“How to Write a Better Weblog.” I actually thought this article was fairly useful. I mean, as Michele points out, blogs are mainly personal sites and therefore no one should ever attempt to proscribe the way they’re to be written. But for a lot of us, what started out as a personal exercise has become something bigger. You find a “voice”. You worry whether the design of your site is sending the right message. You start to play up to the audience. (After all, if you didn’t acknowledge them at all, why are you posting this stuff on the Internet anyway?)
For me, this site started as a way to keep lots of family and friends updated on what I was doing far, far away. But nowadays, for better or worse, it’s become so much more than that. It’s partly my own talk show, where I get to lead the discussions that I want to lead. It’s partly a travelogue, where I get to show you guys some of the amazing stuff I’ve seen. It’s partially a diary, so I can remember the day I left Netdecisions or the day my new brother was born. There are so many reasons that we write, but at the core of every one is the idea that someone else is going to read it.
That’s why I found the article useful. Not because it tells you what to write about in your weblog, but because it emphasizes the importance of good writing for an audience. Sure, it’s not a law and you’re free to “rItE hOwEvHh U wAnT”, but think how much more impact your ideas and thoughts could have if you presented them more readably. Look at the A-listers that everyone links to. What do they have in common? Good writing. If you care at all about your audience (and whether you admit to it or not, you do), you should make sure that reading your site is a pleasure, not a chore.