the how-to’s of blogging

i started to read "No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas of Your Blog" and am about 4/5ths through the book.

my honest opinion – i wish they had this at the library because i would not have wasted $16 dollars on it otherwise ($18.08 after tax). i plan to give this over to cathy after i'm done with it. that is, if she wants it – she may not.

i purchased it because i had heard of the author (a popular blogger) and there was a reference to dooce.com – i love healther b. armstrong, who is the author of dooce. she rocks my world in so many ways that if i were to ever meet her, she may end up needing to get a restraining order! :p

now, i'm not saying that it was poorly written or poorly thought out. in fact, i hope that no one thinks i'm dissing this book because it was a good book. it just wasn't for me – this review is more of a personal review only.

i think that for those who are new to the blogging world, it would be very ideal. and perhaps, it's a good reference book for those that are trying to take their blogging abilities to the extreme where they are actually making money from advertisement on their page (like dooce.com – her site, though, is the best site i've ever seen in the way she incorporates advertisement; she is selective of them and they don't stick out like a sore thumb).

the problem with this book – a very minor problem – is that i wish it had the words 'An Introduction to Blogging.' while i'm certainly not proclaiming that i am a world-famous blogger or expert at all, i do have to say that i've been blogging so long that the word 'blogging' wasn't even of existence when i started. in fact, in about two weeks from now, i will have been 'blogging' for 10 years.

most of the ideas in this book i've seen. some i've done (when i use to put way more effort into how i blogged). and the ones that i haven't tried i have seen on other sites. there were a few ideas, however, that were completely new to me. but the few just didn't amount to $16.

do i regret buying it? well – not so much. i like the author and love the fact that i've supported her work in some small way. and i do recommend this book for newbie bloggers. or bloggers that really need help to be creative because they really can't get pass saying anything more then 'i had a really good sandwich for lunch today.' or something to the likes of lunch-descriptions.

and sometimes, i admit that i've written blog posts like that, myself. but come on. if i had some REALLY good vietnamese spring rolls, i just think it's my duty to share this with the world!

don't you think? πŸ™‚

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21 thoughts on “the how-to’s of blogging

  1. yup! 10 years. how old am i? oye – don't answer that. the 40's are creeping up fast these days as i'll be 36 at the end of the year. which means that i'm into the latter half of the 30-somethings. double-oye.

  2. especially if it's a meal that one has prepared – it's definitely worth braggin' rights. πŸ™‚ however, i suppose i do see the point where if that's ALL one talks about (listing what they had for lunch) everyday on their blog and they WANT to attract traffic (as per the purpose of the book), i would think that the book would be useful.unless it's a site about calorie counting or something. :pat the least, it was totally not condescending in how it was written. or preachy.

  3. yeah no kidding. i am known for sharing food, cocktails, and party pics, etc. i probably already have a rep for being a party animal but whateves! it's my journal after all right? i would like a comment here and there from pepps especially if i'm leaving comments for them but it's not a big deal for me to have tons of traffic. i hear ya though….i think i'm going to take a look at that book. thanks!

  4. i think we've all had a fair share of blogs that consist of what we had for lunch, what we did today, but some people like heather @ dooce.com can make something like that sound interesting. is that what the book is about? just wondering — i don't think i'm going to pick it up or anything. i actually saw that book in the store myself and got kind of annoyed at it just because like you, back when i started blogging, it was right before it the whole phenom blew up. so i guess you can say i've been blogging for around 8 years now myself. i also got annoyed just because when i used to write, it was never about writing about your daily happenings, but about your thoughts, ideas, and how you really felt about things.. like a real journal. these days, it's hard for me to revert back to that because it feels like my 'privacy' is gone because everyone and their mama has a blog now, haha. i realize that there was probably never really any privacy back then either, but i think before it became a phenom, it was something i could at least call my own.

  5. touchee – i feel that due to this blogging phenomenon that's become so trendy, my writing has changed. a lot. i use to write my thoughts and ideas in very creative ways (well, as creative as i can be).

  6. i know, same here, or at least i tried to. nowadays, i feel like my thoughts and writing are forced in way where i feel like i now have to keep people entertained and interested. on top of the fact that a lot of my writing now is also filtered because who knows who could you find you. everything online (and offline in some cases) is apparently all for public viewing these days.

  7. Cin and Shy,Here you are on vox, though… would you be able to write the way you used to if you made all your posts available only to yourself, or your friends/fam/neighbours?I don't know about you guys… for me, I know when I find myself thinking more about blogging because my vox neighbourhood would find it interesting or amusing, and less about blogging because I want to record memories, or explore thoughts, I need to step back, regroup, and start again. No offense to my 'hood, or anything, it's just that I wanted this to be for one thing, and if I look back in the future and don't see that, I know I'l be disappointed.

  8. I think your spot on ! That's the beauty of Vox, 30% of my posts are hidden, also your neighbourhood will rally around you too. I think many years down the line the person who will be reading your blog the most is yourself. So the most important reader to satisfy is yourself.

