i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

Personality-Infused Blogging

October 13, 2004

Yesterday I posted a few rules for newbie bloggers for ways to avoid getting in trouble online. The point of this was not to list hard “rules” that must be followed online rather to present general guidelines for writing online. The major point was to prevent Ms. Newbie Blogger from writing, “Hi! My name is Newbie Blogger! I live on Hounds Avenue in Greenville, right next to the donut shop. If you want to talk sometime, call me! 724.555.3333! My pet dog and I like to walk late a night when it is cooler. Here is our picture.” (etc.) These guidelines were presented as a general safety measures that the new blogger might not consider.

In Chapter 15, “Entertaining People Who Like To Read,” of Hot Text: Web Writing That Works by Jonathan and Lisa Price note, rightly, that most successful webzines often violate the typical rules of journalism. Articles are more personable, less straight-up factual pieces, and more tinged with personal opinions. Generally speaking, informative journalism should be simple, fast, &, ideally, presented from a neutral perspective. Webzines, however, are an entirely different breed.

The Prices offer a list of guidelines for webzine writers:

All of which seem to directly contradict the list of rules I posted yesterday! However, I still think it’s important to keep security in mind as you begin the write on the internet. After a while, it becomes second nature as you create for yourself an online persona based on your real self but with less discriminating details. Once you become comfortable with the online environment, you can infuse your personality into your writing.

It’s important to start off cautious in your web writing because you may be surprised by how quickly your popularity soars as more and more people begin reading what you write. If you follow the guidelines above, while being truthful, but kind, discreet but open-minded, people –will- read your writing and you will gain a reader base that may surprise you.

Jonathon and Lisa Price write, “Being out there works on the Web. Not surpisingly, the sites with the strongest voice tend to have loyal readers.”

People want to believe that the words they are reading are coming from a real person and not some mindless corporate drone. People love controversy, lovelovelove drama! Personality-infused writing is vivid and exciting.

The Prices write, “Reveal your anger, lust, envy, greed, gluttony, jealousy, and zits. Emotions sell.”

From my own experiences on the internet, I find this statement to hold true. The entries I have written in various online journals that contained the most controversial, emotional content were the ones that sparked the most fire in my readers.

You can’t be bland and boring to write on the web. You can’t please everyone, only yourself. And by setting out to please yourself, and only yourself, you are bound to step on a few toes. Enjoy it! People might love you or hate you, but if you are stirring their emotions, they will always know who you are. And they will read what you write. And that’s the important part, isn’t it?

Moira at 02:19 PM :: Comments (2) :: ::

Haha. I can just imagine someone naively typing her name, phone number, and house directions! While I am not that bad, luckily, I definitly have some things to learn.

Thanks for the information. Hopefully I will be able to remember it all and use it in my own web writing.

Posted by: Vanessa at October 14, 2004 07:25 PM

God, Vanessa, you'd be suprised! Glad you enjoyed my entry. Have a fabulous day!

Posted by: moira at October 19, 2004 06:45 PM
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