Monday, January 24, 2005

As a new blogger, it is interesting to me to see other, more experienced bloggers write about getting comments and e-mail criticizing what they chose to write about, not necessarily the opinions stated. Oh, they get those, too, but that is part of the reason to blog, to stimulate discussion.

I am currently reading The Weblog Handbook, Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog, by Rebecca Blood, of Rebecca's Pocket.

She wrote about the audience of one:

If you allow yourself to begin posting entries based on what you think someone else wants you to write, you are missing the point of having a weblog...So understand that the attention you pay to your audience is not aimed at impressing them. Your only objective is to avoid sorely offending them.

The distinction is crucial. If you begin to write or link to pieces that are intended to impress your imagined audience, you will quickly become bored, and probably boring. It was once a truism that any new weblogger would, in three months' time, announce that they "needed a break" only to return a week later, proclaiming that they were no longer writing for their audience, but only for themselves. What audience? I would always wonder, imagining angry emails demanding "more links about dog food!" If you want to create a compelling weblog, you must write for an audience of one: yourself.