Personally Reinventing the Weblog Publishing Stereotype



Today I realized that to publish this website the way I want to requires much more time behind the scenes than I originally thought.

This is not because I underestimated the sleep I would lose while spending my time writing, but because I didn’t discover the kind of writing that makes me want to do more of it. The kind of writing that, in a way, actually makes me feel alive.

So I suppose this post ought to have the word “my” in the title. Put it up there in place of “the”. I used “the” to add shock value and to avoid broadcasting that this is post is really just one of those “So I had a revelation, blah blah blah” posts that I always read. What’s funny though, is that I like reading those kinds of posts. I like hearing about your growth, but in the back of my mind I feel a bit embarassed for you. As if some other guy is reading your website too and he thinks your a dork. Well, my friend, I’m fine being a dork.

Now – back to the reinvention.

I wish I had started blogging before it was popular and before you could make money doing it. I also wish that for the first six months of writing my first blog I hadn’t read anyone else’s site, so I could have discovered my own voice, my own rhythm and my own niche.

Instead I read every how to out there, and studied all the popular blogs. They all told me to publish easily scannable posts. To use the right keywords and create outstanding post titles. That may be fine for them, but to me that’s not writing. And I want to write.

Enjoyable Literature

When I write something for shawnblanc.net and hit publish, I want to then open up my homepage and read my own article. And I want to really, really enjoy it.

To accomplish this two things are required.

  1. Forget all those hints, tricks and 17 bulletproof ways to build a better blog that I’ve ever read. I’ve decided to ignore all the advice about writing for my up-to-their-neck-in-RSS-feeds readers. Although I am extremely grateful for every single reader who takes the time to see what I have to say, I have no intention of catering to any sort of article length / layout / topic etiquette. I am writing so that one day, when you Google for something, and you stumble onto this website and you land on an old article you’ll find an old post and actually enjoy reading it.
  2. Throw that posting rhythm out the window. If I don’t have anything to say then I won’t say it. When I do have something to say I’m OK with not posting for a few days so I can instead publish something worth reading.

I think we all need to re-discover the nobility and power of hitting that publish button.

It’s okay to have a Link List

Link posts are a part of the internet now. I’ve heard the gurus say we have to find the cool original content and be the first to link to it if we want readers.

Well why can’t overlapping link listing draw people into a tighter community instead making everyone’s blog into a who beats who contest?

If you link to something that I link to that was already on Digg … well?

How about if instead of trying to be one of a kind we tried to be ourselves. If something caught your attention then share it. It’s your website isn’t it?

(Truth be told there’s many times I come accross something interesting but don’t link to it because I figure it’s just redundant.)

Oh, and one more thing.

Staying up until 1:30 in the morning to write an article on writing better has got to be a tremendously horrible idea. Put it up there next to the ‘peanut butter, jelly and croutons all together in a squeeze bottle’ idea.