Blogging Guidelines

I had promised myself that I wouldn't write about blogging on my blog. It's a bit like reading a novel about an author with writer's block or a newspaper article about what's it's like to be a newspaper journalist. Well that's probably interesting to journalists, but not to me.

The realisation that I've had is that blogs are mainly being read by other bloggers. I don't know if that will change as the medium matures, but it's certainly true at the moment and bloggers love to read about blogging so here's my perspectives on blogging in the short time I've been doing it.

First up are boring comments. I was reading Scoble on this and he seems to suggest that he won't delete comments no matter how objectionable or boring. Well I think reading comments is part of the blog experience. Hateful and boring comments can seriously impact on that experience. I'd advocate using the same standard as Joel Spolsky uses for discussion forums.

I don't have too many comments to delete, but I did get one today from a casino website owner who found my post to be very insightful and kindly included a link to his casino. Bless.

Second is the calendar widget. I really don't understand these. It's a little calendar, usually in the top right hand corner of the page which includes a tiny link to each day on which a post has been made. So the links are very small and fiddly to click on and why would anyone click on them? You might click on a link that includes the title of a previous post, because the title sounds interesting, but there's no reason to suppose that the articles from the 3rd of May will be more interesting than the 6th of May.

Third is off-topic posts. My feeling is that blogs should have a topic, even a wide or a broad one and stick to it. This is one of my more off-topic posts, but most of my readers are bloggers so I hope it will be of some interest. Yahoo's Jeremy Zawodny's has a blog and has plenty of interesting posts but he writes a lot about his flying too. I happen to find those posts really boring. They're categorised, so if I go to some effort, I can avoid them, but it would just be a whole lot better if he just got a different blog for them.

So I've just seen that IBM has issued some blogger guidelines. I wonder if they'll be the same as mine.

Posted by Alexander at May 16, 2005 09:54 AM

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