1. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Anyone wanna talk blogging?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ChickenFreak, Apr 12, 2014.

    I blog. I love blogging. I want to talk about blogging. I'm a participant in a forum about blogging, but my participation tends to be along the lines of, "For God's sake, people, do any of you care about anything but SEO and clickthrough rates?!" The place seems to be dominated by people who are blogging about blogging for a profit. Bleah.

    So. I want to talk about blogging as a creative outlet. About the writing. About this particular kind of writing and interaction. I don't even know for sure that there's anything to talk about there, but I keep thinking that there must, surely, surely be something. Surely.

    Does anyone else wonder why there seems to be no worthwhile conversation about blogging anywhere? Does anyone want to talk about it here--here where the spammers would be promptly tossed into the moat and therefore the conversation, if there is any, would be spam-free? Moderators, if they did, would that conversation be legal here?

    Just wondering. I look around with a questioning expression.

    (Edited to clarify: I'm not, of course, just talking about WritingForums blogs, but blogs in general.)
     
  2. Michael Collins
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    Michael Collins Contributing Member

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    I would care about a blog only if I could make some profit out of it. I guess this excludes me from this conversation.
     
  3. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    There are no blogs that I 'follow'. I read blog posts when I'm directed to them by a link on another site I'm visiting. You don't mention what your blog is specfifically about, but I'm active on three writing forums (including this one), and I think the forum format makes more sense for a discussion about a specific topic than a blog with comments. I'm prepared to be proven wrong, though. I don't know if you're allowed to link to your blog here, but if so, I'll be glad to take a look.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    To clarify, I'm not talking about discussing anything ON a blog, but about discussing blogging, here, just as we discuss short story writing, novel writing, etc., here.
     
  5. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    Blogging as blogging is a bit of a dead art form now. Regular people posting diary entries about their lives has morphed into facebook posts and people sharing anecdotes and weird finds has morphed into imgur and tumblr posts. Most blogs that continue to exist as blogs and have regular content with any public interest are journalistic or editorial in nature and tend to be organizational endeavors. Blogs and even "blogging" are tools of writers, not much of an artform in themselves.

    Now, they *could* be, as much as more webcomic writers *could* take more advantage of the infinite canvas than they do, but by and large they don't, so it isn't.
     
  6. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    The big thing I spoze now is that these kinds of writings have a unique form of direct communication between readers and writers in the form of comments, and that the immediacy and visibility of this critique and rebuttal makes it different than traditional forms of conversation about a piece. Perhaps knowing about the comments sections and possible reactions changes the nature of the writing process for blog posters? Perhaps they take more effort to break their work down into smaller, more compartmentalized segments than can be individually dissected outside of the whole? Maybe...
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I've always wanted to start a blog. I spend enough time on forums you'd think I would have one already. What's stopping me is choosing a topic or theme to blog about.
     
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  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If I were to blog, it would probably be a writing blog, and there's more than enough of those already. I like John Steinbeck's book Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters, which is a series of "letters" he wrote to his friend and editor while writing East of Eden. He'd write one of these letters before each day of work on the novel, just as a way of warming up. They're a fascinating look at a writer's creative process. They're also, essentially, a blog before there was such a thing as the internet. That's what I'd use my blog for - warming up for a day's writing.

    I don't think I have time for it, though, not least because I'm a member and a moderator here on this forum. ;) I know some of you are members of several writing sites - how do you find the time? Do you actually do any writing?
     
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  9. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    You know, I don't have a theme for the blog I've started. So I played off of that by calling it "Thinking Out-loud." I write my thoughts on a topic, trying to post about things with potentially more meaning or purpose to people other than myself, but I invite readers (however few I get) to join the discussion and share their thoughts. At least until I have a theme in mind for writing, this seems like a worthy way to get me thinking and writing at least once every couple of weeks. :p

    @ChickenFreak, I think @MLM has made a good point too. With the rise of social media, anyone and everyone can share their thoughts and experiences almost anytime and anywhere. And these posts are often shorter and more in real-time, so they don't have to hold readers attention very long. Another thing is that with so many people sharing their thoughts across the internet these days, I doubt many people care to read too many blogs let alone talk about blogging. And those who do talk about it are probably more intereted in the subject matter than blogging as a form of writing. :p

    Just my thought on the matter.
     
