I’m like this sometimes. And it’s not only because I’ve grown desensitized to ads (ad blindness). But it also stems from being overly-cautious. For one, clicking on bad links seems to be one of the popular ways of getting infected with malware. Because of this I try to avoid clicking emailed links. I usually copy the URL and paste. Or if it’s a service I use, I type the URL directly. And when browsing, I always check the URL on my status bar before clicking. If I find an AdSense ad interesting, I usually just type in the URL–if the URL is visible–on another tab to see what it’s all about. read more
I’m a fan of Groklaw, but like any long-running soap opera, I tune out for weeks – okay, months – at a time and then check back in. I love the copyright news and litigation insider bits, but sometimes, unlike an ongoing soap opera, I don’t know what is being talked about. I can’t catch up.
Lately, there have been a lot of coverage dealing with SCO, IBM, and Novell. Two of the three I know, but the fourth I don’t recognize. Even if I knew all three of the acronyms, I don’t know enough of the story to follow the current blog posts.
In the legal world of who did what to whom and why, I’m trying to catch up. Why?
That’s what I keep asking myself.
A blog is a chronological vehicle of expression as well as communication. The most recent post may be the latest in a long back story that can go back for days, weeks, months, even years. However, I just landed here. I need to get caught up fast!
Which begs the question:
Is it my responsibility, as the reader, to keep up with the story, or should the blogger play a role in helping bring me up to speed?read more
Pressure make diamonds, but does blogging under pressure make for a better blog and blog posts?
Joss Whedon, Creator and Executive Producer of the television series, Firefly, summed up the show in the season’s DVD extras in a way that reminded me of how many bloggers work under pressure to publish:
A lot of the pressure of being a show that might be canceled at any moment really helps you. It doesn’t help your digestion, it doesn’t help your marriage, but what it does help is your storytelling. Because you go back and say what is the most important thing I need to feel. What is the most primal story. What is the thing that is going to show how great this crew is, how funny they are, how brave, how disjointed – whatever it is you need. What do I need to get to the primal story?
A television and film under pressure of a time crunch and the threat of cancellation still has time to go back and “get it right” – clean out the clutter and time wasting words to really get to the point. Does a blogger have that kind of time?
There are a variety of pressures a blogger can be under. Time, timing, and word counts are the three key pressure factors I see most often at work. read more
I have been collecting topic suggestions from my readers this week and one of the replies I got was not a suggestion for my forthcoming content but a cry for help.
This blogger had been notified by a visitor that some of her old posts were, while funny, likely to land her in hot water. She quickly thanked the visitor and unpublished two or three of the worst offenders.
That wasn’t where the problem ended though. read more
The writer is… an athlete required to break the four-minute mile every morning.
— Irving Stone
Replace writer with blogger and you have a good description of what the job of blogging is.
I’ve been collecting quotes since I was very young. One of my favorite books is the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, which just celebrated it’s Diamond Jubilee. I don’t know when the old rusty red edition found its way into my hands as a child, but I was totally taken with the never-ending collection of wise and whimsical things people said for every occasion. I wanted to talk like they did, combining words in such a way to make a powerful punch when provoked.
Maybe that was my first introduction and training into press release, editorial, and technical writing? read more
For many decades, professional editorial writers found a compromise on the time/value issue with payment by the word with a restriction on word count. I often was told, “We’ll pay you a dollar a word up to 1,000 words maximum.”
This meant the magazine, newspaper, newsletter, or other print publication had space for one thousand words that needed to be filled. Going over meant changing their magazine or newspaper design structure. Giving them less meant I’d be paid less, but somewhere in the middle was a compromise for both of us, usually in the form of me setting a minimum fee I was to be paid, no matter the word count, such as “I want $500 minimum for 700 words and a dollar a word thereafter.” If the article came it at 400 words, I would still be paid my minimum. If it crossed the 700 word mark, at which point I should have been paid $700 for a dollar a word, that’s when they have to start paying me the dollar a word rate. It wasn’t the best, but the companies felt like they were getting a deal and for the most part, I covered the minimum I needed to pay my rent and eat.
Here is a chart for the various traditional writer’s pay scale based upon a dollar amount per word. The more experience and expertise, the higher the fee per word. read more
I’ve recently been catching up on the Showtime program Californication. Centered around mid-life crisis sufferer Hank Moody (played by David Duchovny), the show is packed with sex and sarcasm. A subplot follows the lead as his career as a novelist dead ends due to writer’s block, leaving him with no choice but to take a paying blogger gig. Which the show portrays as a huge blow to the character’s ego.
And that got me thinking…
Ever since I became a prolific blogger, the fiction writer in me has disappeared.
The writing styles are clearly different, and blogging, quite honestly, helps me pay the bills (while fiction was only a hobby). Interesting, because as far as I’m concerned, I’ve always found that writing breeds writing.
I’m curious to hear if you’ve experienced anything similar. Answer this question in the comments section below:
SINCE YOU’VE STARTED BLOGGING YOU…
a) Write more fiction b) Write less fiction c) You never wrote fiction to begin with
Now that I’m aware that I’ve turned my back on true ‘creative writing,’ I will make a conscious effort to incorporate it back into my life.
Finally I find myself writing for volume the way I always tried to discipline myself to do, yet the format is different than I expected.
If you come across a product, service or establishment that pisses you off, and you’re a blogger, there’s a good chance that you’ll use your blog as a venue to share your feelings with the world. Before you refocus your anger to the keyboard, think twice before typing and posting.
There are two adages that come into play here:
“If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”
“There’s no such thing as bad press.”
If you still can’t resist the urge, and have a compulsion to post (many bloggers are obsessive personality types), ask yourself the following:
- Does the entry match my blog’s content?
- Will readers care
- Would I be satisfied if this blog post comes to represent my entire blog?
What do YOU think? Does this sound advice apply to the blogosphere?