Random Notes On Blogging.
1. The First Rule of Blogging: “Blogs don’t write themselves.” It’s the hardest and most frustrating part of professionally helping others to blog.
2. Most bloggers I have met I would describe as smart, decent, passionate people. This includes bloggers that I don’t particularly like on a personal level. I have yet to meet a blogger who I would describe as a “Thoroughbred Scumbag”.
3. Blogging is an art, same as any other method of self-expression. Some are better at it than others.
4. Stay as honest as you can, for as long as you can. Once you cross the line it’s hard to go back.
5. A lot of serious bloggers became so because frankly, they had a lot of time on their hands. And often there were good reasons for that.
6. Blogging is a great way to make things happen indirectly. I say that all the time, and will KEEP saying it till people finally get it [I’m not holding my breath].
7. Far too much time and energy is spent watching people make money directly off their blogs [e.g. via advertising revenues etc], as opposed to indirectly [e.g. becoming an authority on something, and using said authority to enhance your already-existing business]. I believe the latter [which Doc Searls call The “Because” Effect] is a far more pleasant, effective and likely way to succeed.
8. So you a read lot of A-Listers. Congratulations. You now know a lot of stuff everybody else knows.
9. It’s damn hard not to read a lot of A-Listers. They got to where they are for a reason.
10. I hardly ever leave comments on other people’s blogs any more.
11. If somebody makes a harsh remark about me in the comments or somewhere else, usually my first reaction is to ask, “Yeah, and what is it THAT YOU DO that is so fucking interesting, Asshole?”
12. Cube-dwellers-with-attitude are pathetic.
13. When I first started blogging, I was living the Cumbrian boonies, being a bit of a recluse. When business finally picked up, as I started traveling more often and meeting more people, my “audience” became far less abstract to me. Conclusion: It’s far nicer writing for real people that you know personally, than for demographic “eyeballs”. I think when talking about the former, Doc Searls’ embodies this better than any one I know.
14. I agree with Doc Searls’ thought that “Wuffie is earned”.
15. Why aren’t there more women bloggers in the circles I travel in? The answer is a three-letter word, beginning with the letter “M”.
16. The day you can write as compellingly and consistently as say, Kathy Sierra, Jeff Jarvis, Guy Kawasaki or Michael Arrington, will be the day I start taking your complaints of low traffic seriously.
17. Corporate America doesn’t really like blogs. Like I care.
18. If your goal is to have a large, influential online readership, I’d say give yourself five years. That’s how long it took Om Malik. Some do it in less, of course, but they seem to be quite exceptional.
19. For us serious blog evangelists, it’s tempting to think “Everybody should have a blog”. About as tempting as the thought, “Everybody should be able to write well.” And about as realistic.
20. Blogging will never be a mainstream activity so long as being able to write [A] well, [B] often and [C] about stuff THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT remain the main barriers to entry.
21. Barely a week goes by without me contemplating permanently turning off the comment section.
22. How to know you’ve arrived: When you suddenly realize that to stop blogging would be tantamount to an act of economic suicide. That moment came for me at Les Blogs 1, in Paris back in early 2005.
23. Another way to know you’ve arrived: When you realize that every business relationship you’ve established in the last twelve months was a direct result of blogging.
24. You think A-Listers are arrogant bastards? You should meet the B-List.
25. There is no A-List. If you think there is, you’ve missed the whole point.
26. There is an A-List. Fuck with us and we’ll have you destroyed like stray dogs.
27. The best way to raise you profile in the blogosphere [besides writing good stuff] is to attend the various conferences; the more, the merrier. I am [at least] fifty times more likely to link to you if I’ve already met you in real life. The other good way is to attend the geek dinners.
28. I wish I were better at linking to other people. The list of people I should have linked to, but haven’t, would fill a phone book.
29. Sixty million blogs. Sixty million business models.
30. Yes, the blogosphere is a great place to get laid. No, I’m not telling you how I found this out.
31. If you ever forget your manners, you will pay, and quickly.
32. You are not carving in stone. You die, the blog dies.
33. It’s tempting to think that people read your blog. Sadly, they don’t. They skim them. So always make your content skim-friendly. Write it with “skimmabilty” baked-in.
34. Anybody who harbors the idea that Madison Avenue EVEN SLIGHTLY understands the internet is a fool. I’ve been looking for YEARS for evidence to the contrary and simply can’t find any.
35. In this internet-enabled world of ours, Madison’s Avenue’s loss is PR’s gain. Which is why, as a former advertising hack, I follow the Edelman story very closely.
36. Getting other people to “blog for you” is a big mistake.
37. Z-Listers are every bit as selfish, self-important and psychologically flawed as A-Listers. Except the former don’t have large armies of people with real and imagined incentives for tripping them up.
38. I like and respect Robert Scoble a lot, but I find his high tolerance for trolls in his comments bordering on the clinically insane.
39. If a blog doesn’t allow comments, then yes, it’s still a blog. People who say otherwise are just getting in touch with their “Inner Idealistic Wanker”.
40. When people ask me what the future of media is, I always answer, “RSS”. Thank you, Winer & Co. Seriously.
41. Most of the stuff on this list is wrong.