Tomorrow at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 a.m., the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06. That won’t happen again.
Where was I on 06:05:04 03/02/01?
It was a Friday morning. I was getting ready for work in the Seattle area, looking forward to the weekend. The weather was probably cool and rainy. The Great Earthquake hit just four days earlier, on 2/28/01, and 9/11/01 was still months away. The Seattle area was still struggling with the aftermath of the devastating 6.8 earthquake.
How did I miss this significant milestone? I tremble at the thought.
Dear Reader, where were you and what were you doing at 06:05:04 on 03/02/01?
- Choose a theme for your blog, and write about related topics. Pick a theme you think your blog audience will find interesting. Some themes are more interesting than others. Religion and politics always seem to attract attention, for better or for while, while niche topics do not. Travel and adventure are popular themes. Sports, fashion, and day-to-day insights are good. Zany, quirky blogs do well, as do blogs with goals and objectives (e.g. if your quest is to climb Mount Everest and you’re documenting your training program, readers will be interested).
- Write frequently, and write well. Frequent postings is definitely a plus. Write in complete, grammatically-correct sentences. Through in a few witty remarks and some seldom-used words. Don’t be too long-winded (I’m guilty of this) or too terse brief in your postings. If your focus is on photography or art, post intriguing, high-quality photos or sketches like my fellow blogger mars_wolf. If you’re an artist, post samples of your work.
- Add original content, but document references. It is better to document your own ideas than to recite from other sources. Citing other sources is fine, but be sure to give credit when you refer to other people’s work. If possible, avoid posting copyrighted material without permission. Minimize the amount of recitation in a blog entry unless it fits into the theme of your blog post. For example, on Martin Luther King’s Day in 2005, I cited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s entire "I Have a Dream" speech because few have read the speech in its entirety. (My condolences to the King family, who lost Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., this week. It has been a very tough year for the King family.)
- Avoid focusing too much on your personal life unless it is absolutely riveting. Expand your blog entries beyond discussions of your personal life, whether it be personal photos, discussions of friends, or family matters. If you write about personal matters, tie it into your blog’s theme (e.g. your quest to win a marathon or taking care of children or getting a good job). You can also highlight people’s personalities. I have occasionally bantered on this blog with readers I know. Maybe you have a crazy uncle or a quirky friend. People love soap operas, so decide up front whether you want to play out your life on a blog. You’ll get a lot of hits, but you may regret playing your life’s drama out on the blogosphere.
- Enhance your blog with photos, lists, music, and a variety of topics. Blogs serve an entertainment purpose, so it’s good to be entertaining using a variety of methods! If you post a blog entry, try adding photos. Photos truly are worth more than 1,000 words.
- Start an e-mail writing campaign. If you think you have a good blog, don’t be shy! Let MSN Spaces know. Also, you can encourage your avid readers to submit your blog to MSN Spaces for consideration.
- Harness the power of the blogosphere. The Internet is about interconnectivity. Feature links to your favorite bloggers, and ask them to link to your blog. This will create cross-traffic. After I met Korea’s top blogger, R.J. Koehler, aka "The Marmot’s Hole," we featured each other’s blogs and generated significant cross-traffic between them. We also listed each other’s blogs in our favorite bloggers’ list.