Friday, May 11, 2007

my advice on blogging... don't follow advice.

so there's this columnist on yahoo who i always unintentionally run into by clicking little headlines like "Five Steps to Being More Productive," "Breaking the Perfection Habit" or "Four Ways to Make a Bad Job Good." the author is successful, "her syndicated column has run in more than 200 publications... she was a software executive... founded two companies... has been through an IPO, an acquisition and a bankruptcy... before that she played professional beach volleyball..." blah blah blah, says the bio on her website. the problem... her articles resemble something i wrote when i was freshman in college. they're weak!! she lists common sense in a numerical order and then throws in some quotes from books or the internet. i'm not the most affluent writer, but i am a critical editor. i love finding grammatical errors as much as i love making them. anyway, let's get to my point...

i find an article she wrote for The Boston Globe titled "Blogs 'essential' to a good career," in which she and a professor from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena makes the following recommendation...

"But pick your topics carefully and have a purpose. ''The most interesting blogs are focused and have a certain attitude," says van Allen. ''You need to have a guiding philosophy that you stick to. You cannot one minute pontificate on large issues of the world and the next minute be like, 'My dog died.' ""

that's great advice for... business executives. (but, personally i love those blogs fueled by the contempt of a 9-to-5 cubical job written by someone who wants to "stick it to the man"). when i see a blog that only caters to new gadgets or celebrity gossip or personal philosophies, i stop reading. i get bored. i need variety. i want to connect with someone or something, find the familiar in the unfamiliar. the truth is, people are nosy. that's why reality shows are still popular. they love the one-sided bond between self-identity and the personal life of a stranger.

on paper, employers are more interested in your career. online, employers want to investigate your personal life. that's why it's beneficial to combine the two. show you are a dedicated worker, but also show you have a life outside of work. how wouldn't it be beneficial for an employer to discover than you both share an obsession for receiving positive feedback on ebay??? those quirks allow people to relate to you. if you're a creative professional giving your blog address to clients, it's true that you should slightly monitor your content, but don't void it of personality. show future employers you are a loyal friend, a pet lover, a multi-tasker or an avid mini golfer. you never know where it will take you.

so in the world of blogging, remember why buffets are so appealing... because there's a variety!! just make sure to keep your content hot.

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