Some late-night thoughts on blogging. I've been reading a lot of blogs recently. It seems that every website now *has* to have a blog, whether it's a winery, a magazine, a merchant or an agent. Somebody gets lumped with the job of blogging, or more commonly a team of people are required to provide the content. While I'm fully convinced about the effectiveness of the blog as a communication medium, I'm frequently underwhelmed by the blogs out there. Most of them just don't work. Why?
1. A blog has to have a voice. Multi-author blogs frequently lack this.
2. Content: what is written has to be interesting. It has to engage the reader. For this to happen, a blogger has to have something to say, which means that the blogger in question has to be a bit of a thinker.
3. Style: for a blog to be interesting, it has to be well written. Most people can't write. Writing can't really be taught, although people who can write can be trained to write better. Remember: just because you are smart, or because you are important, it doesn't mean you can write.
4. Conversation: blogs are about conversations with the readers. Most blogs from companies fail here: the authors are writing largely for their employers, not for their readers. There's a lack of genuine communication.
5. Disclosure: your readers need to get to know you. I guess this overlaps with (1). I'm probably not so good with this one. I'd like to disclose more about who I am and what makes me tick, but it feels a bit risky on a publically visible platform such as this.