My Reflection on "Blogs as Clubhouses"

As I mentioned in my last entry, I am still relatively new to blogging. So again, reading “Blogs as Clubhouses” was good to give me a little more insight into this new little world of its own. In the opening paragraphs of her blog, I liked how Suzanne Stefanac took all of the words that blogging critics use to put down this underground society of sorts, and she used the origins and etymology of these negative terms to just throw it right back in the faces of those who oppose her. In today’s language, dilettantes, amateurs, and cults may be used in the context of insulting terms; however, if you look back at the Latin roots of these words, the critics have actually described bloggers as delightful, loving people who are cultivating their own little community of blogs. And from my understanding as of late, that is exactly what blogging is. It’s a way for people to branch out, share ideas, let some steam off, or just simply pursue a passion (as odd or unusual as some may be).

It was also nice to learn some basic, beginner pointers for creating/maintaining a blog. From these pointers I have gained that the best way to run a successful blog is simply to be yourself. Without any “Google cred,” as Mr. Jalopy calls it, people aren’t really going to be searching for your blogs immediately; people are just going to kind of stumble upon them. So here’s how I look at it, if I was bored one day and just kind of browsing around the web, I’m not going to stop and read something if it doesn’t look interesting, and I’m not going to keep reading it if it doesn’t hold my interest. So what’s the best way to hold the attention of your audience? Chances are the people that have stopped to read your blog share something in common with you or your writing, so if you want to keep them satisfied just write your entries just as you think your thoughts. Stefanac points out a few of the ordinary points in writing, which most of us have been hearing over and over again for years, such as “do it for love, not money or fame,” “tie everything into the same topic,” “be creative, entertaining, and to the point,” “write to your audience,” and (my favorite) “don’t give up, just stick with it.” But she points out the most important tip when it comes to authoring a blog is, (as some of us may have already encountered through other pieces of writing) including your personality into your writing. Keep it exciting. Brutal honesty and a well-engineered opinion will always keep people reading. To quote Stefanac, the most successful blogs “are those that not only highlight the authors’ obsessions, but that also serve as showcases of their personality.”

Personally, I think Mr. Jalopy said it best in his interview. We all know that when your writing for print, there are obstacles such as a certain length, clarity, cleanness, and correct grammar. But when writing for a blog, there are no limits. No rules. No Boundaries. It couldn’t have been put any more precisely than Mr. Jalopy’s statement describing when he’s writing for his “Hooptyrides” blog:

“When I am writing for Hooptyrides, I am writing for my buddies. Fast and loose, peppered with dirty words and outrageous statements.”

To me it seems that’s precisely why people enjoy both reading and writing blogs. It’s our chance to break out of the norm, create our own style, and escape from the daily routine of listening to what the media/government has to say.

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