Tag Archives: Blogging

Don’t Let It End

I rather miss regularly blogging, regular as in daily or near-daily rather than my current once a week, if that much, pace. Having long ago abandoned all delusions of blogging stardom in favor of hoping my modest little scribbles might prove of value to others, I find myself more often than not stymied by all that nasty real life stuff so obnoxiously interfering with said scribbling … as is amply evidenced by the fact this is my first post here in over a year. Oops. Add into this the issues caused by my ever-lurking thorn in the mind otherwise known as the depression monster, and it’s easy to see why the words don’t flow as they did before.

Blogging is, alas, rapidly going the way of the CD. As a CD is a far superior sonic experience than 99.44% of streaming music conduits, yet is now an afterthought as convenience and disposability of disposable music reigns supreme, so blogging is a far superior communication method than social media for freely expressing complex or deep subjects, yet is now an afterthought in favor of Twitter and/or Facebook hot takes. Never mind there is no control over the platforms and your words there, while no longer your own the moment they are committed to a third party’s digital page, can and will be used against you should you dare step away from the prescribed policies of said third parties. Whenever I see individuals or enterprises wailing loud and long when they are demonetized and/or deplatformed from a social media monolith, only one thought comes to mind: why did you put all your eggs in someone else’s basket in the first place?

There are very few blogs left today compared to blogging’s heyday in the 2000s, when there were seemingly two thousand sites worth visiting. Now? Name any actual blogs – not group sites owned by a media company under whose auspices the select few write for a paycheck, which is course is no sin – you currently read. I occasionally read Ace of Spades, but that’s about it. Most all others have gone away. Which is unfortunate.

I don’t bother writing about politics anymore (hold your applause; I’m still the same curmudgeonly conservative I always was). I’d much rather write about the classic Christian rock I love, or discuss matters of faith, or how we need to take better care of each other and ourselves. Far less wide-reaching in terms of mass appeal than any given well-publicized diatribe about why Politician A is a poopyhead and Politician B is a meanypants, as I’ve well proved to myself. But far more satisfying, and of far greater value.

There is no intention on my part of ever giving up blogging completely. I pay enough for these assorted sites, and they are under my control. I do wish I had more time and energy to compose these modest scribbles, but perhaps this will change. Preferably in a good way. And hopefully my quiet reminders to myself that I need to be more loving and forgiving, more intent on practicing cognitive thinking and cognitive faith so I am better able to take the long view and not be overwhelmed by monotrack reaction to the immediate, will be of benefit to others. I always thank people for reading what I write. Few things mean more than when something I’ve written evokes an unsolicited thankful response.

Don’t let it end.

Back To Basics: The Four Tenets Of The Blogging Evangel

So, after an extended silence that I oft doubted would ever end, I’m back. Had to blow the dust off my password and sweep the cobwebs out of the site, but thankfully it and I are still here.

Choosing a topic on which to hang my return was a tad difficult; it’s not like there’s a dearth of available points of discussion. That duly noted, one demanded immediate attention, that being blogging itself.

Blogging is in danger of becoming the compact disc of social media. It’s a marvelous medium through which to communicate, but in today’s world it is rapidly being superseded by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Why? Brevity and immediacy. The other formats are quick, easy, and instantly before your intended audience. A blog? Well, since no one uses RSS feeds anymore, you have to tell people new content is there (and tell them and tell them and tell them), then hope people will step away from Twitter and Facebook et al long enough to pay your site a visit. The hip and hot social media vessels have apps for most every mobile device. A blog depends on someone opening their browser and entering the address at least once, hopefully bookmarking it while there so it can be more easily accessed should return visits be part of someone’s online media consumption strategy.

Another problem bloggers face in attracting and keeping, along with growing, an audience is the deep level of funk out there about bloggers individually and collectively being unable to get over themselves. Delusion of glory and grandeur abound. It’s high time bloggers individually and collectively get back to basics and what made blogging a vital communication form.

Blogging works only when you remember it’s one voice, one opinion; consider it as you will. When you’re blogging, remember it’s a venue to express your thoughts and opinions on any given subject. That’s all. You are not going to save the world. Hopefully, prayerfully you can help open eyes and minds to truth. Be content with that, as it is futile to frustrate yourself by striving for more when there is no more to be obtained.

When blogging, be yourself and be real. Say your piece, and be at peace. Be consistent with what you say. Be consistent with who you are. Let your words reflect who you are. Don’t be one person online and another away from the computer.

Blog not for social media fame or accolades. Blog from and for the heart; the belief what you have to say can help other people. The echo chamber is already full, and it is not accepting applications. You don’t need it or its residents for validation.

Blogging for a paycheck is not blogging; it’s casual format column writing. Nothing wrong with that, but let’s be honest about what it is. Far, far too many people pass themselves off as bloggers when they are nothing of the kind. Working toward monetizing your blog is not a shame, but should you start straying from yourself and the reasons why you first started blogging you are going down the wrong path.

When blogging, always remember this: no matter what, never, never become what you profess to oppose. You say you’re a citizen journalist speaking truth to power at professional journalists living in ivory towers? Don’t live in one yourself. You say you’re against punditry elitism, where writers speak only to others in the same profession? Don’t do the same thing. You say you’re too busy to answer your emails; that there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done? Too bad. It’s your job.

If you want the “glory” of being a popular blogger, you have to do the necessary work. That involves far more than writing blog posts. To be a successful blogger means you embrace the belief that blogging is a communication tool from one person to another. Every individual who reads one of your blog posts is an individual, and deserves to be treated as such. Unless it’s a troll – and not everyone who disagrees with something you say is one – when someone communicates with you, communicate back. They’ve taken the time to read and respond to your writing. Simple, common courtesy dictates you do the same.

Again, unless it’s a troll, answer your emails. Every time. Respond to tweets and Facebook posts. Every time. It takes very little time to type a simple “thank you.” Do it.

The wise blogger does not see him or herself as a great written orator, or leader of people. The wise blogger does not see him or herself as one blessing teeming throngs with every word of wisdom that comes from their fingertips. The wise blogger sees him or herself as a retail clerk whose livelihood depends on the quality of service they provide all who come by.

Think about the pleasant retail experiences you have had. What is the common thread that connects all of these times? Invariably, part or all of it was interaction with a worker who was friendly, personable, knowledgeable, and genuinely helpful.

As it is in retail, so it is in blogging. The blogger who treats their audience with respect and as a welcomed guest will succeed. The blogger who treats their audience with distain, or believes its sole purpose is to praise their words of wisdom, will fail.

We say we must change the culture. Well, culture change happens one person at a time. Culture change happens when you reach one person, one heart and mind, with ideas that helps them see things in a new light. Culture change comes when we talk with people, not to them.

Be a positive force for change. Treat people as you yourself wish to be treated. This includes blogging. Interact with your readers as you yourself wish other writers would interact with you. Not as a haughty lord, but rather as an equal.

To summarize, please remember the four tenets of the blogging evangel.

First, the ability to broadcast your opinion neither elevates nor validates said opinion.

Second, blog from, and for, the heart; not a paycheck.

Third, answer your email. Every time.

Fourth, and most important of all, never become what you profess to oppose. Never.

May I always follow these tenets.