Forging a Better Blog

Whenever I write something on here, I always go back and re-read it within the context of the site design. Although I spend plenty of energy fixing errors and rearranging sentences, I really get a good idea of where I’m at in terms of my intellectual offerings to the now-cliche blogosphere. If you take a cross-sample of my posts thus far, it looks as though I have topical ADD. This type of subject-leapfrogging is ok if you’re an established authority on something, but if you’re just starting out with a personal site, this could prove to be a one-way ticket to the blogabyss.

What are you offering?

Tonight I found myself asking these questions:

  • What am I really offering my readers?
  • Have I helped anyone else, or have I just handed out a few cheap laughs to those who buy into my sense of humor?
  • What do I really want this site to be?

Theoretically, I could start 5 or 6 personal sites and keep my subject matter nicely compartmentalized. Design here, blogging over there, humor here, rants 3 streets down on the left…The problem, however, is that this would jeopardize my time to a ridiculous degree, and the monetary returns likely wouldn’t be justified. I think focus is very important, so the idea of running a bunch of different sites doesn’t really appeal to me. Moreover, I can’t just crank out posts for a bunch of sites and live with myself. For me, writing takes time, thought, and a lot of energy.

I think the process is there – I just need some content. I need to offer you something.

Why do you read blogs? It looks to me like the most popular and best-loved bloggers typically offer their readers something. Whether it’s indispensable knowledge, technical advice, unique humor, or expert opinion, certain sites stay in your feed reader because you feel as though you gain something from them.

When I look at my own site in this context, I see a little too much transparency for my own liking. At least it seems as though my contributions to date have been, well, second-rate. I guess I’m a little envious of Michael’s expertise, Steve’s inspirational experiments, Brian’s high-impact knowledge, or even chartreuse’s nearly clairvoyant relevance. Instead of focusing on what’s NOT here at the moment, though, it would probably be better to focus on what I can provide for my audience.

On one hand, I would love for some of my intellectual contributions to define how I’m perceived on the web, but on the other hand, I doubt that many of you will really be interested in my offerings. Be that as it may, I admit to “forcing” intellectual conversation on this site, and what’s worse, I’ve done so on some topics that I really have no business talking about. The bottom line is that I’m going to have to start commenting on those areas in which my opinions might actually be considered “expert,” and I apologize in advance if I bore you to tears in the process. You know, like I just did.

Happy Monday, people. Ciao.