Blogging Confusion

Funny to admit this nearly 150 posts into my blog, but I really don’t know what I’m doing.

I’ve read a few posts in the last few months about what should and should not be blogged, and I’ve begun to learn the art of linking in context. But then I hear of people promising not to talk about personal, political, religious, or off-topic stuff. (I can say from experience that it’s hard to be off-topic when there’s no defined topic, but this breaks the cardinal rule of blogging: build yourself a niche and write to that niche.) I’ve heard that people prefer short posts (hmmm, I’m not always very good at that one). And I’ve learned some of the mechanics of blogging. (Imagine my surprise when I learned, completely by accident, that if I linked to someone else’s blog they would be able to “see” me! I wasn’t sure if this was cool or terrifying.)

Even so, I often find myself wondering whether a particular post is “appropriate” for this blog, or I visit someone else’s blog and see the skill that can only come from experience, and I have to admit that I’m utterly clueless. I can’t even define “appropriate” posts for myself, so how can I be expected to make consistent decisions?

I’ve begun to realize that blogging, like letter writing, is an art as much as a skill. The only difference that I can see is that they teach the mechanics of letter writing in school (or, at least, they used to).

All I can say is that I’ll keep writing and learning. Tips would be appreciated, though I reserve the right to disregard them entirely.

P.S. Ten points to the first person to guess how long it took me to figure out if this post was “appropriate.”

11 thoughts on “Blogging Confusion

  1. Eh, niche, schniche. I think you should write about whatever you feel like writing about. I mean, if you don’t write about it, who will? People are under no obligation to read what you write, but you’re under no obligation to write what people expect to read.

  2. You got nothing to worry about.

    Some people–like me–tend not to write things that are very personal on their library blogs. People have different reasons. My major reason is that my blog is currently hosted by MPOW, and, even though I have pretty free rein (reign? rain? I know, I could look it up…), I don’t think it too “appropriate” to post photos of the kids, etc. So I do it elsewhere.

    Other people make their library blogs more open, more just their own personal blog where they happen to write about library stuff a lot.

    In your case, Iris, just keep mixing up interesting thoughts on libraries with great, funny, posts like the previous one and you have a winning combination.

  3. I enjoy your blog as is Iris. Even if you aren’t sure what you are doing, your blog is becoming something worth reading. I think it is up to you to make up your own mind about what is appropriate!! More . . .

  4. Aw, shucks guys, thanks.

    But I don’t know about telling a librarian there aren’t rules! I might just melt, or explode. I (ahem) always follow rules… Really.

    Steve, what’s the story behind “Hatchibombotar?” He looks like Babar from the kids books.

  5. Hatchibombotar is the street sweeper in the Babar books. I love the name, and whenever my son Luke and I read Babar, whenever we come to his name, I read it very loud, like “HATCH-I-BOMB-O-TAR!” If I forget, and read it in a normal voice, Luke makes me go back and do it again.

    One nice thing about the name, is that it is almost never taken when I need to create a new login somewhere.

  6. I seem to be offering variations on this comment various places, but:

    Here’s what I believe the New Rules for Worthwhile Blogging to be:

    1. Post about what matters to you. That’s likely to change over time.

    2. Post when you have something to say.

    3. Take as many words to say it as it needs.

    4. Think for a couple of seconds about what you’re about to release to humanity in general–but don’t obsess over it.

    5. Don’t worry about huge readership, a niche, or anything else. Do what you’re doing and the right readers will find you.

    Sez I, who found you a while back…

  7. Steve, I just have to say that I’ve been walking around all day with your voice (which I don’t actually know, so it’s a lower version of my voice) in my head booming “HATCH-I-BOMB-O-TAR!!!” with much resonance.

    Your son is right. There really is no other good way to say that name.

  8. Hilarious. I’ll have to record a little sound file of me saying the name & Luke too, if I can get him to do it.

    My voice isn’t all that deep. I’m not really an elephant.

  9. The elephants I’ve heard have all had rather high, nasal voices. Screechy, almost. I sure HOPE you’re not an elephant!

    But I would like to hear you and Luke.

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