The Thursday Rant is my weekly chance to let my guard down and speak freely and foolishly about some topic that makes me mad. Call it therapy.
I started blogging in May of 2003. It’s not heroic; I was late to the party compared to my friend, the venerable Kevin Hendricks. Dude’s been blogging in some form since December of 1998. That’s a pioneer. I thought he was crazy when he started. I bring this up only to admit that I don’t “own” blogging or have some innate right to tell you how to blog. But that’s never stopped me before.
Many of my friends have had a blog at one point or another, so blogging isn’t rare. But it’s rare that blogging is really done the right way. So let me make this clear: correct blogging can only be achieved if done consistently over a long period of time. How consistently? I’d say the minimum is once every month. If you average below that, you’re not really blogging. But that’s not what really ticks me off. Blogging infrequently happens to the best bloggers, and I’m certainly guilty of it too.
For the last few years I’ve been noticing a troubling trend: event blogging. Literally dozens of my friends have chosen to start blogs due to a specific event in their lives. They were traveling internationally. They were having a baby. They were getting married. They were moving. These are all good things, but these are not a reason to have a blog. When you start a personal blog, you are the event. Not your trip. Not your baby. Not your wedding. You. The reason I come to your personal blog is for you. I want to hear your thoughts on any topic you pick. I want to see a recent photo of you. I want to know about something that happened to you and how it affected you and your friends. Go for it! I’m a captive audience, and I’m going to read every word.
Don’t insult yourself by thinking that your life isn’t interesting enough to read about, or that you don’t want to waste the electrons. Interest doesn’t usually come from the topic, it comes from the skill of the writer. You may not be a great writer yet, but I think Kevin would agree it’ll come with time and practice, and Kevin’s a pro. So write! Work on your craft as you go. Just don’t pollute the internet by starting a fresh blog somewhere, posting three entries, and never posting to it again. That’s called “fading,” and that’s for wimps. Commit to it and stick to it. You’ll be glad you did. And when that international trip, baby, wedding, or big move comes along, you’ll have a place where you can talk about it. No new blog needed.
If you want to communicate with a large group of people quickly and easily, but you only want to do it a few times, send an email and put them all in the “BCC” field. (You don’t even have to put anybody in the “To” field. It’ll still send. Try it.) Just don’t start a blog. We don’t need more faders. We need writers.
Blogs aren’t newsletters. Let a blog be a blog, and everybody wins.