A little digression into the now quite considerable long history of this Internet: About two decades ago, blogs were considered to be about what Facebook today is.
So as a kind of new world power of publishing. Everyone will blog, blogs will replace conventional journalism. Sounds absurd? Might be. But then there were not a few people who believed that.
Okay, in 2018 one can say: Of course, bloggers have not taken over the journalistic world domination.
But dismissing the topic as an irrelevant chatter from a few nerds does not do it justice. In fact, blogs in their various forms can not only produce great content, but also generate real reach.
Various characteristics? But yes, there are some. Which leads us to the first question:
What is a blog anyway?
Not everything was better in the past, but at least it was easier. In the early days of blogging, there was often the wonderfully bulky answer, a blog is an “Internet diary”.
That was about as nice as “Internet newspaper” or actually everything, with which one grasped before a term known from similar times simply the addition “Internet”. Internet TV, internet radio. And just: Internet diary.
But just as there has never really been an “internet television” or an “internet newspaper”, the term “internet diary” was never entirely wrong, but it was not really accurate. After all, the idea of the “diary” can be traced back to the fact that the contributions of a blog are usually arranged chronologically.
Otherwise, the word blog, which actually originated from the terms “Web” and “Log” associated, that there someone keeps a diary. Which is not completely wrong and shows a few basics of blogging.
What works – and what does not
Personality: Blogs are written by one (or more) people. So a good blog waives neutrality and objectivity, which one likes to ask from journalists. Blogs are strictly subjective.
Who reads a blog, knows that too (or should at least know). One can almost tell at will in the first-person form and one may (should!) Actually tell. Classic forms of presentation have lost nothing in a blog.
Style: The theme of style immediately follows the predecessor topic of personality. A good blog needs personality and a style of its own. Did you notice that there “Own” and not “goods” Style stands? Pure intention. Because you can argue about the term “good style” probably endless. So, dare to develop your own style and forget about the “good” thing.
Naturally, this is where the possibilities of good advice end. I can not tell you how to find your own style. Except: try again.
Caution: Never try to imitate anyone. That usually does not work. If in doubt, the original is always better and you are unnecessarily frustrated. A blog with no contours, no rough edges and no style is condemned to a boring existence in the middle of the long tail.
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Attitude: I do not know how many blogs there are in this world. Feeling: billions. No one needs a WordPress construction site again. Do you have an attitude, do you really have something to tell? If so, do it. If not, do not blog. Nothing is worse than one hand-on the other hand-stories.
Regularity: Presumably you are euphoric in the beginning and shoot out the contributions just like that. But the point where you run out of stories and ideas comes inevitably. At least temporarily. Blogging requires endurance.
So, if you do not start your blog as a time-limited project from the outset, you need to be aware that you have to make a pretty good output over the years. The blogger icon Robert Basic, who died last week, reportedly brought it to about 12,000 entries in a few years.
It does not have to be that much. But a blog that is only used very irregularly does not have very many chances of success.
Diary, Corporate Communications, Live Blog
Before you start, you should ask yourself another question: What do you want to achieve with a blog at all? And who and why and how? A live blog is quite different from the already well-discussed diary. When you write for a business, you have to consider a few other things than when it comes to your insights on God and the world.
So first question: Do you have something to tell – and if so, what? Diaries and other fun stuff can be found online in the Fantastiariarden, nor a funny Quasselbude needs no man. Better not a blog than one that oscillates somewhere between embarrassment and insignificance. Nobody wants to know what’s in your canteen today or what the editorial dog is doing.
Define your blog, give it a clear structure, a clear task. This can be crisis communication, real-time reporting, or a multi-user project by and with people who are simply good at their topic and have something to say.
Second question: Is the theme, the concept? Finally, should (see also “regularity”) a lot of good for a long time in your blog. Incidentally, the fact that many blogs soon become deserted soon after their first, euphoric appearance shows how difficult that is.
There are not so many who keep up their good and regular contributions over the years (by the way, such people are called “alpha bloggers” and because the German loves clear rules, there was even a serious debate about how much reach one has because you have to do to adorn yourself with this great title, but only incidentally).
Which software for what?
I can not prove it with numbers, but I suspect WordPress is still the measure of all things for blogs. There are also good reasons for that, because WordPress does not leave much to be desired. Others swear by medium, while currently no longer hear so much from the former insiders’ tips and newcomers like Tumblr or Serendipity.
For live blogs, I personally like “Scribblelive” the most, but even so: the competitors are mostly completely ok.
The good thing about the topic: With the choice of software you can not do so much wrong. And if you are not happy with the program of your choice – there is so much choice for everything that you should not worry too much.
The or the blog?
No idea. Not today. The scholars are probably still arguing about this in 20 years’ time. But if you’re honest, it does not play a real role. Personally, I always use “that”, but I do not grudge anyone if he thinks otherwise.
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