Somehow in a fairly hectic holiday schedule I managed to squeeze some time in to catch up on some of the stuff stacked up on the Sky box. In particular I caught up on a few episodes of the Daily Show, one of which featured an interview with Arriana Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post. For those of you who have never seen the Daily Show (and why not? It’s on More4, Monday to Friday and is the best thing on TV) the interviews only last about six minutes so don’t have time to go into great detail and the guest is pretty much always flogging something. In this case it was the Huffington Post’s Complete Guide to Blogging, which aims to be the definitive guide on how to blog and get your blog noticed.
The host, Jon Stewart, suggested that the best way to get your blog noticed was to be smart and have interesting opinions. Huffington disagreed and said that the first rule was to blog about your passions, which is something I’ve already discussed in a previous post on effective blogging. Stewart pointed out that this was just like normal writing, were the advice to wannabe’s for years has been to write about what you know and are passionate about.
So what’s the difference between blogging and normal writing? Fortunately Huffiington’s second rule covers that – “First thought is the best thought” where blogging is concerned, it should be a rough draft of history.
To be honest, the highlight of the entire piece is when Huffngton tries to persuade Stewart to blog, to which he responded something, “why would I need to? I have a TV show!”, but it did get me thinking about my blogging style which doesn’t follow either if Huffington’s rules – if I did this would be a blog about rugby, chocolate, reading and sleeping.
I don’t follow the second rule either. Now I know it may not seem this way to the casual or even the more observant reader but I don’t just dash out the thought that’s running through my head. When I have a thought I usually kick it around for a bit first, mainly to make sure that I’m interested enough in it to write about it but also to work out what I can say that hopefully will be a bit different to what someone else might say.
Then I’ll have a poke around the interwebz to see what else has already been said, and then I’ll start drafting. I’m not the world’s most natural writer so it can take some time for me to get the thoughts on screen. If it takes too long or the flow is not there then, more often than not, I’ll abandon the whole post and go do something else. I use windows live writer to draft all my posts and once one is complete I’ll read it through a few times and make a couple of changes before saving the draft to the relevant blog. Then I’ll preview it a couple more times on the site and make a few final tweaks. All of which pretty much goes against my nature.
If I posted my first thoughts then my posts would pretty much fall into two categories, either XXXX sucks or XXX rawks, and I think I owe both myself, and the the ppl who kindly spend time reading my stuff, a little more consideration and effort than that.
But what about you – do you send off your first thought into the blogosphere, wish it God speed and then turn you attention to the next synapse firing? Or do you spend ages handcrafting each phrase with love and attention? Or are you somewhere in between?
And what do you expect from the bloggers you read? Do you want their thoughts polished first or are you happiest with rough diamonds, or lumps of coal?
*While I’ve named this Part 2, it’s not actually related to the original post on What sort of blogger are you, that said if you are a blogger, and you haven’t already, you can still take part in the PN Blogging survey – initial results can be found over at Mat’s blog.