Wednesday, July 12, 2006

List of things bloggers should understand

Another Blogger posted a list of "9 Things Every Blogger Should Understand." I found the list interesting, so I wanted to take a little time and reflect on it a little bit. Here are the items, with my comments in italics:

1. Every reader has an opinion… and they’re all correct in their own mind.
Which is why I pretty much stay away from most major political issues and other divisive items. People will have their opinions, and usually, once they have locked onto it, it is impossible to change it. Such people would not let something like facts bother them. At any rate, this is why I pretty much let people comment freely on my blogs, as long as it is not inappropriate, namely obscene or rude.

2. Posting the same things as everyone else will render you invisible.
3. The corrolary to the previous item: posting unique content is the way to get noticed.

I think these two are fairly obvious. I am not aiming to be noticed. If it happens, it happens. However, I see no point in blogging about something that the rest of the biblioblogosphere has beaten to a pulp. As for other issues outside of librarianship, a lot of people cover them in better ways. In my case, I am pretty proud of the fact that I can fly under the radar. For people who are aiming to get fame, then this should be a rule. Then again, if you are just a small blogger, aim for something interesting too.

4. It is better to have your controversial posts read by folks who disagree with you than those who are on your side.

The blogger says that saying "me too" is boring, but in this case, I will have to bore you then. It makes sense. The only problem is when you get the people from number one who decide to use flames because they disagree.

5. Only a very small percentage of your readers will leave comments.

Thanks you two.

6. It will likely be the same folks leaving comments over and over again.

Thanks for coming back you two.

7. A hit counter is useless in and of itself.

I have never felt the urge to put a counter in my blogs. The blogger says that having a single hit counter is very 1997. If readers come, welcome. If not, I hope they find good reading in other places.

8. Don’t bitch about traffic (or lack thereof) unless you’ve taken the time to analyze your web logs with a decent stats package.

Won't get any bitching from me on that regard. The blogger does give a couple of quick hints on stats package if you are interested in any future bitching.

9. Not having your blog hosted on your own domain is setting yourself up for failure when you need to move it or your web host (goes away / is no longer free / changes its policies / pick your own fate).

This I have heard in a few places. One of these days, I may have to get a domain and get the blog(s) hosted. I do back up my blogs, in a very simple way, but the stuff will not be lost if fate strikes. At this point in time, for a little peon like me, a cheap service like this one works ok.

Overall, some good points to think about folks. Take a look, see what you think. Maybe people can add to the list too.

A hat tip to The Blog Herald.

Update note (7/31/06): CW at Ruminations has been writing about blogging recently. CW pointed to two lists on how to blog. One is by Paul Stamatiou and the other by Tony Pierce. I personally like Pierce's better as well, has more color. Pierce's item #13 was one of my favorites: "if you havent written about sex, religion, and politics in a week youre probably playing it too safe, which means you probably fucked up on #5, in which case start a second blog and keep your big mouth shut about it this time." If you go over and read number five, it will make more sense. However, maybe I should be writing more about the things not spoken about in polite company. It's the reason the Itinerant Librarian came to life. Then again, when you hate politics, and really have no use for religion, it can be hard to want to write about that on the blog. Now sex, I definitely enjoy that. Anyhow, both lists are worth a look.


Mark said...

You're welcome! ;)

Jenne said...


Worrying about traffic is so 1998. All the blogger can control is the content-- traffic has a mind of its own. I've been blogging since 1998 and watched some people become hugely famous (as far as bloggers go) and others stay obscure-- and there wasn't always an obvious reason. It's far more fun to just do your thing and if others like it, great!

Aaron B. Hockley said...

You might be interested in a follow-up post I just made specifically dealing with blog stats:

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Mark: Welcome back.

Jenne: Thanks for stopping by. I kind of figured the content was about the only thing I had control of when I started blogging. Indeed, just do it for the fun and go from there.

Aaron: Thanks, I will take a look. It seems Blogger "broke" the link, so readers, here is the link again (, which I hope will help.

To all, thanks and best. Keep on blogging.