Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On Blogging; five thoughts

I've just finished the herculean task of categorizing my old blog posts (can you believe the two year anniversary of the Fab Miss B is almost upon us?) It was actually really embarrassing to re-read some of those early posts. Yikes. So the blog has been edited (I've never been a very firm believer in the warts and all approach when it comes to myself) but now you can search the archives via categories like Five Easy Pieces, Miss B's Book Report, Cinema Paradiso or Culinary Delights.

All Things Bright and Beautiful has had a great series of posts about how to make your blog grow and flower. All of this has gotten me thinking more about how to write an interesting blog. I'd love to hear what all of you have to say about the matter. Which blogs do you visit regularly and why? Here are some five things I've learned (and am still working on!)

1) Read other blogs. (Duh.). This seems like such a no brainer, but when I first began I didn't really take the time to seek out blogs. It just didn't occur to me. I just typed it up and sent it out into the world. I slowly began to read the blogs my friends were keeping. Recommendations from my Mom got me interested in a few great art/design blogs and that led me to Etsy which in turn led me to other amazing blogs kept by other artists, designers and businesswomen. That's the thing about the internet, it just keeps branching out and firing and exploding; an entire galaxy of of clusters of things people are thinking and doing and writing about. If you take time to really think about it, the amount of possibilities will take your breath away. Now, I am discovering new blogs all the time. Just yesterday during a google image search I discovered an entire network of organizational blogs. So there really is a little niche out there for everyone.

2)Pictures Pictures Pictures. from the beginning I have included images with my posts, but I think my posts improve when I use my own photos to illustrate. Perhaps this has to do with having a purpose to write about instead of just blathering. The photos I take function in three ways. First, they help me center my post and focus on one main idea to write about. Secondly, my photos are mental post-it-notes to help me remember posts I still want to make. Thirdly, taking photos also forces me to be more aware of the crazy things happening in the world of my day to day. The other day at a shopping mall we saw a gaggle of boys locked in an intense (and complex!)yo yo competition. I may not get around to writing the post for a week or two, but that little photo in my blog photos file will remind me when the time comes. There is just no shortage of material.

3) Daily Posts. This is something I recently realized as I began to regularly use an RSS feed to track all my favorite blogs more easily (and work around China's block on Blogger) I'd rather spend five minutes reading a short post every morning than thirty minutes reading five posts once a week. Short attention spans rule the day.

4) Get thyself a Theme. I myself am on the fence about this to a certain degree. This blog doesn't really have a theme other than things I'm interested in. So as far as I am unique, this blog is unique. But other more successful blogs than mine tend to have a unique theme. You can find everything under the sun; Philosophy, Politics, Interior Design, Fashion, Celebrity Gossip, Sports, Movie Reviews, or some have a situational hook. Like someone decides to use a blog as they visit each and every Starbucks on the planet earth, or cook every single recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (This book about said blog figured large into my decision to begin my own.) In my opinion, the main pitfall of an iron clad theme is that it (can)turn a blog into a barrage of frenzied consumerism. Design blogs tend to suffer from this syndrome. They can quickly become just a list of cute products and where to "buy, Buy, BUY!" them. (Bo-RING!)The best ones find a way to highlight and inspire individual creativity instead of mere lust. I'd love to hear other opinions on this weighty topic of "Theme".

5)There's a fine line between personal and dull. This was brought pain-FUL-ly close to home as I reviewed my early posts. Ugh! One of the reasons my early posts were so suck-tastic is that I was writing as I would have in a journal. The focus changed when we arrived in Africa and I began to write to entertain and inform instead. I'm still working on refining these ideas, and I plan to watch this little blog grow into something really big and luscious. Hope you'll stick around for the ride. All fifteen of you! (I'm really glad you are here, or it'd be just little 'ole me talking into the void.)

1 comment:

John Trosko said...

Hi Becky,

I just saw your post... thank you so much for the kind mention of my blog on your site... really, really interesting. I appreciate you thinking of me... and I love your content. Thanks again.

John aka OrganizingLA

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