I must admit, this is my first blog post. I have never been a person who has been willing to explore new Internet territories without a guide. So who am I to be taming this beast? I love reading blogs. I find them useful for gaining insight to different topics I don’t have experience with, or even just to learn about places I plan to go and remember places I’ve been. Reading blogs is also a fabulous method of understanding public opinion about various political and social issues all over the world. Lastly, it is an easy way of keeping track of loved ones wandering the planet in far off lands – many of my friends who live abroad share their experiences through a blog.
In my blog-reading experience, I have found 3 behaviors that the most well-mannered blog beasts share:
- Good writing! My favorite blog is hilarious, well written, witty and original. The writer always has some type of theme that threads through each topic, there are visuals, and the information given is accurate. Spell check is available – bloggers should use it. There is nothing more repelling than a blog with numerous spelling errors.
- Organization matters. It is important for the blog to be organized and approachable so that a first time reader can stumble on the page and navigate it easily.
- Last and perhaps most important, balance between sharing personal experiences to benefit others and criticizing is essential. One of the first blogs I ever followed was by a friend who I lived abroad with. She typically wrote about the day-to-day adventures we experienced while immersed in a culture so different from our own. She became a part of a blogging community that met monthly to discuss tips for writing, travel and living abroad in general. One of the ‘tips’ my friend received from a more seasoned blogger was to be more ‘cut throat.’ This advice, in my opinion, was terribly misunderstood. My friend ended up writing a blog that was unnecessarily critical and hurtful about the community we lived in. Not only did she lose many readers after this particular posting, but it caused a pretty big fight among friends. It seems that there is a delicate balance in the blogging world, between writing to please the readers and voicing your true opinion.
I am looking forward to the experience of learning more about blogging throughout this course, utilizing what we learn from readings and each other to tame and befriend the beast.