So You Have a Blog — Good For You

Ok, this is being spread around, so I need to canonize it.

The official answer to anyone who tells you that they have a blog is (say it with me now):

“Oh, so what do you complain about?”

Man, there are so many good reasons to say this. Let’s name a few to make sure we’re on the same page, ok?

  1. You don’t have to hear them go on and on about their blog. This is actually the most important reason– anyone who thinks their blog is a big deal needs to be cut down to size a little bit. If you need another topic of conversation, may I suggest how totally awesome Twitter is?
  2. They won’t complain in their next post. So basically, the whole blogosphere is made slightly better every time you say it. Do it enough and I think it’ll raise the mood/consciousness of the whole planet. I’m not kidding.
  3. They may stop complaining on their blog altogether. Some blogs, let’s face it, are about 50% customer service complaints, 30% top ten lists, 15% complaining about A-list bloggers, and a few other percentage points separated among the other usual suspects (your cat, etc). You don’t need a blog for this. Everyone knows complaining is what Twitter is for.
  4. They may never bring up their blog again. One of the great things about this tac-nuke of a response is that it will cause people to become afraid of it– and they’ll stop bringing up their blog entirely. Try asking about someone’s non-web life instead– that way you may actually get to know them instead of trying to get out of the conversation because all they’re talking about is web crap.

Do you see the problem here? We have these stupid habits we fall back on every time we meet someone new in this space. Like “What do you do?” they’ve become the routines we use when we run out of stuff to say, but everyone uses the same ones, so all they do is bore people.

There are many other conversations we need to wipe out of tech-conference circles.

Which ones are you sick of?





5 responses to “So You Have a Blog — Good For You”

  1. Julien Avatar

    PS: None of the irony/circularity of this being written on a blog is lost on the author, thanks. 🙂

  2. Elie Kochman Avatar

    Nice way to sum up the vast majority of blogs – incredibly accurate. Ironically, you have just complained on your blog about people complaining on their blogs (not that it will stop me from coming back).

    I was looking for more blogs to follow, not for the complaints, but for informative articles, critical reviews, etc. Unfortunately, most of the blogs I was initially referred to drove me away by the incessant complaining. Maybe this article will help get rid of some of that.

  3. Whitney Avatar

    I think anyone with a blog is guilty of some of this, because a blog is a personal soapbox. The challenge is to get people to change their mindset in general to something more positive. Think about highlighting great experiences, rather than being cynical. Share something you know something about that might help others (My recent FTC posts have been about trying to get people to understand them, rather than be reactionary or only parrot what other people say.)
    Think of your blog as your op-ed opportunity- if you could write something for the newspaper, what would it be? What would it say about you? How can you use this soapbox to help solve a problem, fix a problem, get others interested in a topic they may not have thought of…
    As a highlight, this also makes your unique point of view more visible and makes your blog a heck of a lot more fun to read than a typical “Yeah, and life sucks and here’s why” post.
    Chris Penn does a great job of this. Julien obviously does, as do a bunch of other blogs out there- the best posts are great conversation starters, here and in your real, person to person life.

  4. Amber Whitener Avatar

    When you are in a darker mood, you can go find people to complain with. When you are searching for positivity, you will find that too. I think these diverse bloggers are equally as important. It places a sort of new balance in the world.

    I get discouraged by the ones who go around and comment viciously simply because they are trying to make the blogger appear ignorant on their topic, or just looking to bring others into a bad mood with them.

  5. Brent the Closet Geek Avatar

    I don’t think I get why talking about your blog is a bad thing.

    I wish people would bring up their online lives more often, but for most people I know, where they go and what they do online doesn’t come up.

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