of ‘publish and be damned’ – what you want to go in, goes in. After all, one definition of the word ‘blog’ is very straight forward:
“A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links”
and applying this definition I hit the spot a little better. Joe’s Jottings is indeed chronological, consists of personal thoughts and web links, and strives to be frequent. 🙂
Unfortunately for the digerati and the marketing types out there, my personal thoughts do tend to wander around somewhat and very rarely do they include a line that says ‘How can I market / monetise Joe’s Jottings’ and even less frequently do I bother about whether I think about technical stuff after non-technical stuff, and whether I remembered to include a 5 point list in my thinking every 20 minutes. People’s personal thoughts, to me the basis of a personal blog, don’t run like that. They’re the stream of everyday consciousness that makes us the interesting souls that we are. When we start filtering the contents of what is supposed to be our personal thoughts and writings to suit marketing demographics and audience statistics then we need not worry about censorship of the web – we’re already doing it nicely ourselves.
George Orwell wrote a column for the Tribune newspaper in the 1940s called ‘As I Please’ that would find political pieces next to home handyman tips, for example. And that was the way that Orwell thought – he was a writer, a political thinker, but also a chap who had other interests that he felt were important enough to him to get featured in his ‘weekly bloggings’ for Tribune.
Ha! My question answered, indirectly by George Orwell. What goes in to a blog? Whatever you like…as you please.