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Friday, July 15, 2011

School Of Blogging

Fred Wilson of AVC – Musings of a VC In NYC has a great post, The Fred Wilson School of Blogging. He has old truths and new ideas, and details to check to make sure I am doing them.

Then I started to think about my School of Blogging. I’ve convinced a number of smart people to start (and continue) blogging. I think that Fred is more expert, my posse more experimental, discovering and implementing new things with every post.

I don’t think my school requires “rules” as I am already busy with my day job. Targets or milestones are better things for me to measure against, because once I have achieved them, I can go on to other things.

I experienced the awesome power of infrequent blogging during a previous project, and afterward set a goal of two posts per week. That was pure declaration. I didn’t know if I could, or what they would be, but either I could do two a week or I couldn’t. Turns out I have.

Next question was, “What is a blog post?” Early on a reader sent a comment, “I understand your short posts better,” so that became important.

I figure the target is ten sentences/five paragraphs. If I go longer or shorter, fine, but the target is ten and five.

What to write about? That is my biggest challenge. I have ideas all the time, so to harness some, I decided to write all my ideas in my regular notebook, red ink when I have it, so I have an inventory. It’s not uncommon for two or three ideas to come together for one post.

Keith Richards noted how when he admitted to himself he was a song writer, he became a sharper observer of what was around him. Still a player, but now also an observer.

I want to be positive. I proved to myself a long time ago, there is no solution in the negative, or at least I don’t have much interest in being a part of it. I find that when I am upset, if I take some time and look at what I’m upset about, I can often find a positive expression, which often leads to the value of the post. Ted Anderson writes, “Wartime is only, the other side of peacetime”

I also want to write about things that really happened. I can convince myself of way too much theoretically, and if I describe something that occurred, I won’t forget something basic, like gravity, which has been a loud limiter for many theoretical builders.

Finally, I was sitting in the audience at the Web Managers Roundtable when Jim Sterne asked, “Do you want to control the platform or the conversation?” I thought it was an excellent question, along the lines of Dana’s distinction about journalists and publishers. I decided to syndicate off my own platforms to other outlets. I personally choose to emphasize outlets where I have been a member, held office, or performed, so I imagine I’m posting to a familiar audience.

What are some of the targets or milestones you’ve made for your School of Blogging?

Check out Blah, Blah Blog at the Web Managers Roundtable, on August 9, and BlogLab, coming August 16.


Carol Covin said...

Great guidelines, and insight into setting parameters that work for you, your other obligations, and your readers.

Unknown said...


I learn best from listening to others who share stories of their experience. Your School of Blogging offers a viewpoint of what works for you - in your experience - and it will make my blogs that much better.

Is the Gates School of Blogging getting better by such input and exposure - you bet ya!

10 lines - 2 paragraphs! ~ Jack