Saturday, March 12, 2011

Me and Julian Assange

This post has nothing to do with Julian Assange. It’s about writing for the web.

I’ve been blogging for over four years now, and I’m still a little clueless about the way things work in the blogosphere. I write because I like to write, and I write about things I care about. The finished product is something I want to feel good about.

Some posts are inevitably better than others. However, I don’t write a bunch of junk just because I think it will get hits. I also don’t write provocative headlines to get hits.

When I started blogging, I naively thought that good writing and consistent posting would earn me some readers. Over the years, I’ve gained and lost quite a few readers, but I’ve never picked up a large following. Part of that is my fault for being deficient in the consistency department. I guess another reason for my low readership is not playing the game correctly.

For lots of bloggers, the key to success is to write posts with little or no substance and give them catchy titles, like “Your Mom Thinks You’re a Loser!”

Actually, I’d read that post, because I’m not sure which side of that fence my mom falls on. But she loves me, dammit!

If you’re blogging in an effort to earn money, clicks equal cash, I suppose you do what you have to do. I’m still clinging to the outdated idea that content quality matters.

I’ve got blogging on my mind, because of this article in The Times about blogging and how it’s changing. My regular readers know I'm also struggling with what the future holds for Brim.

Writing anything of any worth on a regular basis is hard work, and blogs are no different. I can relate to the feeling of pouring time and effort into something and having very few people pay attention. Recently I’ve gotten some very nice compliments on Brim, which really does mean the world to me.

I write because I have thoughts, ideas and opinions that need to see the light of day. I write because I want to share the things that bring me joy–and sorrow. I write because I am a writer, and that’s what we do.

Just the other day, I stumbled on this article from The Times Magazine about how Amazon is peddling narrative nonfiction. It gives me hope that maybe good writing isn’t dying a slow death. It also makes me think more seriously about getting a Kindle.

I especially like the last line of the story. It's something I often say.

Thanks for reading.

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