Tuesday, February 15, 2005

 

Why blog? Hugh Hewitt's answer

Hugh Hewitt's recently released book Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation that's Changing Your World, follows the recent history of how blogs changed the course of the 2004 US Presidential election. He also considers the current information reformation as analogous to the Protestant one that followed the introduction of Gutenberg's press. The analogy, according to Hewitt, is about the rapid, qualitative shift in the speed of information dissemination (p. 55):

But Luther was living in a new day. Almost immediately after they were posted [Luther's 95 theses, which were originally written in Latin], someone, no one knows exact who. got hold of a copy of Luther's theses, translated the Latin into German, and published them. Thanks to Gutenberg, Luther--and more important, his ideas--were known all over Germany within two weeks, and all over Europe in a month.

The book has useful chapters on the nuts and bolts of blogging, blogging as an organizational tool, and the kinds of blogs Hugh would like to see started himself. His list of do's and don'ts is helpful:
The key rules of blogging success and significance are these:
  • Post often.
  • Link freely.
  • Be generous in praise and attribution.
  • Don't be long-winded too often, if at all. Brevity is the soul of blogging when you are getting started.
  • Paragraphs are your friend.
  • Profanity loses audiences.
  • Avoid feuds and flame wars.
  • At least at the start, skip the comments sections. You end up with the problem of nuts if you are any good.
  • Keep the title short and easy to remember so that it is easy to recall and type into the space at the top of the page.
In the main, this sounds like good advice to me.

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