Although I forget it, sometimes, the following video is probably the single best piece of advice for better blogging. Watch the video:
Attention and time are scarce while content is plentiful. "If you write it they'll read" cannot, thus, be true of blogging. Interesting and important content is interesting, but success lies in managing the attention economy and focusing on output that is easy to read and easy to skim. Its not glamorous, and it requires giving up a bunch of pride, but writers must write with readers in mind.
I'll skip the meandering analysis and get to a couple of key questions that I think remain open, even 4 years after this video was posted:
- What about non-newsreel blogs? Blogs that are more analysis and less regurgitation's of boingboing/metafilter/slashdot?
- What about non-blog content? Are books and articles, subject to the same overload (yes?) but are the solutions always "write easy to process, easy to skip," content? (Maybe?)
- The connection between the "attention" economy, evolving search engine use patterns, and mobile technology change the way that we interact with and compensate for overload?