August 1, 2014

Why your blog is not a trash can. It's not Facebook timeline too

Most of us bloggers open our blogs 'on the spur of the moment' and keep posting on it whatever comes to our mind. In the Directory of Best Indian Blogs, you will find more than a hundred such blogs under 'personal' category. We are not saying that there is something intrinsically wrong with posting personal matter on the blog. In fact, blogs (originally called web logs or web diaries) were/are primarily meant to do that. In fact, the blogs selected by us in the 'personal' category of the Directory are indeed very good blogs.

So, what's the issue?

The issue is lazy blogging; maintaining the blog like a Facebook timeline (or worse, like a Twitter account) just because  we have not thought of making the blog something better. This also explains why a large number of bloggers have left blogging or reduced it in favour of Facebook or other networking sites: they have found new platforms better than the blog for their personal chatter or comment on whatever came in front of them. 

Allow us to give the simile of real estate. If social networking platforms are large colonies with multi-story flats, blogs and personal websites are, if finely maintained, small but beautiful villas. They have their identity; they have space to grow; they showcase their best resources.

But a personal blog has to be personal, isn't it?

Yes, a blog can be intensely personal, but it should not be trivial, routine, too commonplace, a place for gossip. For all things that you want to routinely share with friends and relatives, social networking sites are much better a place than blog. 

We'd advise that you keep your blog for substantial matters. Even if your blog is about your kid's early years, you could use your experiences as a tag to start discussion on parenting and child-health. If you are writing about how you spent your summer break in a tourist destination, make it a travel masterpiece on that destination. "The kid started walking on his own and he stumbled and he cried and I had tears in my eyes and my mother-in-law fell down as she came running and then my husband came and took her to hospital while I hugged my baby and ..." can be suitably shared on Facebook or other platforms, isn't it?

Well, you might say, what stops me from maintaining a web diary of my child's growing years? No one. Such a blog can, in fact, be a treasure that you can read when the child has grown up to become an adult; it can be a treasure for him to cherish. But that would be a deliberate and conscious decision on your part, not a product of lazy blogging because you could not think anything better. Also, it would not be a blog to share with public at large; it would be your personal diary.   

So, the takeaway is, maintain your 'personal' blog as a diary, but do post in it content that you'll be proud of years later. Do not use the blog as a trash can for blurting out anything that comes to your mind. 

This reminds us of an old article on good writing for blogs. Like to browse it?: Quality of content matters a lot