The blogs we feature here on Best Blog on WordPress are a diverse lot, as diverse as our editors, as diverse as the enormous community that makes up WordPress. And yet again and again I’ve been struck by how much Best Bloggers have in common with each other. To wrap up the year, I’d like to share some of those qualities with you:
- Best Bloggers respect their readers. They don’t take you for granted. They respond to your comments. They keep their promises or tell you why they haven’t been able to. (For example: We tried to do a Blog-A-Day every day this December. But we went to too many parties to do one EVERY single day. Still, even falling short of the goal, we gave you more great blogs this month than we have in many months this year.)
- Best Bloggers hook you. They drawn you in from the first sentence. That can happen in as many ways as there are imaginations, but it never, ever means this sort of beginning: Sorry I haven’t blogged in so long, but I’ve been busy. Or Not much to say, but I don’t have anything else to do but blog. A Best Blogger has got something to say, and they make you want to hear it.
- Best Bloggers know how to use the tools at their disposal. Mostly, that means they’re good at the language in which they blog. Their writing is clear and sharp, they can punctuate, they proofread, and they sound like the smart people they are.
- Best Bloggers are generous. They know there’s room for everyone. They know that another great blog in no way diminishes them. They link to people they admire, regardless of whether that other blog is bigger or smaller than they are.
- Best Bloggers never stop learning. They read other blogs and learn from what they discover there. They read books — books that are so well written they feel compelled to try to do the same. They’re curious. They’re not afraid to say, I don’t understand that. They try new things. Maybe they’ll learn to podcast. Or take some pictures. Or try out a new template. Find out what CSS is.
- Best Bloggers know themselves. They don’t try to be other people. They know what they love, even if it’s a little odd, and their enthusiasm and affection for their subject animates their writing.
- Best Bloggers know they’re part of a community. They contribute to forums, help new folks out, welcome people to blogging.
Every single one of you has displayed best blogging in one way or another this year. Keep at it. Even if there are more than half a million blogs on WordPress, we’ll find you, one way or another. And if you want us to take a look at your blog, or the blog of someone you generously want us to know about, then go right ahead. Send us a comment on the comments form. Nothing would give us more pleasure than finding your Best Blog and featuring it here on the site.
Happy New Year!
WordPress is more than half a million blogs strong. In the face of this extraordinary growth, fueled by some extraordinary bloggers, I thought I’d issue a challenge to all of you BestBlog readers and editors: Let’s find and feature some great blogs this month. And let’s try to get one up every day. It’s December — in a lot of places it’s a bit dreary and the holidays can only do so much to rescue the drabness of this time of year. (In fact, sometimes the holidays make things worse.) Maybe seeing some new, fresh blogs will take our minds off whatever’s looking a little dark these days.
The other editors can pitch in or not, depending on their schedules, but I want to say that I’m feeling ready for something like this: I’ve had a break, gotten through some tough things, and now seems like as good a time as any to tell the world about the many terrific people who blog on WordPress.
Where will we find these blogs?
- tags — we’ll be checking out interesting tags and bloggers who show up under them
- the WordPress forums — the folks who hang out in the forums are doing some very good work on behalf of the WordPress community and their blogging’s pretty special too. It’s time to feature some of them!
- links, links, links: we’ll be looking back at BestBlog alums and checking out who they’re reading
- blog directories: WordPressers are out there in the world, showing up in places like BlogBurst, and BlogHer and 9Rules.
- comments: we’ll be looking at your comments (just like Santa’s watching to see whether you’re naughty or nice): if you’re leaving smart, interestingly naughty or nice comments, chances are you have a great blog
- that “next” button still works! we’ll be using it.
- random google searches: we’ll be typing in “wordpress” and a string of words that amuse us (how about dog walkers of the world unite?) and see what comes up.
- YOU — drop us an email (bestblogonwordpress (at) yahoo (dot) com) and direct us to your favorite passionately written, interesting, quirky, funny, maddeningly controversial, beautifully designed site. We’ll take a look at the site. We can’t promise to feature it, but we will promise to give it more than just a cursory glance.
Check in later today for the first of these BestBlogs. Who knows? It might be you.
Published 8 August, 2006
blogging , ideas , writing
Lorelle on WordPress, one of our favorite Best Blog alums, has a great post up about how to write a good comment.
Lorelle says a comment is like a resume. if you write good comments, people will want to check your blog out. So, if you want to make people sit up and pay attention then you have to learn to be a good commenter.
Kudos to Lorelle for showing people the way to Best Blogging.
Published 14 June, 2006
blogging , guides , writing
What kind of writer are you? Do you write in long form or do you tend to make your posts short and sweet? And then of course, what are you going to write about? We can't tell you that [what to write] but what I'm hoping to do with this series is educate bloggers on a couple of good writing strategies they can use to improve their blogs.
In journalism there's this thing called a lead that writers use to hook people into the story or in our case the post. The lead or hook will usually give the reader facts right off the bat. Don't lose your readers.
Long doesn't always mean good and short doesn't always mean interesting. When you write for an average audience, you're going to want to be as concise as possible. Have enough information to make the piece worthwhile but at the same time don't make the piece so long that your readers fall asleep at the table.
So there you have it. We'll do a couple more of these in the future. And don't you dare use these words like "concise" or "lead / hook" out of context or in a way that defeats the purpose of the word. Part two of our series will cover writing cliches and originality. I'm looking forward to it.
Published 6 June, 2006
blogging , politics
Speaking of blog networks, this blog actually talks about them. And at that Charteuse was recently
added to linked by the Ten Foot Square blogging network. which is also happens to be associated with the Blogmedia network.
Charteuse is a blog that covers the latest in blogging and blog networks with a little bit of side commentary. Is it rude? Heck yes! Is it offensive? You bet. Should you read it? Probably. Check it out.
BTW we've been getting our fair share of comment spam…every day. Keep up the good work Akismet.
Update: Whoa so apparently I've made huge error. So Charteuse is not a part of the Ten Foot Square blogging network. If you dig down into Dave's blog you'll find the list of bloggers who have been accepted into the network. I gotta say that this is facinating stuff. I'm sorry for the mix up guys and we'll be keeping an eye on you in the future.
Published 6 June, 2006
"Great bloggers don't use wordpress.com" This is a myth. You don't need a fancy web server or a flashy k2 theme to make it into the big leagues. What really matters is a love for what you do and…well you have to be a pretty good writer too. Or famous.
Well without further ado let me congratulate Lorelle (a previous on Best Blogs) for making into the 9rules quality blogging network. With that said, I think it is important to point out that one great way to improve your blog exposure is to join a blogging network. Only catch? It has to be good, and at that is has to be consistently good.
I hope that wordpress.com bloggers really take this as a sign to step up and improve their blogs. WordPress.com is worthy project and I'd hate to see it go to waste. Here's to another year of good blogging. Wait a minute it isn't New Years.
Update: Congradulations to http://nodependenciesnologo.wordpress.com/!
Published 28 March, 2006
blogging , writing
If my memory is serves me right, Lorelle on WordPress was one of the top blogs on wordpress.com when the site first launched back in September. But then it dropped off the front page.
Anyway, Lorelle on WordPress talks about wordpress and blogging in general. Let the work speak for itself and check it out.