Friday, August 05, 2005

What Makes A Good Blog?

There are a lot of blogs out there and they fall into about three catagories. There are the professional for-profit sites like Wonkette and Defamer. These sites are self-supporting off of add revenue and the blogger's primary income is from the blog.

Then there are the serious hobbiest sites. I think most political blogs (which get all the press) fall into this category. Josh and Drink at Work and most webcomic sites also fall into this niche. They run ads and sell merch, but most of that has to be eaten up in overhead.

Then there are the novelty and vanity sites. I definitely find into this category. I have been on the "web" since the first Windows version of Prodigy. I've seen a lot of internet fads come and go.

Blogs and their related message forums are pretty much straight line descendants of local dial-up bulletin boards I was surfing in the mid '90's. These hobbiest boards had fiercely devoted memberships and often were strongly influenced by the personality of the board operator.

So with a dreadful signal to noise ratio in the blog world, what makes a blog popular? I think there are three elements: clever, crisp writing; relentlessly narrow focus; and frequent updating and posting.

People decry the loss of literacy the internet is mid-wifing, and you definitely could get that impression if you spent any time at all in an AOL chat room or browsing gaming forums. The good blogs though have a terse snarky style that makes paragons of tight writing like Entertainment Weekly or People look like Thomas Pynchon. If you can't get your point across in three paragraphs, you have lost the random surfer. And if you don't have something fresh to say, no one is going to bookmark you and come back.

This post is probably too long already by those standards. I will definitely come back to this topic. So bookmark this page and come back in a few days.

4 comments:

Ces said...

Yellojkt:

Thank you very much for checking out my site. By the way, just so you know, I didn't post any bio on Wikipedia. Josh more than kindly did (as well as very thoughtfully posting all the other sites we're involved in). I could never write my own actual bio. Just ask Carol, who has had to pen my credits for me more than once.

Ces

Teri said...

Hi, Blogger.com continues to evolve right before my eyes. I am new to blogging but hooked on it already. I just read Biz Stone's book "Who Let the Blogs Out?" His humour is a little forced at times, but still entertaining. One of my favorite parts was the glossary of terms at the end. I posted about it on my own site. That's called metablogging - blogging about blogs or blogging! I had to read the book just so I could explain it to my friends and family. Hardly anyone has ventured to post, most of them just couldn't figure it out, or they're just plain chicken about being published globally. I have recently am learned that I am getting regular visits from a few people who are close to me.but I don't feel I need to track it. I enjoy your writing and plan to check back. Blog on!

Anonymous said...

hey nice posts i added you to my bookmarks

Just wanted to say everything you posted was a good read.
Its nice too see that some people create decent and entertaining blogs, yours kept me reading for well over 10 minutes.

Thanks!

Tristan said...

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