Part 2 of a series on What Makes A Good Blog?
One of the keys to a successful blog seems to be a relentlessly narrow focus. There seems to be no topic too obscure for a blog. My favorite blog, as shilled here repeatedly, is The Comics Curmudgeon, which has developed quite a cult following among people who either take comic strips way too seriously or not seriously at all, as the case may be. What is even more surprising is the level of fanaticism over at The FOOBiverse!’s Journal dedicated to a single comic strip, (albeit an immensely popular one that has an enormous website of it’s own). This FOOBiverse folks do a daily dissection of each panel and then get dozens of comments per day.
Among the professional blogs, the Gawker Media Empire has honed this subdivide and conquer strategy to a fine art. They have blogs about politics, entertainment, gadgets, travel, and gambling among many more. The Baltimore Sun recently ran a feature on people who have taken their celebrity blogs to astonishing levels of popularity. Some of them have made the quit-your-job leap into professional blogdom.
My other blog is deliberately limited to just my pictures from my summer vacation because I feel the overlap between people who want to look at pretty pictures of Vietnam and those that would want to read my meta-rantings is fairly small. While working on Asia Trip 2005, I often look for other blogs on Vietnam travel and find the field rather wide open, although there are a lot of good travel blogs out there.
One site though merits particular attention. Noodlepie is a great blog written by a British journalist that focuses strictly on food in Vietnam. The site is fascinating with pictures, descriptions, and even video of all sorts of exotic dishes. It probably gets thousands of hits a day and is even inspiring competitors. Truly, no niche too small.
Will this blog ever get that focused? I doubt it. I have always had too many wandering thought patterns to focus on one thing that intently. I will try to keep things moving and look up from my navel every now and then. And even if no one hears the tree fall, I’ll just keep the one hand clapping.