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The Future Of My Blog

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Seth Godin has just released a free e-book about blogs and blogging. It's a good read, but it didn't really change my mind about blogging. So, what's on my mind then?

A blog should have focus. It should be about one topic, it should have one message. Example: Creating Passionate Users. Although there are a lot of topics I deliberately not blog about, I still blog on an amalgam of subjects: online business, game programming, game design, personal experiences. That has to change.

Blog entries should be short. That's easier to do when your blog covers only one topic, because then you don't have to provide a context for each entry.

Also, I wrote my own blogging engine. It's not done yet. It would be easy to set aside a weekend and implement the most important things like trackbacks and a proper archive. But now I'm thinking that I won't. Main reason: visibility. Searching for ronkes (part of my last name) on Technorati results in a couple of blog entries by other people referring to my blog, but no entries by me. Mmm.

I want to create multiple blogs for myself. Each will have its own web site, each will have its own topic, each will have its own subject. Entries will be on topic and entries will be digestible in just a just a few minutes.

Link rot stinks, so I won't throw things away and I won't move them. I won't update them either. I still have some old (Dutch) material on C++ programming and game programming on my site. If you don't know the exact URL, you won't reach it. On the other hand, if you do know the exact URL, it will be there for you. And you know what? Those old pages still get visited daily.

These are my plans. They might change. And if the past is any indication, they will change. Oh well, we'll see.

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GBGames says:

I actually was wondering if shorter posts result in more readers. I know that if I go to a site that has a looooooong post and I just want to know what it is about, I will get turned off. On the other hand, a short post shouldn't take too much time to read, so I am more likely to stick around and find out if it is what I want. Most of the time Godin's own blogs are easy to go through, but there are times when I feel like I am missing something. Creating Passionate Users and Steve Pavlina usually have really long posts, but I usually stick around to read them because I already know what the topic is. The title and intro paragraphs are usually all I need to know if I am interested. But like you said, those blogs are already focused on something specific, so I already know that posts are likely to be interesting. On the other hand, I've read some game developer's blogs that aren't. It is really a person's personal blog, and he/she just so happens to be a game developer. He/she may also happen to have children or get sick or plays poker or hikes, but what does all that have to do with game development? On those blogs, usually nothing, but some are good about bringing things back to the topic. I haven't read Godin's books yet, but I would like to think that clarity of purpose and quality writing are the two big things that will make a blog most effective. From your blog's front page: ***Welcome to my blog. Here I tell you all about my adventures as a shareware developer. This is a completely new undertaking for me, so I am bound to make a lot of mistakes. You can gloat over them or learn from them, it's up to you.*** Bam. I want to learn about what it is like to be a shareware developer, so I come to your blog and make a point of reading it. On the other hand, some people don't have anything on their blogs that say what they write about. I bookmarked a site that had one post on game development, but it turned out that it was a fluke and the rest of the site doesn't usually cover anything interesting. That site didn't tell me anything about what it was about. A lot of blogs just say, "Joe Schmoe's Thoughts" which tells you nothing nor is it very focused. Of course I won't care to read what Joe thinks. Who is Joe?! /me looks up. I probably should have just written my own blog post considering how much I wrote here. B-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2005 8:51 PM

Joost Ronkes Agerbeek says:

I never said that comments should be short. ;-) Keeping entries focused is more important than keeping entries short in my opinion. Sometimes you just have a lot to say. Most of the time, though, you're just rehashing your point. If you can't say it in twenty words, you won't be able to say it in two hundred words, either.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005 9:48 PM

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