In the age of technology we are continuously challenged to discover new works of culture —and, in the process, we don’t allow any one of them to assume a weight in our minds. The basket overflows; people get overwhelmed; the eye of the storm is not so much what goes on in the world, it is the confusion of how to think, feel, digest, and react to what goes on.
Traditional ways to deal with information —reading, listening, writing, talking— are painfully slow in comparison to “viewing the big picture.” Organizations are collecting so much data they’re overwhelmed. Families are no different; we have more things on disk, more photos, more items stored than we’ll ever have to allocate time for. Since Kodachrome made way for jpeg, pictures accumulate on hard drives like wet leaves in a gutter.
Computers thwart, contort, and befuddle us. We mess around with fonts, headers, themes, slowing down or increasing mouse speed. We tweak and we piddle. We spend countless hours preparing posts that most people forget in seconds [in case they notice them].
We know ears need to be cleaned regularly [although this is a job that should be done in private using one’s own truck keys], so let’s recall the harsh truth about blogging: your readers don’t need another blog post. What your readers need is you —your wisdom, your ideas, your unique stories. Never take your readers’ attention for granted. Their time is precious. Use it wisely.
Blogging Mistake #1: Do you think you need to publish daily?
Let me be myself [everyone else is already taken] for a second. This approach annoys me more than all the rest combined. When you publish blog posts without adding any value to conversations, you end up wasting my precious pixels.
Don’t waste people’s time with an endless stream of blog posts. Only write when you have something to say. If emptiness is empty, how can something be borne or awaken from it?
Blogging Mistake #2: Are you being self-indulgent?
Do not trade the delights of your suffering for anything in the world, and consider unhappiness as the ultimate form of self-indulgence. The harsh truth is your readers aren’t interested in you, your twopenny life.
Talking about your experiences could be fine only if it can add color and personality to your posts. And for that you have to get lost before you can be found. When you want to write a story about your life, ask yourself: What’s in it for my readers?
Blogging Mistake #3: Lame headlines?
Some people make headlines while others make history. In any case, don’t derail yourself right at the beginning. Your headline is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective reader. On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. So, writing great headlines is a critical skill. Keep them simple. The simpler, the better.
Blogging Mistake #4: Are you adding to the noise?
Show some mercy to my time. When you kill it, remember that it has no resurrection. Sadly, quality, relevant content can’t be spotted by an algorithm. Publishing material indiscriminately that lacks substance adds to the noise, and diminishes your credibility.
It’s a secondhand world we’re born into. What you need is perspective. The illusion of depth, created by a frame, the arrangement of shapes on a flat surface. Personality is necessary. Sense of humor also defines people. If you have it in you, do something that characterizes you. Develop your own blogging voice.
I’m sorry if above sounds harsh or surprises anyone, but this is where we are and how I see it. If you want the outcome to be different, you will have to do something about it.
In the “Diula” language in Mali, the term « dugutigui » (chief of the village), literally translated, means: «owner of the village»; «dugu» means village and «tigui», owner. Probably the term is the result of the contraction of «dugu kuntigui» (literally: chief of the village).