Notes: Tim Bray - What's In That Soup Pot

by Suw

Note: feel free to add to these notes, tidy up, etc.

Write what you know
Read before you write
Link often
- Doing the reader a service.
- Gets you way more attention from the people who are smart (they pay attention)
- People find you through you linking to them, via Technorati
Post often
Post often.
OFTEN.
Well, not that often.
- more posts means more visits cos there's more to read, but when you're really prolific the readership counts curve up, but he's not sure why
Correct yourself
- throw update as the first paragraph so that it is highly visible in your rss
- lose credibility if you don't update yourself when you get it wrong
Generalize
- [yes! too much emphasis on specialisation usually]
- lets you make broad, MAKING PEOPLE ANGRY statements. (gets you hits)
Flame judiciously ^^
- No reason not to express anger online
- Best speeches are denunciations
Spellcheck
- Marc Canter thinks that it's a very human thing to misspell
- Tim thinks that quality matters and quality of discourse is strongly correlated to quality of spelling and grammar
Look good
- No problems here!
- A good looking blog[ger] is often strongly correlated with an interesting blog. [hmmmm]
Balance hubris and humility (poll: how many have told a major govt what to do? - Lots!)
- Everybody is frequently wrong - including me, er, you, er...
- If somebody attacks you, link to them. Arrogance smells.
Be brief (how many have written a long letter with an apology that it wasn't shorter?)
- Easier to write a long blog entry instead of a short blog entry but short ones are better
- Andy sez: :/ I hate throwing out text. I feel like I am frequently misunderstood if I make broad, general brief statements.
- Sleep on it, edit, and try to tighten up your writing. Because we're all busy.
- If you are going to write an 800 word piece then break it up with subject headings, with anchors on the headings if your blog supports anchors. (or tag it! - > folksonomies) [thanks marc :p]
Be intense
- Defining characteristic of what it is that we do. A cool dispassionate measured tone almost never works [suw: but what if that's what your personality is like? does this mean that only big-mouthed oiks can be successful bloggers?] [andy: nay, it just meanss you have to act like osmething is important to you, or rather, write about something that is important that way you can have the personal connection. Without the passion, it generally is never as interesting (LIKE SEX er... soup.)]
[Cultural divides then? e.g. Asian film is often very subtle.] [yes, i think that might be the case. Americans perhaps are more outspoken?]( <-- I see a huge difference between American bloggers and say .. the Germans and Dutch)
Don't tell secrets
- people read your blog, your parents will find your blog...
- and if you work for a company, think about it.
- [suw: yeah, don't libel and don't blog your problems with your job]
- Private blogs aren't private, and the internet never forgets - something you write today will be dredged up in a very embarrassing scenario in 2028
Don't ruin your life
- yes, you can ruin your life by blogging
- Calls bullshit on the whole fired for blogging story lately - compared to how many people get fired for being drunk at work, being incompetent etc. We do not have a trend here - mostly they were fired because they did something stupid that violated company policy, or because their bosses were moronic retards and the blog was an excuse. Why is the media writing all these stories about people getting fired for blogging - do you think they might be worried?

Don't blog on command.
- [andy: Totally blows your credibility, IMHO] [suw: yeah, it seems a wee bit fake] [andy: after i was asked to blog-- http://anarkystic.com/blog/archives/2005/02/10/fuck_disclaimers.php]

- Phil Wolff: has anyone been fired for not blogging

Marc Canter: now that you have 1000 people blogging at Sun, how has that helped? Tim: we're no longer a grassroots co., we're a bluesuit co, and the bloggers have helped with credibility. It's increased listening power, have found out stuff that they should be doing or shouldn't be doing.

-Be authentic
-Write for pleasure
-Be sincere

Group hum to see which are important. Seem to be fairly evenly matched. Look good and generalize got low hums.