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March 02, 2009

Blogging Class Questions

So, I'm planning on teaching a beginning blogging class at a community arts center this summer. Thought I'd put it to you folks:

  1. What is the most important thing for beginners to know about blogging before they go in?
  2. What is NEW about blogging that the world has never seen before?
  3. What is IMPORTANT about blogging?
  4. What are your favorite blogs?



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1 a.) The most important thing for bloggers to know before they start is that EVERYONE can see what they write: their boss, their mother-in-law, their grown kids 15 years later, and their future employer with the slight extremist bent. There's a serious generation gap here: kids on MySpace and Facebook never counted on their parents or the creepy guy at the bus station find their "private" stuff; adults in hiring positions often have oddly neanderthalic ideas about propriety. And people really do get dooced. Even if you blog under a pseudonym, stuff like this can happen.

1 b.) Know what you want out of the blogging experience going in. Do you just want to share your life with your online, far-flung friends? Do you just want to exchange photos? Or are you out to impress somebody? Who, and why? Do you want to sell yourself or your products effectively? See e.g. John Scalzi or Penny Arcade. Do you want to be like my boss, and try to use blogging under a employees-only lock and key to communicate the focus and mission and, um, something. (effectiveness as yet to be determined...)

2. Bah.

3. Importance is so often viewed through the lens of politics, you know?

4. My friends', social networks, and lots of stuff absolutely positively NOT related to my work.

1. I definitely agree with what Jackie M posted. But that said, If the blog is dedicated to being a transparent person then be honest but be prepared for any harshness that might come your way from folks. Other than that, a blog serves a person. To encourage, rant, sell books, inform. And blogging is reciprocal.

4 Favorite blogs in alphabetical (somewhat) order:

Age of Autism
Angry Asian Man
Angry Indian
Biology in Science Fiction
Christianity Today Movies Blog
Codepink Women for peace action blog
Coffee Talk by John Paul Jackson
Ebooks just published
Editing Circle
Editors, agents, and blogs oh my!
Electronic Village
Evil Editor
Fantasy Debut
Final Girl
Flogging the Quill
Invasion of the B Movies
John K Stuff
Living in a Toxic World
Nobody Passes, Darling
Priceless Pearls
Query Shark
Stuff as Dreams are Made On
Take Political Action
Train Your Dog Blog
VH1 Blog
Wong Fu Productions Blog

Thanks, guys! That's really helpful!

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