Monday, April 3, 2006

Of trolling and what makes a good blog

It is now about 3 weeks since I started my blog and it is taking some sort of shape. I have been surprised by my ability to write at all. Writing, and creativity in general, are things that I do not think I have got. I am under no illusions about the quality of my writing but I have really been amazed by the way in which I can sit at my PC and write anything at all. There have always been plenty of random thoughts going on in my head but it is a new development for me to try and put some of that on paper (screen).

Up until recently I had always struggled to think and write into a keyboard. I would imagine most people reading this are very used to the act of thinking something and then sitting at a PC and transferring their thoughts straight onto the screen but for me, the ability to do that is only a very recent development. Before starting to blog I used to write anything on paper, then read and edit it and then type it onto a PC. So I have gained a new skill in a few weeks and, if I learn nothing else from blogging, then this new skill will be a big positive for me.

A question I ask myself often is "What makes a good blog?" I think the first element of the answer would be that you have to know your target audience. Now the biggest problem I have in devising a strategy for my blog is that I don't know what my target audience is. The blog started as a means for me to write whatever I fancy, regardless of who may read it. I suppose, at 40, with a few contrasting interests in my life I may have the ability to write about subjects that interest different types of people. On the other hand I am no real expert in any of these areas.

There is blogger who now trolls kottu and writes totally negative and nasty entries about most of its bloggers. I find this cheap and unnecessary but one of the features of the internet is that it accessible to anyone and they can say anything they want. I genuinely think that the troll is quite funny but the novelty will no doubt wear off.

This new troll is causing quite an uproar amongst the kottu bloggers. It is far too easy to read other people's blogs, then write negative things about the author. I strongly suspect that none of the victims like the things this person has said but they are hanging on every word with baited breath, like I am! This chap (or girl) is now being threatened with physical violence and there are all sorts of attacks and counter attacks flying around. Admirably (in my opinion) the owners of Kottu have continued to let this blog be listed on kottu, which is possibly the ultimate demonstration of rising above the insults, particularly when they have been directed at the very core of its bloggers.

One of my aims with my blog is to sound positive. In fact that is possibly the only guideline I have set myself so far. So, I will continue on, please leave comments if you desire, I want to know the opinion of my small circle of readers!

As for what makes a good blog. I haven't got a clue to be honest.


Sweet Idiot said...

I'm no expert - but just be honest and be yourself - for me - that's the makings of a good blog! :) Good Luck!

Janin said...

In a word content - Fill your blog with it and avoid the personal stuff if possible - The Troll thrives on personal content that is in your blog. If you do put personal stuff on be prepared to have it dissected by the troll. And just respect trolls opinion since replying and justification just infatuates the Pada.

sittingnut said...

sweet idiot is right. be honest.
i don't think we should avoid personal stuff just bc some nutter may make use of it. write what you are comfortable with.
you are right about kottu. it was great the way indi dealt with it.
btw its good to have somebody older than me at last. :-)

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Of course in my case age does not equal wisdom though! I like to think of myself as immature as the next man.

Darwin said...

Be yourself, write whatever you want, ignore the trolls and use them to optimise the entertainment you provide for your readers by picking them apart. Trolls are generally quite stupid and it is good fun indeed to pick at them. However don't lose perspective and make it all about troll-bashing (because that is very addictive) because people get bored easily (because trolls are boring).


sittingnut said...

age never equals wisdom, don't worry. :-)