Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My short happy life as a blogger

I don't know exactly why Brad came up with the idea of starting a blog. He has lots of ideas, some of them good, some of them ..... less good. And when he has ideas, he often tries to enlist other people. After he decided to start his blog, he kept telling me that I should start a blog too. I decided not to follow his advice, but I've enjoyed this chance to try my hand at blogging, and here are a couple of thoughts on the subject:

1. It's hard to come up with something to say every day, especially when you have other things to do. My guess is that a lot of blogs start out with frequent posts, then taper off. I expected that to happen with Brad's blog too, but he's maintained a consistent rate of 6 or so posts a week. I think you need about that rate keep readers, especially readers who also comment. He also comes up with pictures for almost all his posts, which I didn't even try to do.

2. I think that one of the things that's made this blog successful is that it has some themes, but doesn't follow them too rigidly. It also helps that one of the themes, religion, is of interest to a lot of people. At one point, I discovered the "next blog" button and did some browsing through blogs. One of the posts that sticks in my was someone complaining about how no one seemed to be paying any attention to her blog. She seemed to post frequently, had been doing it for a long time by blog standards, and it seemed pretty well written. But the topics seemed to be mostly everyday frustrations like bad drivers. Maybe if you already have a loyal base of readers, they'll read (and even enjoy) that sort of thing. But it's not going to attract people in the first place.

--David Weakliem


Ray Fowler said...

Hi David,

Another thing you quickly learn in blogging is that more people stop to read than stop to comment. I know I don't always have time to comment, but I have enjoyed your blog posts while Brad has been away.

Thanks for pitch hittin'.


S.S.Stone said...

It does take work to keep up a blog. When you think you've written a great post and no one comments, it can be discouraging. I'm still wondering what this is all about (if it's worth the time/effort, who am I reaching, what audience, if anyone is even reading what I write, who even cares what I'm saying etc. )

It's also a challenge to keep focused on topic that made you start blogging in the first place.

It takes time to develop a readership, then when you have a few, you don't want to disappoint them .
I'm amazed at ALTHOUSE's blog...Sometimes she posts hourly and yet finds the time to teach law.

David, it's been nice having you around with Brad gone...something tells me that you're not thinking about setting a blog up any time soon. ;) Hope I'm wrong so you can feel like the rest of us feel out here in the blogsphere! *smile*

trrish said...

Blogger rules of thumb:

Only post if you have something to post about. Not just because it's the next day.

Don't be worried about your audience. Write what you want to write. If anyone finds it, great. The purpose of a blog shouldn't be finding an audience.

It's kinda like fishing. The process is more important than how many bites you get.

Anonymous said...

Great points trrish!

Ben said...

Thanks for filling in while Brad was sluffing off. His blog is practially my home page, and a total absence would have killed my membership ;-). Your posts definitely gave me something to think about, even though I didn't have enough brain to comment. Maybe you can "guest post" on a regular basis.

I've often thought about starting a blog of my own, just to have fun writing my daily thoughts - even if no one reads them. But I'm paranoid someone I know will read my random thoughts and crucify me for some "heresy." I guess that's the drawback of being in evangelical theological education. So for now, it's e-mail to selective victims.

David Weakliem said...

Thanks for the comments. I enjoyed filling in and am glad to see that people got something out of my posts. It's also interesting to see the variety of views about blogging.