Archive for the ‘author’ Tag

Tying It All Together

The openness of blogs allows for the silly to reside alongside the profound. However, what brings thousands of readers to the most successful of blogs aren’t usually dependent on how many degrees the author has, but rather how successful the blog maintainer is in allowing for other voices to shine through. A blog isn’t necessarily narcissistic; good ones are rarely about the humdrum aspects of life no one else would want to read about. Instead, blogs and their maintainers strive to facilitate a conversation, or in the case of I Can Has Cheezburger and PostSecret, grow a sense of connection between people.

What all these blogs have in common in similar colloquial language, informal and engaging, choosing to engage with the reader in a place between the formality of work and play at home and beyond. The usefulness of information or seriousness of purpose doesn’t always outweigh humor, which suggests that milblogs may be absorbed with the same frequency and urgency as PostSecret postcards are. Although Lifehacker is the most popular blog from the case studies, it is only two places ahead in the popularity listing, according to Technorati, of I Can Has Cheezburger.

Authority comes with longevity and the rabidness of one’s readers. When PostSecret went down several times in early 2007, other blogs were abuzz with theories on why PostSecret went dark. Often, the most successful blogs leak into the real world through books. PostSecret has four books and counting, the FSM had His gospel put into print in early 2007, The Sandbox recently published the first collection of soldier’s blog posts, and Lifehacker’s book of the same name will be re-released this year.

Another common thread found on all of these blogs is respect for the author. The Sandbox makes it a point to vigorously defend the First Amendment Rights of any soldier who had their work published on the site. PostSecret has experimented with more interactivity for the site, but chose to keep the classic no-comment policy intact, instead creating a separate space on a different website for PostSecret fans to mingle. However, the anonymity of the postcards and those who sent them has always been sacred. Authors or content creators are always credited and given space to preach their message.

The only true test of relevance these blogs have is whether they will be in operation not a year from now, but five years from now. The internet is a volatile atmosphere for do-it-yourself projects, but conversely easy to gain people’s trust and attention. However, it is just as easy to start a blog as it is to abandon it. That’s a conversation ended, but there are millions of other conversations out there, all important, some frivolous, vying for your ear.