Tag Archives: Blogs

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Blogging, But Were Afraid To Ask

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 Today as I watched Julie & Julia, for the fourth or fifth time, can’t remember which, I started thinking about blogs and where they came from. After all, the blog is a phenomenon that didn’t even exist twenty years ago. If you were a writer of any sort back then, you either had to be published somewhere, or your musings were simply diaries to entertain yourself, and maybe your closest friends or family members, and document your life after you got too old to remember it. Nowadays, thanks to the ease and accessibility of the blog, anyone can become a published writer, and sometimes a celebrity, like the considerably less perky and sweet than she was portrayed in the movie, Ms. Julie Powell. I have my own blog now, just like the rest of the free world. It will never make me a celebrity, I’m almost positive of that, but it gives me an outlet for my creative side, and as Amy Adams so charmingly put it in the movie, “I could write a blog. I have thoughts!”

I realized today that I know almost nothing about the history of blogging. It’s like one day blogging was unheard of, and the next, everybody had one and they were oozing from every corner of the World Wide Web. Some are better than others, some make it and some don’t, and some are even written by professional journalists or celebrity writers. Never one to let anything rest once my curiosity is sparked, I went looking for some answers about where blogging came from, who did it first, how it became mainstream, and how many blogs and bloggers there are out there in cyberspace.

I found out some fascinating things…for instance:

The blog was “invented”, for all intents and purposes, by this guy…

Jorn Barger

  • Barger was the first to use the term “Weblog” on December 17, 1997 to refer to his links on the web, at his site, “Robot Wisdom”, which is still an active blog.
  • The United States is the country with the most bloggers, roughly 29%, the majority of whom reside in California, which is home to approximately 15% of all the bloggers—anywhere.
  • The ratio of male to female bloggers is just about equal—49.1% Male, to 50.9% Female. Go Mommy Bloggers!
  • Bloggers are a young-ish bunch of folks, most of whom are between the ages of 21 and 35. Am I too old for this gig???
  • We’re a BIG group…as of February 2011, there were over 156 Million public blogs in the world! As of March, make that plus one—yours truly. 🙂
  • As of today, the most influential blog in the universe is said to be The Huffington Post, followed closely by TechCrunch, Mashable!, Engadget, and my personal favorite for my daily “OMG, I can’t believe he or she did that/said that/wore that!”, TMZ.
  • And according to some guy named Andrew, a blogger, the following traits are what make a good blog post:
  1. Minimize your personal life—but don’t ignore it.
  2. People want to hear about success.
  3. People want to hear about what they can do to become successful.
  4. If you love what you’re writing about, you’ll dig deeper.
  5. Linking to other bloggers is a good idea.
  6. If everyone else has reported it, put a good spin on it, or ignore it.
  7. Use images.
  8. Back away from overused and tired out blogging trends.
  9. Create controversy.
  10. Write what you feel, when you feel it. If the information is wrong, so be it.

That’s good advice, Andrew! You have just given me permission to back away from being Glenda the Good, and not cite any of the factoids I’ve just blogged. You have no idea how hard that is for a grad student…sometimes I dream in APA format. But, it feels good to be bad…;-) How’s that for controversy? I will, however, link back to Andrew’s blog because those really are some great tips!

27 Days,15 Blog Posts,4 Readers, and 1 Healthy Dose of Cynicism

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This morning, before I drove my son to school, I followed what has now become my typical weekday routine–I stumbled to the kitchen to put on a pot of strong coffee and made my boys’ breakfast. Then I sat down with my laptop, steaming coffee mug in hand to check my email, vote for myself in the More Beauty Contest, check the morning stats on my blog (zero, as usual), and read Freshly Pressed. I had to laugh when I saw a comment from a fellow blogger that said most of the comments on that particular Freshly Pressed blog were “junk”, because he saw the same 10 names at the top of the comments of every Freshly Pressed blog, and those folks were just trying to increase the hits on their own pages. BURN! You guys are so busted!!! Ha-Ha-Ha! Oh…wait… he’s talking about me too. :::sheepishly looking around the empty room, slumping shoulders, and blushing:::

In my particular case, my cynical friend is partly right I guess. I first began to visit Freshly Pressed each day because I wanted to see how the game is played by learning from the apparent chosen elite. I sit on the Board of a local nonprofit here in town, and we recently attended a strategic planning session for our organization which included both Board and Staff. The facilitator was a highly educated professional who also happened to be an immigrant from the Philippines who came to the United States many years ago as a young man. He began our session by drawing broad comparisons between strategic planning and the strategies typically applied by a foreigner in a foreign land. He said that he, and most other immigrants, will be very quiet at first when they enter a foreign culture…they will sit back and observe how the game is played so that when they do begin to interact they will be more successful.

So, when I started my blog here on WordPress, I did so as an immigrant to the foreign land of blogging. And it doesn’t take a newbie long to learn that those who make Freshly Pressed must be doing it right. As I read over some of the postings that made the home page, most of which I actually did enjoy reading, I began to, like my wonderful facilitator, learn how the game is played.

Now dear readers, all four of you, as you know I have spent the last 12 years of my life studying all aspects of Business Management and I also have an unapologetic capitalistic free market mindset. So naturally I recognized a stellar marketing venue when I saw one. In other words, I’m no dummy, and I realized that if I were to comment on a current Freshly Pressed blog, more readers would notice my blog too. And so I did. But, and this is the honest truth or may the lightening crackling outside my window now strike my lying butt down, I truly only comment on the ones I liked, and only then if I have something substantive and interesting to say. And, guess what? It does work—I have gotten a miniscule number of hits on my own blog via traffic driven by my comments. Yay! In yo face, Cynical Exposure Boy! Ha!

I’ve learned a few things since I started blogging earlier this month. First of all, this is no longer a novelty—blogging has become a saturated industry. My business management saturated brain tells me that anyone starting a blog to “get rich quick” somehow or attain Snooki-like insta-fame is deluding themselves. You will be one of many, and you may never rise to the top—the crème de la crème of WordPress’ Freshly Pressed or otherwise. You have to be okay with that to survive, and luckily I am. I started this blog, I think, for all the right reasons. I have always loved to write, and it comes naturally to me, therefore is a fun, relaxing, and therapeutic hobby. I had other reasons too, the most impactful of which is something I covered in a previous blog—the sudden death of my dear friend Mark this past January. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and frankly I am still trying to process it and work through my sadness and grief. In addition to that, the death of a peer really does make a person think a lot about their own life—how short it really is, and all those items on the bucket list that are just sitting there, waiting to be checked off.

I’ve always wanted to do something with my writing…since I was very young. In fact, when I attempted college the first time, my major was Journalism. I wanted to become a reporter, a la Lois Lane. College didn’t work out for me at that time in my life, and I abandoned that aspiration. But, I never really stopped writing. Later, I wrote academic papers about business and maintained a straight A average in college this time, and along the way I entertained my friends and family members with short one and two liner funny commentaries in my Facebook status lines, and in response to news articles. So, and again, this is the truth—ultimately, I blog for myself, and you should too. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t hope you would read and maybe even subscribe to WittyBizGal. I do hope that my blog is read and enjoyed by a lot of people and that is why it is a public blog, not a private diary, and that is why I will continue to put my business savvy to good use to try to promote it any way I can.

You know what though? Even if it never grows, and my only subscribers remain myself, my husband, my cousin, and two close friends, I’ll still keep blogging for me and also for even one person who may read one sentence that will make them smile, give them a chuckle, inspire them, or help make their bad day just a little bit better…

Until next time…