  10. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I blogged quite a bit for about six years, 2006-2012. I had several blogs, mostly writing ones, and a couple of side blogs one for cooking, one for photography. I loved blogging when it was still subversive, rebellious, slightly anarchic culture, where you could run into some ridiculously cool and interesting people from all over the world, make stuff happen. I had loads of fun, and wrote several projects directly on the blog, followed others, was a part of a community. But then, everyone started having blogs, politicians, celebrities, people who have absolutely nothing to say but felt like jumping on that train. After that I rapidly of lost interest and moved onto other projects, but I carried on following other blogs mainly for their unbiased opinions, reviews etc. And then the death blow was dealt to blogging - sponsored posts. I never even considered accepting the offers that were coming my way, to accept money for a review of someone's product or similar. I felt I'd be selling out the raw authenticity that is the reason why people read blogs. But over time, all decent blogs started displaying commercials, more or less tastefully, but the sense of artifice pervaded the blogosphere, and it never went away. And that was that. I hope blogging comes back, or something better replaces it. In the mean time, I put my writing efforts into my books.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
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  11. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    So this thread has reminded me that I have a blog that I've neglected for a long time. For the interested, here it is: http://cdeds.livejournal.com/

    Went ahead and updated it for the occasion.
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that it depends on what you mean by public interest. If you mean universal public interest, no, but there are plenty of topics that interest a subset of the public, where blogs are a substantial part of the conversation. Perfume, for example--a large part of the existing criticism of perfume comes from blogs. Sewing. Various fashion topics. Feminist discussion. Mommy bloggers. And so on, for a whole lot of topics.

    I'm inclined to say that subjects that are too small to be profitably well-served by commercial interests are often the ones that are well-served by blogs, but I don't actually have any evidence of that. (And when I say "well-served" I mean, among other things, served with criticism that is free of conflict of interest. Getting back to perfume, there are plenty of people willing to tell us how glorious New Big House Perfume is and to urge us to buy it, but without blogs there are very few independent reviewers to give you the down side of a product.)
     
  13. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say that the relationship between a blogger and their readers is different and closer than the relationship between many writers and their readers--at least, when you're dealing with a fairly close-knit group of bloggers and readers.

    Re your comment above, I'd say that blog posts are less, rather than more, compartmentalized than similarly short pieces of writing. When I try to write for somewhere else I have to remember that I'm writing for people who don't know me--don't know that I'm obsessed with fried chicken and perfume, that I'm still angry at my dead mother, that I'm traveling a path from femininity-agnostic to exploring femininity and fashion, and so on. I have a small blog with a small number of readers, many of whom have their own blogs. I know many of them and many of them know me. Most of them have more successful blogs with more readers, and most of them work harder at their blogs. But there's still a community thing going on that makes writing a blog post feel like it's somewhere on a spectrum between writing a private letter and writing a public news column.

    I wouldn't agree that it's "all" blogs. A fair percentage of the blogs that I read are still ad-free (mine certainly is) and the ones that aren't still wouldn't be caught dead doing sponsored posts--they still have a proper wall between advertising and editorial, and editorial is still usually one or several quirky people who are expressing themselves, advertisers be damned.

    That may be about the niche. I remember that when the FTC came out with rules for bloggers, the perfume bloggers were rolling their eyes because they wouldn't be caught dead profiting from their reviews, even to the extent of keeping a free full bottle, while other niches, who shall go unnamed, were a little dismayed because they kinda assumed that the swag was the reason for blogging.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
  14. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    You know, I didn't even know what a blog really was until a couple years ago, let alone that you could get paid for it. I just started my own last month as a way to more publicly hold myself accountable for writing goals but after four? posts it's already not just about my process like I originally intended. Oh well. I ended up creating a twitter (something I swore I'd never do) to go along with it and that actually has helped my focus. I'm still getting the hang of "networking" and mostly only follow other writers, editors, publishers, etc. to keep up. I really feel like a time traveler experiencing the internet for the first time...it's overwhelming.

    I could never be successful as a blogger for money, promoting this or that, just for income. I write because I have something to say, when I have something to say. Setting a once a week goal has been tough as it is. Sometimes when I read others I wonder what the motives behind the articles are...is it a piece just for the sake of controversy and lots of "hits"? It kind of irks me, but I'm a newbie so what do I know.
     
  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Good. Because income is not what blogging is for, and the get-rich-quick bloggers who think they'll make money are bad for blogging. I could console myself with the fact that most of them won't make money, but that doesn't help the fact that they're essentially committing electronic littering on a mass scale.
     
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  16. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    A lot of the new generation of think tank shills and news aggregationists got their start in blogging. Blogging can very well be a spring board for a nice sleazy lucrative job in the NEW JOURNALISM.
     