  9. i only have one or two private posts. i think there was a thing about online 'blogging' (or journaling as we use to call it) back then. there was something somewhat intriguing of being completely honest to the whole wide world and yet being also just a screen with a handle. it was challenging. most people who started an online journal back then got a rush from that challenge. but the internet just got bigger and bigger. and people got smarter on how to figure out how to find you or who you are… heather got 'dooced' from work for having an online journal (which benefited her because it spun her into a professional blogger – now both her and her husband work just on the site bringing in more money then before). i mean, some places will fire you for even having a facebook account (mainly banks) – even if you don't access it from work (which you can't – since most places block facebook at work).the internet use to be a place where we can remain personal AND public, but our identities were somewhat protected. now, it can ruin your life depending on how you use it. it's created anxiety.i also just use vox to record memories but really private thoughts are not always shared (some just with my vox 'family'). it's also just an outlet for me, as well. but my past online journals was definitely more about capturing memories in the most creative way possible (that i could muster). i definitely still enjoy blogging and i don't know if i could ever go back to that old way of online journaling again.but sometimes… i miss the good old days of it all. i know a lot of old-time bloggers have expressed that feeling as well. i'll be honest – it's not easy to explain what has happened. or why we feel this way now when we blog. i suppose it's just that feeling – big brother is watching.and i suppose to try and answer your question (i'm not sure if i'm hitting anywhere close it, btw, as i'm still trying to put my thoughts into words), i do like writing for at least a small audience. i think if i didn't, i wouldn't bother even having an account at all. since i've never been the type to keep a written, hardcopy journal, you know?

  10. i agree with shy, part of why i started blogging is that i liked the idea of sharing my thoughts with others, with anybody in hopes someone could relate and when someone did, it made me happy, but that wasn't always my main focus.
    and what shy said about big brother watching was on point with me, especially. i know most of my ins and ways and outs around the internet and if i'm able to find people that i never expected to find, then i'm sure people could find me, and hence it has created that anxiety shy has spoken about. i hate to be paranoid, but i can't help it.
    it's actually even hard for me to write here on vox, but i've privated mostly everything now, mostly for personal reasons, but i try to keep a public blog and write like i used to.. mostly for myself, my own thoughts, my own memories. but it's still hard, and i mostly have to generalize everything where as before i wrote about the specific things that happened to me in life, things that i was going through – breakups, rollercoaster friendships, not knowing what i wanted to do for the rest of my life — but these days, i just feel like i can't show that vunerability to the whole world anymore, but a few select people — maybe, but that's even rare for me too. but i fight between showing who i really am and writing just run-of-the-mill fluff entries, because i generally hate those. but sometimes exposing every little thought just leaves me feeling completely naked.
    so i guess if i did have to answer your question directly — i might be able to write the same for a small audience, just like shy said in her own answer, but like i mentioned in the above paragraph, it would probably be a on a very rare occassion when i just need to spit it out. other than that, i can't help but always feel like i have to filter/limit myself.

  11. i think i know what the word was – exhibitionist. that's what i was, to some degree. but i was more or less in control of how i was an exhibitionist. i got a rush that the other side of the screen, the internet-audience, were voyeuristic in their behaviour towards my on-screen persona/words. at the same time, there was a feeling of freedom so that even though you were writing for the audience, you were also writing for yourself with more liberation and less inhibitions. boy – i don't know if i'm explaining it all that way. i suppose – it was like the best of both worlds. for yourself AND for your audience.now… it's for your audience (meaning public), separate to posts being just for yourself (private). those two words are starting to become more separate rather then being intertwined.there was even a period of time that i didn't want any of my real life friends to know about my site. and i succeeded in keeping them away. i think that was the peak of it all, even though it was short-lived (because shortly after that, blogging just exploded, globally, into a big trend).even now, i make most of my posts public because having some level of an audience does drive me to blog. to say that they play no influence on me would be a lie on my part. but… i'm just not as caught up as i was on how many hits and how many comments i get.and i know that some posts will come and go without much notice, which is alright. πŸ™‚

  12. If I had some REALLY good food, oh yeah, sure, I'd Vox it. Most of my blog is private only for the reasons of I belong to a forum that prides themselves on being internet detectives, and honestly most of my stuff I just write for my wife.Well, it's more than that. I don't post the name of the company I work for because they may search blogs looking for their name, see me talking and may change my job status because of it. SO… did you learn anything new from it, any new ideas, or was it more of just a refresher?(BTW, I had leftover Chinese food for lunch. It was good.)

  13. there were some new things but 85% of it was a refresher. or just things i've already seen.one good thing was that it gave links to the blogs that they used as examples. if anything, at least it gave me some places to bookmark for future reads.i haven't even had lunch yet… but i've got mango curry chicken with vegetables and raisins on basmati rice waiting for me! one of my favourites – yum!

  14. no problem! i'm almost done – afterwards, it's totally yours. it's a thin book so it won't take up much space on your shelf. πŸ™‚

  15. i definitely agree.
    come to think about it, this entry reminds me of an entry i came across on vox about a month ago which only supported my paranoia even more, haha. maybe it wasn't such a good thing, but i thought it was also interesting, so i thought i'd pass it along in case you hadn't come across it before: discretion, blogging and oversharing

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