Saturday, March 17, 2007

7 virtues of blogging

Kathy Sierra has posted a link to her slides from a recent conference presentation. They are, as usual, great. She talks about seven virtues of blogging if you want to develop a global microbrand. Even though I am not trying to establish a global anything, the advice is good. The virtues that really struck me were Be Generous and Show Respect. Kathy says, in part:

the fact that anyone comes to our blog at all is incredible. We must be grateful and try to give something of value in return.


Don’t post for quantity, post for quality. If you don’t have something that you believe is worth the reader’s time, think twice about posting.

If I were following that second piece of advice, I probably wouldn’t be posting right now! But these, and the other five virtues, are things I try to keep in mind as I blog.

But I would like to modify Kathy’s list a bit to make it more applicable to the way I blog. Here goes:

  • Be Grateful - Appreciate the fact that readers have taken time to read and comment on your blog. Take time to let you know you appreciate them and their ideas. One way to do this is to return the compliment and comment on their blogs.
  • Be Humble - Make sure you give credit where credit is due. Acknowledge those who have influenced your thinking. Remember that you can learn something from almost everyone.
  • Be Patient - Accept the fact that your blogging is going to be a process. Most of us, at least, have to grow into it. Don’t look at the well-established blogs and think you have to be like them, as good as they are right now.
  • Be Brave - Talk about the things that interest you — even if no one else seems to be interested in them right now. You may discover other people who are truly interested in the same things and visit your blog precisely because you are talking about a particular topic.
  • Show Respect - Remember that diversity is what makes the world beautiful. Just as we wouldn’t want to live in a world with only one type and color of flower, we shouldn’t want to live in a world with only one set of ideas. We should all feel free to express our opinions, but we should always remember to do so in a respectful manner. Don’t get involved in name-calling or ridiculing others.
  • Be Motivating - We can all use a little help from our friends from time to time. Don’t spend all your blogging time complaining or criticizing. Try to offer possible solutions to the problem — or at least ideas as to why the problem exists. Leave your readers with something positive.
  • Be Generous - Support new bloggers by reading them, commenting, and then linking to them in your blog, too. It costs you nothing but a little time, and it could really help someone who is just starting out.

I think we could each explain these virtues in different ways. I would be interested in knowing how you would define them.

Note: Starting with this post, I am cross-posting on Random Thoughts and Moving Along, my WordPress blog. I am fairly certain that I want to combine the two blogs, and I really like WordPress better than Blogger anymore. I will let you know when/if I decide to stop posting here entirely.


Angie said...

Thanks Nancy for this post. It was something I had not thought about before.

Mr. Miller said...

Hi Nancy: Thanks for your thoughts. Reading this has reminded me that I am fairly new at this blogging thing, and more importantly that it has been educators like you who have helped me along the way. Thanks again and keep up the good work.