Archive for September, 2006

A Good Guide is a Guide and Nothing More

Bloggers take critical advice a little bit too critically. Fix this and this about yourself and maybe you’ll be successful. It’s a trait that I see far too often among “pro bloggers” and people who claim to know what’s going on. “10 steps to boosting your traffic, SEO optimization.” Guides like this I find, tend to prey on human weakness and appeal to those who want to “make it big in the blogosphere”.

Why do self help books sell so well? Because people want a quick answers to their problem. These books/blog aren’t a bad resource at all. The reader will either a) not read the book/post all the way though, b) take the advice a little too literally and fail to think for him/herself c) completely miss the point of the book/post.

If you’re read a post made by a fellow blogger, take the time to read it thoroughly before dismissing it. Skimming an article is bad and if you’re not paying attention to this article you would miss things like this. And this.

Taking a post too literally can be also dangerous. For instance, if you have a fellow blogger telling you to do x, y and z, you should at least consider why the blogger is telling you to do it. If an advice blogger is telling you to “write good content” what does that actually mean? Think and if that doesn’t work, experiment.

Tip c) goes alongside tips a) and tips b). If you read a post and don’t understand it, then well of course you’re going to get nothing out of it. Are you missing some key background information or is it that you don’t understand some of the vocabulary the particular blogger is using? Check Wikipedia for Tech terms or read the darn post again.

Now this is some pretty basic stuff, but you’d be surprised at how many people read online advice and don’t take the time to think it though. Am I telling you to be a skeptical reader? Well I suppose I am. Feel free to disagree and leave a comment.

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SippinWhiskey’s Distillery

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSippinWhiskey’s Distillery exists to bring you the best (and worst) of online corporate advertising. Written by a former marketing professor, the Distillery is well written, regularly updated, funny and fun. It’s also really informative, especially if you’re interested in how to put the multimedia toolbox to work for YOUR company.

And let it never be said that Best Blog does not pay attention to its readers. We found this blog at the suggestion of Market Monkey, who recently pointed out that we don’t feature enough business and investment blogs for his liking. Now, we know marketing and investment are not at all the same thing, but both are aspects of business, and we hope that counts. Plus, we have another blog lined up for later in the week — one that talks about organizational theory and is actually fun to read.

And if that’s not enough — pretty soon we hope to feature a Best Blog on the topic of religion.

Chow Chow Rescue

Chow Chow Rescue shows off some wonderful chows in need of adoption, interesting information about the breed, and links to chows and dogs in the news.  It’s been around for a while, and the people who run it are all volunteers and clearly dedicated to the breed.

Chow Chow Rescue demonstrates a terrific use of WordPress:  you can set up a blog to do something about a problem, and make a little corner of the world better as a result.   

And finally, there are some good jokes on this site, which is always a plus. 

Blog de Luis M.

Hola! Spanish-language blogs are on our mind today at BestBlog. We found many great ones. Today’s highlight is Blog de Luis M. The post on map sites is — alone — worth taking a closer look. But there’s a lot more. Have fun checking it out.

Deco-Art-Design

 Here’s a nice looking blog from France: Deco-Art-Design.

(We’re getting a little too English language centered over here at BestBlog. Time to start looking at other languages.)

If you want to have us take a look at a blog in a language other than English, leave us a comment!

Bizzoony

We promised, over a week ago, to bring you a student blog (a blog that’s written by someone who identifies him or herself as a student and, at least part of the time writes about school life). Here’s what we came up with, thanks to tag surfing under the “school” tag:

Bizzoony, a student blog, is a Best Blog In Training. (It’s brand-new, the front page is not yet complete, and there’s no “about section” — that’s why it’s a Best Blog In Training.) We think it’s going to turn into something quite good. Why? Because it’s funny and fresh and the writer is not interested in telling us: (a) how much he has been partying; (b) about his latest love disaster or (c) about how much he needs to go on a diet. And if he did tell us about any of those three things, he’d be funny about it and maybe also insightful.

The writer appears to be in the tenth grade. He could work on his spelling, and on his blog’s appearance a little. But these things are minor compared to the fine head he has on his shoulders, and the unique voice he displays in the few posts you’ll see when you go over to his site.

We’re placing our bets on Bizzoony, and we’ll check back in and see how he’s doing after a few months. Our guess is that he’ll keep posting, continue to be very funny, and he’ll add some “about” information and a picture. Good luck to him.

And thanks too, dear readers, for recommending these fine student blogs: A Teenager’s Perspective and Wandering Pedestrians.)

Creativity in Blogging

I was thinking about blogging for the last couple of weeks and how certain people tend to succeed a blogging while other’s do not. Writing a blog requires passion, work and creativity. It is an art form in itself and in many ways is harder than writing for a daily newspaper.

I was in my University’s career center looking through some of the books on print journalism and I discovered that a weekly columnist generally gets paid more than a staff writer. What? How does that work?

If a staff writer is required to write several times a week then why does a columnist receive more money for a column that is only published once a week? Now this discussion isn’t about money but it helps to understand the situation. The columnist is being paid to be creative and the staff writer is being paid to crank out news articles.

I’ve done some research on this and apparently a staff writer will use a standard template to pump out multiple news articles to fill the news section of the paper. Feature writers get paid a little more; then opinions writers and so on. The point is that the more you head up the creativity scale, the harder the work gets.

Blogging is great because there are no boundaries to what you can do as a writer. If you want to write about how significant your MacBook purchase was, you can have it your way. No responsibilities and no there to tell you what to do. I know it sounds cliched to say it, but blogging is freedom.

Now that doesn’t mean that everyone’s good at it. If you’re regurgitating the news via RSS syndication, then that’s not very good at all. If you’re regurgitating the news and throwing out a couple of comments then that’s kind of better. But the truly good blogs, or at least the ones with the most intellectual value, are the ones with good original content.

Far too often I hear people discuss in comment/forums/ about “your [their] site’s content” when in fact their content is somebody elses content with a few random idea’s and bits of commentary thrown to the wind. And that’s not to make fun of anyone in particular. Being creative is hard. Oil painting is hard. Poetry is hard. Dancing is hard. And now blogging is hard.

Well what are you waiting for? Get to it!


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