Blogging about blogs blogging about newpapers writing about blogs blogging and the girls who love them.
DCist alerted us today to an article in the Washington Post that purported to offer advice on how to start a blog. We have our own advice. Good sweet Lord, don't. But if you must, please don't suck. Really, that's all the advice you need. It's like the skiing advice in Better Off Dead ("Go that way...really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.") What the fuck else is blogging all about?
You'd think the Washington Post would know better. And here's the thing--the POST probably does. But the article in question was found in the Post's "Sunday Source", and their operating mission statement is: "Heck no, we sure don't know any better!" You have to love the Sunday Source--they may be all jaded and shit over at the news desk and at the Metro section, but at the Sunday Source, they look at the world with the clear-eyed innocence of a three-day-old idiot puppy who's been force fed a pint of saccharine. When you show the Sunday Source how you can take two aluminum pie plates and tape them together with sunflower seeds to make maracas, be warned--you have just BLOWN THE SUNDAY SOURCES MIND, dude. So, it's probably taken them a few months now to work up the courage to tell people how they, too, can blog.
And, in true Sunday Source fashion, they have really nailed the story. And by that I mean, "nailed the story" into a coffin and pushed it out to sea. Let's examine:
When "Web" and "log" were combined to form the word "blog" in 1999, few foresaw the power these online journals would wield.
Indeed. Most words are combined to form other words through a complicated process, by which two silhouetted faces face one another on a TV screen, whispering the component parts together until the words gently bump into one another, forming another word. But, in the case of "blog", this was done in a haphazard way that clearly didn't adhere to Children's Television Workshop industry standards--had it been so, the word would be "weblog" to this day.
And, indeed, very few "foresaw the power" of blogs. Even today, this goes unseen. Mainly because the power of blogs is so minute that it cannot be seen with the naked eye!
But, in order to seize a fraction of that limitlessly limited power, there is a protocol that the Sunday Source recommends to those who want to "hop on the bandwidth bandwagon*" and start blogging.
The Source gets a quote from Rebecca Blood, who authored a book called The Weblog Handbook. She says: write what "you are really passionate about." This is groundbreaking theory that totally blows the doors off of the previously accepted ideas about how to write. You can only imagine what sort of author Joseph Heller, or William Faulkner could have written if only they had stopped to write about the things they were passionate about, rather than say, World War Two or the social mores of the American South, respectively--subjects that clearly bored these authors to tears. You should know: it was by pure happenstance that I decided to focus The DCeiver on Washington, DC--originally, it was to be a blog about fishing lures--a topic I believed I'd be a great blogger for, seeing as I have no interest or knowledge about fishing in any way, shape or form.
Remember: this absolutely trenchant advice is yours for $14 if you just buy Ms. Blood's book!
FUN FACT: "When a blogger adds new material, it's called a post."
The Source is relentless in finding the most state-of-the-art advice for bloggers. Biz Stone, described as the "Blogger senior specialist at Google" and who also owns the distinction of the only 30 year old named "Biz" recommends, "Post at least as much as you eat." I could take issue with this. I should take issue with this. But most of us could afford to lose a little weight anyway. At any rate, what's odd about this advice is that it would seem that by rule, the blogs of hypoglycemics should be among the best blogs, because they have to eat constantly. However, my research shows that blogs written by hypoglycemics are virtually always among the suckiest things written by anybody. I mean--those blogs are god awful.
Most of all, the Source builds a case for being smart about the way your blog is named. And trust me, you couldn't be any dumber at name choosing than me. The point, though, that the Sunday Source leaves you with is this: people should "associate your name with the name of your web blog." Good advice. But I have to feel a little badly for the guy who wrote up this piece for the Washington Post. His name is "Mike Peed."
Hey, wow. At least it's a name that's also a sentence!
*Writing phrases like that cause me actual, physical pain.