Do you need special attributes to blog? Can you just do it? Are you cut out for it?
All questions resulting from a nice experience piece in yesterday’s New York Times by David Greenberg, a journalism and media studies professor at Rutgers University in the US, who spent a week as a guest blogger on the blog of a friend who runs a political blog (details in the story).
While the story focus is US, of course, the tale Greenberg tells is valid almost anywhere, from the start…
How hard could blogging be? You roll out of bed, turn on your computer, scan the headlines, think up some clever analysis while brushing your teeth, type it onto your site and you’re off. But as I discovered, blogging is no longer for amateurs or the faint of heart. Blogging – if it’s done well – has evolved into an all-consuming art. […] As I checked other sites for ideas, I now realized that I didn’t need only new information. I needed a gimmick – a motif or a running joke that would keep the blog rolling all week. All of a sudden, I was reading other blogs, not for what they had to say, but for how they said it.
…to what he learned:
[…] For all the individuality that blogs are supposed to offer, there was an amazing amount of groupthink – since some of them were getting their talking points from … other blogs. By the end of the week, with other deadlines looming and my patience exhausted, I began to post less and less. There was a piece for Slate due, a book chapter to finish, my baby boy, Leo, to entertain and a piece to write for the Week in Review. […] To succeed in blogging you need to understand it’s a craft, with its own tricks of the trade. You need a thick skin. And you must put your life on hold to feed an electronic black hole.
For business bloggers, Greenberg’s story provides some good food for thought on what kind of journey you’re about to embark on. That’s not to say everyone will approach blogging as Greenberg did, nor for the same reasons.
What it does highlight is – know your route before you start your journey.
New York Times | Blogging, as in Slogging (free reg required)