Anil Dash has been blogging as long, or longer, than just about anyone and in this post he’s shared some of the lessons learned. These really hit home:
The personal blog is an important, under-respected art form. While blogs as a medium are basically just the default format for sharing timely information or doing simple publishing online, the personal blog is every bit as important an expressive medium as the novel or the zine or any visual arts medium. As a culture, we don’t afford them the same respect, but it’s an art form that has meant as much to me, and revealed as many truths to me, as the films I have seen and the books I have read, and I’m so thankful for that…
There is absolutely no pattern to which blog posts people will like. I’ve had pieces that I worked on for years that landed with a thud, ignored by even my close friends, and I’ve had dashed-off rants explode into huge conversations on the web. I’ve had short pieces or silly lists that people found meaningful, and lengthy, researched work that mostly earned a shrug. And of course, I’ve had pieces that I put my heart and soul into that did connect with people. If there’s a way to predict what response will be online, I sure don’t know it.
Link to everything you create elsewhere on the web. And if possible, save a copy of it on your own blog. Things disappear so quickly, and even important work can slip your mind months or years later when you want to recall it. If it’s in one, definitive place, you’ll be glad for it.
I had the pleasure of meeting Anil (briefly – he wouldn’t know me from Adam) when he spoke at one of the first ConvergeSouth events. I remember thinking he was one of the smartest people I’d ever run across and reading his blog over the years has only reinforced that impression.
BTW, ConvergeSouth’s 2014 edition is in a couple of weeks and for the first time will be held in Winston-Salem. I’m registered to attend and I highly recommend it if you have any interest in marketing, social media, etc. Full details here.
Final thought: one of the reasons I enjoy writing our blog at work is that, in addition to giving me a place to compile all kinds of industry information, I’ve found that when I write about topics I come to understand them much better. I honestly believe it’s made me much better at my job.