The Managing Editor of Boing Boing, Rob Beschizza, explains what blogging is to him and how to blog.
There are some good parts, great parts and gay parts of his post. But since Boing Boing is one of the worlds best blogs it pays to listen to what Rob has to say.
His comments about critics are interesting:
IGNORE MOST CRITICS
Even if you have thriving, dedicated, civil, reasonable, no-nonsense commenters, they’ll still be a tiny fraction of your readership. It’s true that they’re an important constituency; they build upon your work and buy your t-shirts. But losing sight of the 99.95 percent of readers who never talk to you is a bad idea–a bad idea that grows with your readership.
How do you serve people who aren’t in the habit of giving feedback? The answer’s simple:don’t stop doing whatever it is that brought them to you.
A habitual mistake of successful bloggers is to react to criticism from commenters and peers. First, we write about something in a certain way that builds an audience. Then the audience reaches a threshold at which criticism loudly presents itself. Then we make the critical mistake of thinking the critic represents the audience.
It’s hard to figure out how to respect a largely invisible readership, but the first step is respecting whatever you did to earn it.
and my personal favourite related to critics, but ones who are tits at blogging themselves:
IGNORE WHAT UNSUCCESSFUL BLOGGERS SAY ABOUT BLOGGING
Harsh, but true! Ignore bloggers, SEO experts, marketing gurus and other people who have figured out a traffic trick or two, but who have never built a large audience of daily readers.
A lot of people have a fixed idea of what a blog is: it’s something like Boing Boing, Gawker, or TechCrunch as they were years ago. A smattering of news, thoughts, links, opinions, random stuff. But you need to run where the ball is headed, not where it was in 2005.
At Boing Boing, we now pay experienced freelancers for original features on extremely obscure subjects. Long before becoming part of AOL, TechCrunch had a full-time staff of reporters who knew what was going on in Silicon Valley before anyone else. Gawker now occupies two floors in Manhattan, and has video monitors informing dozens of writers how their stories are performing.
Instead of trying to repeat others’ success, find something that no-one else is doing right. Find something close to your heart that no-one else is as interested in as you are.
Finally, stay away from cynics who see success in writing as a closed circle. I didn’t do a day of blogging before I got hired by Wired a few years ago; I posted comments on other people’s posts, on forums. Within a couple of years, I was an editor at Boing Boing.
So, people whining about the inaccessibility of the so-called blogging A-list can safely be ignored. They always were full of shit and they always were a bore. Be good at what you do, make friends with people who know a thing or two, and always be posting.