Wednesday, May 12, 2004

reinventing my blog, for the first time

I've thinking about my purpose for this blog, why I write and why the way I do. I recently came across this from pressthink that summarizes how I think about this blog. Maybe you all can relate. Do you all feel the need to write often, in short bursts, to keep readership up, or to keep people intersted? I know I've felt that pressure.

from the pressthink post:
"Why are PressThink posts so long?

When I started asking around about how to do a weblog, I got many kinds of answers. The one advisory every informant gave was: you must write in short bursts. That's the style, some said. That's what works, said others. And, most suspicious of all, that's what busy, web-cruising readers expect. They don't have time for your leisurely thesis, I was told. By everyone.

So you decided to be contrarian and go the other way?

No, contrarians are annoying. I didn't set out to write long essays; it happened as I tried to turn my ideas into posts that said something others weren't saying, and got some notice. I set out to be unrestricted: free to figure out for myself what works, what PressThink wants to be.

"People don't have time for..." reasoning was meaningless to me, and I didn't trust it. It wanted to restrict my freedom to write what I think, but the whole purpose in starting PressThink was liberation: "Wow, my own magazine. Now I can write what I think." It's the same for most webloggers, I would guess. My interest was users who did have time for depth, in whatever number they may prove to exist, ocean to ocean, post to post.

But it's more like: this is my magazine, PressThink... If you like it, return. In a tiny and abstract way, perhaps, my blog is part of the media marketplace, competing for eyeballs with re-runs of Law and Order. But not really. PressThink, a free citizen in a voluntary nation, doesn't have to behave like a market actor. Thus my experiment in long form."

I'm pretty much in agreement with pressthink. So along those lines, i'll probably continue writing once (maybe twice) a week like I have been, posting little essays on what i'm reading and reflecting on. what writing stategies do you all use, or appreciate in other blogs? Why do you all do what you do?

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