May 12, 2005

WaPo on HuffPo and some blogging advice.

Howard Kurtz in the WaPo addresses HuffPo criticism in the blogosphere. He gives me some credit I don't deserve:
Ann Althouse begins with a bit of satire: "Hello everyone! This is my first post!! Ever. I've never posted before! Anyway. . . . . "

"Nothing particularly clever or pithy coming from the celebs, and there's too much verbiage to give them all a chance. No one seems to have given much thought to how to write a blog. Have they even read other blogs?
The italicized quote is not satirical writing by me, just quote selection from a real HuffPo blogpost.

Kurtz also quotes Kevin Drum:
"I guess I don't get it...250 contributors? And 65 posts on the first day? (83% by men, BTW, just to toss another match on the whole women-in-blogging thing.) Is anyone really going to plow through all that?...

"Maybe I'm missing something here. My taste is not everyone's taste, after all. But I read blogs because I enjoy the author's voice and enjoy seeing them engage with the rest of the blogosphere. An enormous dumping ground of miscellaneous paragraphs parachuting out of the sky, on the other hand, doesn't seem that appealing."
Exactly.

Drum links to Marc Cooper to note that HuffPo got 8 million hits on the first day. Ah! I bet it was all bloggers like me looking for stuff to make fun of. I'm sure I hit the site at least 20 times!

And I thoroughly agree with Cooper about the widely-linked Nikke Finke piece (which I haven't mentioned before because I thought it was too stupid to talk about): Who cares if David Geffen doesn't blog?

Another thing about that Nikke Finke piece -- now that I'm bothering to talk about it: It's ridiculous to compare a blog to a movie -- as she did -- and to judge it a "bomb." When a reviewer sees a movie, that's it, that's the whole movie. You can say if it's good or bad. But a blog is a continuing flow of material. It might develop into something good. It might start big and peter out. You can't make a final call on the first day.

In fact, I don't like when bloggers make a big thing out of their first day and say "Look at me, I'm launching a new blog!" Why not blog low-profile for a while and get a feel for what your voice is going to be, what makes a good post, how to mix up the subject matter? Then one day when you've got a particularly good post on a subject some prominent blogger would want to link to, send out an email on that post. Then if you get a link and people follow it, they'll see this is some kind of a real blog over here -- there's a whole flow going on -- and that link will have some potential to lead to a regular readership. That's what I did.

4 comments:

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Many excellent points here. It's further evidence of your mastery of this medium.

Harkonnendog said...

"The italicized quote is not satirical writing by me, just quote selection from a real HuffPo blogpost."

HAHAHAHAHA! Even Scrappleface couldn't make that up!

David Manus said...

before you try to blahg, you should read for a while. Its like joining an internet forum, read 4 posts for every one you make.

Those people aren't blogging, they are writing articles. The thing about blahgs (especially with comments) is they are a conversation, a living dialogue, although admittedly dominated by the blahger. These people are writing dead things, op-ed pieces. They think they are Maureen Dowd or Safire. The good thing about a blahg is, good news, you don't gotta be that smart! You write stream of consciousness, you write opinions and analysis that doesn't have to be stylistically brilliant, just interesting to read, sometimes because it is so full of non-sequitors and rambling thoughts.

You blahg kind of how you live day to day, you write articles along the lines of how you work at your job. That's how I see it anyway. Its almost unwinding with the daily stuff, be it political news or American Idol. These people are trying too hard. Most of the charm of a good blahger is he puts it all out there, unvarnished and raw. Personally I never rewrite an entry, I write it as I think of it and let it lie. I might update or add thoughts later, but never edit or rewrite. It is what it am. The Cusack piece was rewritten 20 times, I bet you money, and it shows and it stinks. I didn't read much more.

Bruce Hayden said...

The reason that Huffington didn't start the low key way is that she has probably not done anything in her life that way.

I personally would find her life and lifestyle quite exhausting.

I, like everyone else, checked it out the first day, just to laugh at it. Got my laughs, and probably won't go back.