This is the first post I've written in a long time that wasn't about open source/technology stuff. Not that I'm not still fascinating (or cranking out blog entries about that,) but it's fun to tred on other ground for a while. This post grows out of some very abstract thinking I've been doing inrelation work about the nature of blogging.

First off there's the divide between journaling and blogging. Though the distinction is pretty clear cut, in practice the lines blur. Journaling include posts/blogs that recount your own experiences and events, more or less as they happen. Blogging in contrast are posts that explore ideas and events around the author(s) expereince. And blogs are chronological so they look like journals and sometimes include "personal notes" posts, while journals will sometimes/often include the authors thoughts on a subject outside of the authors experience. So it's a muddy playing field from the get go, but I think it's useful to think about what makes a successful blog, because it's more of what I have been doing here , and it may be easierer to quantify than what makes an successful journal.

I'd like to put out 4 general theories for your consideration about "blogging that works:" [1]

  1. Posts should generally explore ideas, concepts, events, and other texts. But mostly ideas.
  2. Posts should explore one idea/concept, and only one idea/concept. If you want to write more complex essays, figure out a way to write articles for a more tratditionally formated publication (such things exist on the web).
  3. Blogs are highly referential texts. Blogs which don't include links to other blogs, and/or don't include quoted text I think miss some of the point of what makes the web so great.
  4. Blog posts need to be short. (Guilty as charged!) Blogs are meant to be read in concert with other blogs, and time is scarce. Also attention is scarce. And really if you're only talking about one idea, getting it into ~400 words is hard, but it's something to aim for.

That's what I have. Any ideas on your end? Speaking of under 400 words, I'll be done now, with none to spare!

[1]In some perverse way I guess this is a "X tips for Better Blogging" post, but I don't care if you digg it or not.