  17. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I tried blogging a few times, but just didn't keep up. Nothing to say, I guess. I rarely post on FB and usually to the same friend. I don't twitter, snapchat or any of that other social media.

    I may be too private a person.
     
  18. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    T and I update our blog fairly often, if not quite weekly. I suppose it works as a writing exercise, sometimes we write about our writing process, sometimes rant or philosophize about some random subject. It's fun even if it's not a source of income or anything. I also follow a few blogs, most of them by other writers.
     
  19. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    What do you mean by philosophize?
     
  20. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Talking writing about subject x (that mostly matters to you) in a long-winded manner, possibly hoping to arrive at some explanations or a-has or heurekas about one's existence and purpose on this plane.
     
  21. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    I never really thought about it, but I always assumed that if I actually committed to a blog I would pick a theme that could be capitalized on. Not that I expect the first one to make money since I don't know how the blogs I do visit earn income... I thought about doing a cooking blog, and a getting organized blog ala "A slob comes clean."

    I did follow a few random life blogs, but the only ones that I read are connected to webcomics. (Read the comic and then the maker's journal entry.) Though a few of the webcomics are about the comic-maker's life. (Devil's Panties, Wasted Talent, there were a few others.)
     
  22. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    You can do a blog about picking a blog theme.
     
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  23. bakinpowder
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    bakinpowder Member

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    Well I've made it to the writers' blog.
    I would blog too but I'm to busy writing about the life on the block. Hmm, what should the title for it be, though?
     
  24. Joshlyn
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    Joshlyn Member

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    I have several blogs, they all serve different purposes. There's my business blog which I NEVER update anymore: http://www.joshlynwallacephotography.com/blog.html

    Then there's my blog on my portfolio(which is mainly geared towards my goals to getting a Social Media Specialist job, but under work samples I do have basically ALL of my work. http://joshlynwallace.wix.com/joshlynportfolio#!blog/cdhl

    And then there's my personal blog here http://joshlynwallace.wix.com/doodleblog

    I'm not the most diligent blogger, but I'm the type of person I'm such a writer that I tend to clog up my friends facebook news feeds w/ too much and stuff that's really really long. So that's basically why I started my personal blog. I don't really care if anyone reads it and I wasn't trying to make it well known, I do actually kind of keep it sort of secret, but it's just sort of my way of journaling, but online, and w/ the idea in mind that someone else may read it.

    As far as my portfolio blog. I actually created that portfolio for a class I was in this past semester before I graduated, and I wanted to keep it, but as part of the class's assignments on learning to put different stuff on there I was FORCED to put a blog on there, I have kept it so far, but I'm still considering taking it down, I'm just not sold on the idea of potential employers needing to read that.
     
  25. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    I'm a little late to the party but I'd absolutely love to talk about blogging. I've even considered adding a blogging/new media forum before. :p I totally understand where you're coming from @ChickenFreak, but as a website administrator, I also understand where those people who only want to talk about CTR and SEO are coming from. In my opinion, if we're really talking about blogging, writing compelling quality content is what matters first, and the webmaster stuff should come secondary. That secondary stuff can/should play a role though if you're blogging for any purpose other than to keep a personal journal.

    Blogging for money is appealing, and I see why people want to do it. It's never that easy though; you need to build an audience and you need a reader base to be loyal and return to read more when you make new posts. To do this, yes, some time should be spent on the webmaster/internet marketing side, but what you need the most is top-notch content. If you try to write consistent quality content when you're not blogging about something you're passionate about or "as a creative outlet" - well, good luck with that!

    For the sake of discussion, defining what blogging is can be difficult. Blogging used to basically defined as the typical Tumblr-style journal/diary entry about your personal life, but now we have topic-based blogs (which I think are still appropriate blogs, such as a fiction writing blog or a cooking blog), how-to blogs, micro-blogs, corporate blogs, etc. The term blog has been stretch to the point where basically there are blogs that aren't really "blogs" aside from the fact that it's presented in a new-content blogging format, posted from a blogging software platform.

    I've had several blogs throughout the years. Some died, some moved domains, and some even had decent readership. What I've found is that writing blogs to make money when you don't have quality content based on a topic you care about, it will definitely flop and you'll lose interest; similarly, writing for the sake of writing/blogging can be rewarding in itself, but eventually, you might end up wishing you had an audience actually reading it. I think both aspects are important and should play a role.
     

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