The Mythology of Blogging

BlogHer Original Post

Kassia Krozser's article at Booksquare about her trip to the recent Book Expo American (BEA) pointed out some myths about online life and blogging. Surprisingly, these are things that writers and publishers themselves seem to believe.

In (Online) Myths Overheard at BEA 2008, Kassia explored these myths:

- You have to blog six times a day
- Blogs are omelettes
- It’s too late to start a [fill-in-the-blanks] blog
- You don’t need a website, you just need a Facebook page
- Email is dead
- Most people don’t read blogs

Kassia commented on each of her pionts, here's my favorite example.

Blogs are omelettes: I actually walked out of a session after hearing this one. As with above, the speaker was working with a very narrow definition of “blog”. Had he said “some blogs are like omelettes”, I might have agreed. But he meant that blog are like omelettes — in that they’re thrown together quickly — while magazine articles are artisan cheese, carefully crafted and cultivated until they reach the ripe point of perfection.

Once again, blog = tool. Don’t confuse the technology with the message.

My friend Carrie keeps talking about how cool her mom is. I went to Carrie's birthday party the other day and finally got to meet her mom, who is dynamite on legs. She's a writer and the conversation ran to blogging. She said, "I always wanted to start a blog, but it seems so overwhelming."

I answered, "No, you go to wordpress.com, say you want a blog, answer a few questions, and you're a blogger. Five minutes, tops."

I was happy to dispel that myth for her, because my bet is that she's about to take on blogging. I know she has a huge backlog of material she could publish on a blog.

Now, if my friend wants to customize a blog at all, she may be thinking I promoted a myth of extreme ease when talking about blogging. Do you think that getting the blog and entering interesting content is enough for the techno-newbie? Do you know of some successful blogs that are all about the content with not much customization of the appearance?

Lorelle VanFossen's article in the Blog Herald, Want More Comments: Start a Conversation takes on myths about comments.

Let’s clear some myths about comments up first.

Comments are not an indication no one is reading your blog. They are the start of a conversation.

There are many sites on the web, including blogs, which get high traffic and make great money and have nary a comment. These are considered successes. There are also low traffic blogs that get hundreds of comments a week, and these are also considered successes. Blog success is defined by your personal standards, but if you want blog comments, you have to start the conversation from within the blog content.

If you want comments, you have to invite the conversation. You have to encourage someone to answer back. You need to help them help you keep talking.

Big Foot Web Marketing has a whole series about myths around blog links. In Link Myths Part 2. “I am encouraging my site visitors to leave my blog”, Lisa Stewart makes several points, including,

When is okay okay to send people to other sites?

- If the site is an “authority site” and backs up a statement or theory you are trying to make or prove.
- If the link will further benefit your reader. If you are writing an article and you can outlinking [sic] to another article that give more detail than you are able to manage i.e a video tutorial.

Were there any myths about blogging that held you back when you were getting started? Or that you found not to be true once you got going?

Recent Posts by Virginia DeBolt

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