One of the gifts I received for Christmas was a book written by an acquaintance of mine, Ted Demopoulos. The book is called What no one ever tells you about Blogging and Podcasting, and it is made up of a collection of 101 short interviews and essays on various aspects of blogging.
It’s a great read. Ted’s style is very conversational, as befits a good blogger. The chapters are short and focussed enough that you can just “dip in” to it from time to time. I’ve been reading a few at a time, and so far I’m a little over halfway through. The book seems directed towards business a little more than it is towards personal blogs, but I think there’s a lot to be learned for bloggers of all “flavours”.
As you will see from the picture, I’ve been making some notes and jotting down some of the more pertinent points (in a Moleskine, no less!). Some of the tips are apparently obvious, and yet easy to disregard – things like “avoid bright colours in a business blog” are so simple to get wrong when your blogging platform offers 30 different and exciting design templates. I won’t steal Ted’s thunder by listing out every detail that I’ve found to be of interest, but be assured that I’ve learned a great deal.
One of the things that I’m struggling with a little bit is whether or not this blog – which is basically personal – has enough of a focus. I know that I blog on a number of topics: photography, my work at IBM, satellite navigation, technology in general, and anything else that catches my fancy. Several of the commentators that Ted interviews recommend a much more narrow approach. I know that Richard has tried this, and it doesn’t seem to have been that successful, although I suspect that it was largely a case of time and discipline in splitting the posts up. I appear to be building an audience, but I do need to do more analysis to ensure that I keep delivering interesting content (hint – talk to me – tell me what you like or dislike!).
You may well see a few changes around here as I start to take on some of the things I’ve learned. I hope you will, anyway!
Incidentally, Ted has a blog which he runs as a companion to the book, at http://bloggingforbusinessbook.com/ – also worth a visit. I notice that he’s just marked one year as a blogger there (although he’s been blogging for longer than that). Well done Ted, and happy anniversary!
If that little piece wasn’t a good enough recommendation, two of my fellow IBM bloggers, Luis Suarez and Philip Hartman, make guest appearances as interviewees. Now, how famous do I have to get before I get invited to talk about the impact of blogging and social networks on my life…? Kelly’s doing it already…