Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

How to Blog

with one comment

I am not going to claim any special wisdom here.

However, someone called Garret P Vreeland ran a blog for twelve years and summarised what he had learned in this blog post which one of my twitter contacts decided to post there.

I am not going to suggest that his experience is the same as mine. For one thing I am still a hunt and peck typist and my technical knowledge of things computery is patchy and self taught. I have never earned a living through that – but I have been sitting at a keyboard for many years now. But I think he hits more than a few nails on the head. Just as for instances:-

Read blogs and doubt, for God’s sake. We are largely editorialists without the pedigrees you find at the major news outlets. The news media considers us vultures picking meat from the bones of intrepid journalists who collect the information first-hand. It’s a cute metaphor, but it points up something vitally important. We’re making judgments second, third, fourth-hand from the actual originators. Read us, yes. Then go on and test our statements as hypotheses, not declarations of fact.

The last risk I’d like to mention is that of social isolation. I see both social media aficionados and new webloggers falling into this trap. Your most compelling experiences will happen away from the computer or smartphone. As Groucho said, “I love my cigar, but I put it down once in a while.” I call it my “Marxist rule”. The internet will always be there when you come back. Never, ever trade interacting via computer for having a great time away from the internet.

Monetization. Cha-ching, cha-ching. Not everything needs to be, or should be, monetized. Virtually all ‘blog’ related articles nowadays are focused on turning your weblog into a money generating device right from the get-go. None of the folks I know got into weblogging for the money – we did it because we loved the form, the community.

I hope that is enough to whet your appetite. One thing I disagree with is his determination of font size. Maybe that is because I use wordpress.com which takes care of how this thing looks on different screens. I also use the command and + keys together to make html formatted page types larger when I am reading them. This also works for a lot of the email I see too. There is also a gesture that can be made on the touchpad, which I seem to make involuntarily when trying to do something else. Chrome has a command in the View menu to correct that too.

Enough from me on this: go read him.

Written by Stephen Rees

April 18, 2018 at 8:05 am

Posted in blogging

One Response

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  1. To be accurate, I’ve run the blog for nearly nineteen years. I wrote that piece at the end of 2011; readers asked me to make it more prominent on my closing down of active postings.

    Fonts: Many of my readers didn’t want to have to adjust their screen for font size, they wanted my default to be at their ‘preferred size’. I’m sure you can imagine what a zoo my email box turned out to be, as I tried to accommodate everyone back then.

    Unwise on my part. Hence that recommendation. Thanks for the link!

    Garret Vreeland

    April 18, 2018 at 1:17 pm


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