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Yes, I’m doing it wrong: A blog about blogging

So the conventional wisdom is not to talk about a medium using the medium that is being discussed; i.e. you’re not supposed to tweet about Twitter, you’re not supposed to blog about blogging…whatever. These people who tell you this are the same people who tell you that auto DMs on Twitter are a good thing. Thus, I categorically reject this conventional wisdom, because we don’t break any ground with conventional wisdom ANYWAY.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but over the last couple months, I’ve more narrowly focused the blog on social media topics. There’s a lot about Facebook. There’s a cubic crapton about Twitter, all intermingled with some Brightkite, FriendFeed, and identi.ca. Sure, I’ve written about the Super Bowl, but I’ve kept the topics pretty narrowly focused. This is a side effect of my using Twitter; items that I might have posted as “asides” here often end up there because of its sheer convenience. Another thing I’ve discovered: FriendFeed is a stellar way to micro-blog, especially if I need more than 140 characters. It can offer instant feedback and viral promotion via “likes,” and the conversation there is tough to top right now. It’s not just using different services, either. Two of my big topics here of late have been Serious Business show notes and weather, and I’ve shifted both these items off to their own sites in order to let them flourish.

So where does that leave the ol’ homestead? Scrambling to adjust, and reacquire its voice.

I offer a confession: I’ve never been happy with my blog’s voice. I’ve tried different formats over the years; rapid-fire blogging, wall-to-wall weather coverage, daily roundups of newsy items — but I’ve never found anything that’s fit. One constant has remained (until recently) — it was eclectic. That eclectic nature led to chatter over the years that my blog needs to “focus” so that it can be somewhat predictable and be authoritative on something. It’s the classic struggle between being good at a number of things or being really good at a couple things. I’m willing to give anything a try, so I did — and you know, it’s kind of sucked the fun out of it. I realized that I sounded like a broken record when I went back through my recent posts several times over when I was making tweaks to my archives yesterday; and, well, that’s not me. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy writing about social media topics or that I’m going to quit writing about them; no, I’m a big fan of those technologies and I’ll continue to write about them, because they are very much relevant in the world according to Jared Smith. What I am saying is that there is obviously much more to the world according to Jared Smith than Twitter and Facebook. I’m a big fan of the Xark! approach to blogging: There are no unrelated topics. I used to be really good about this, but Twitter and other technologies are like the tall blonde walking outside with her food at Panera (where I’m writing this): They’ve stolen my attention. And, thus, there’s a lot of writing about Twitter on the blog, but all the details about my travels, trials, tribulations, etc. remain in Twitter and don’t find their way here. And that’s a shame — there’s a lot that deserves documentation beyond 140 characters.

So, I did a few things yesterday (aside from making the archives more accessible): First, I made the asides simpler and a lot easier to look at (in my mind). That’s one thing that I think I’m finally happy with that I haven’t been since I introduced the site. So, because I don’t consider them an eyesore, I’ll use those asides a bit more. The second thing is, knowing my habits, I’ve been working to expand integration of my FriendFeed. I’ve moved it from the sidebar to the blog’s homepage underneath the recent entries. I know it’s a bit buried there; there’s a chance I may eschew the Twitter homepage widget in favor of the FriendFeed widget. Time will tell.

For now, though, it’s an awful nice day out. Time to do a little living.

By Jared Smith

Jared Smith is a web developer and weather enthusiast living in Charleston, SC.

2 replies on “Yes, I’m doing it wrong: A blog about blogging”

First, if conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t blog about blogging, I’ve been doing it wrong for years. After all, where better to reach an audience interested in blogging than on your blog!

Look at “Entertainment Tonight.” It’s a wildly-popular (ridiculously popular, considering how bad a show it has become) show about television that’s ON television.

So conventional wisdom doesn’t cut it for me on this subject.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being eclectic, either. That’s how blogs build an audience. Who wants to go to blogs where you can see the same old stuff everyone else has to offer. Maybe being eclectic is really letting your blog’s true voice come to light.

I think that if you write about what’s interesting to you, that’s what will be interesting to those who’ve found you and been sticking around! :)

First, if conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t blog about blogging, I’ve been doing it wrong for years. After all, where better to reach an audience interested in blogging than on your blog!

Look at “Entertainment Tonight.” It’s a wildly-popular (ridiculously popular, considering how bad a show it has become) show about television that’s ON television.

So conventional wisdom doesn’t cut it for me on this subject.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being eclectic, either. That’s how blogs build an audience. Who wants to go to blogs where you can see the same old stuff everyone else has to offer. Maybe being eclectic is really letting your blog’s true voice come to light.

I think that if you write about what’s interesting to you, that’s what will be interesting to those who’ve found you and been sticking around! :)

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