About a two and half years ago, we developed our first blog addiction — Tomalak’s Realm by Lawrence Lee. It was focused, well-edited and regularly updated. And most important, it was about something we really cared about — web design. Our methods of blogging are slightly different than Lawrence, but we owe a lot to him.
So this is our blogging mantra, and if we stray from it, call us on it.
1. Stay focused: This blog is about Participatory Journalism — News from the bottom up. This means we focus on online communities and media. This blog is not about our favorite hockey team (Red Wings), or how much we love/hate Mac OS X, or how much Shayne loves digital photography, or our how much Chris gets off on flying airplanes. No offense to Winer, Searls, Lasica, Kottke — and bloggers of that style — but posts about their personal lives are really not that interesting. Yes, that type of content provides tons of personality, but it also tends to bury some of their incredible insights.
2. Have a point of view. Isn’t that the point of blogging? An HREF and short quip that says this link is “cool, boring, funny, etc.” doesn’t really add up to a good blog post for us. If we link to something, the post has at least one paragraph explaining why we think the link is relevant, why you should bother to follow it and what you can expect from it. One exception: Our recommend reading posts. In these we try a Blogging News approach by providing a relevant quote from the article we are linking to.
3. Don’t just take, give something back: We’ve been privileged to have access to some of the most amazing thinking through blogs. Our blog is an attempt to give something back to the community. That’s why many of our posts are not simply outbound links, but original writing and thoughts that we think might add something to network discussion.
4. Clean it up … as best you can: This means several things: do the best you can to be accurate (links, names, facts); keep the copy as readable, error-free as you can (typos, grammar, etc); and play nice in the playground (no flames). We fully realize that we make mistakes (despite our journalism training :-), and if you point them out, they’ll be fixed pronto. And in advance, thanks.
Real advice: If you’re looking for some real advice about how to blog, try Megnut’s book or Rebecca’s book. We haven’t read these books, but these two gals usually provide some fine, well-reasoned insights.
• Unfortunately, it should be noted, that Tomalak’s Realm doesn’t really have the “must-read” quality it once had. Lawrence must be busy working on a project or something. A more interesting read is his personal notebook weblog.
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