Bad Blogging: A Guide


Every blogger – at some point – is guilty of bad blogging.

Blogging is fast – Internet fast.  And that means making mistakes.  It means errors in judgement.  It means writing and publishing on a whim.  It means writing without an editor (or a proofreader).

In means writing without a net.

And that’s dangerous.

Not physically dangerous, of course (although I’m sure some of my more angry commenters probably wish they could pop over to my house and poke me in the eye).  But dangerous on an emotional level.

People blast you.  Misunderstand you.  Yell at you.  Call you vile names.  Tell you that you’re an idiot.

If you’re a blogger – grow thick, bark-like skin.

You’ll need it (which is why having a background in journalism is a big advantage).

So what are the sins of bad blogging?  There are many – but here are a few of my favorites.

The Attack on Englitch

Many bloggers treat the English language as an inconvenience.  Unfortunately, there are others who treat it like a soccer ball – and kick the crap out of it all day long.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to read ungrammatical sentences riddled with misspellings, word misuse, and typos.

Solution: Buy a dictionary.  Brush up on acceptable grammar usage. Use the preview button before posting to proofread your work.  You won’t catch all of your mistakes (few can), but you’ll snag and correct the glaring ones.

The Groan Inducing Metaphor Post

A few weeks ago, I had fun with this concept as I examined the plethora of blog posts out there that had discovered “lessons” for social media in the most interesting places – from the Ground Zero Mosque to water skiing.  It would be difficult not to cry if it wasn’t so ridiculously funny (see the link below).

Finding truth, lessons, and the profound hidden in the everyday happens all the time.  But does the world really need a blog post about finding meanings in social media from skin care magazines?

Solution: Dance lightly around metaphors.  It is a short walk from the profound to the absurd.

Channeling a Raving Lunatic

Guess what?  Blogging in the middle of a temper tantrum is a big honking mistake.

Yes, writing can be cathartic.  It can help calm you down.  It can help you sort out your arguments and allow you to see the holes in your own logic.  So by all means write while angry.  But pen your profanity-laced tirade in a notebook – not published to your RSS-enabled blog.

Solution: Never press publish when spittle is still flying from you lips.

Umm, It’s an Anthill

Not a mountain.  Blogging by nature can be hyperbolic (some would argue that’s all it is).  A common – and lazy – post is the one where the blogger take personal umbrage at an individual or brand that happens to pull a social media snafu.

Oh, the horror!

As I’ve noted many times, making mistakes in social media is a given.  It’s a new media with no set rules and people are experimenting with what works and what doesn’t.  Analyzing the pros and the cons of any social campaign is what good blogging is about.

Creating a tempest and shrieking about how offended you are? Not so much.

Solution: Turn down the rhetoric.

Sermon on the Mountain

Ministers preach, bloggers shouldn’t.  There’s nothing like a wagging finger to turn a reader off.  Providing advice and counsel is one thing, but to preach fire and brimstone, my-way-or-the-highway guidelines is arrogant and obnoxious.

Solution: Advise, don’t sermonize.

We’re All Going to Die!

Facebook is dead!  Twitter is dead!  Blogging is dead!  Dead is dead!  Thankfully, this meme of bloggers declaring things dead seems to be dead – or at least in remission.

The only thing that’s really dead is MySpace (okay, see, how easy it is to fall into this trap?).

Solution: Keep things alive.

Me, Myself & I

I think this.  I do that.  I believe this.  I know this.  I’m wicked awesome.  I’m wicked smart.  I’m like totally incredible.  My opinions are always right.  I’m the center of the known universe.  I’m good looking.  I’m fashionable.  I’m a trendsetter.  My opinions?  Never wrong.  I’m wonderful.  I’m nice.  I’m on the cutting edge.  I’m better, faster, stronger and more successful than, well, you.

Yeah, that gets tiresome after a while.

Solution: Realize that you are not all that special – even though you did get a participation trophy for playing soccer.

I’d love to hear your bad blogging stories or have you provide other examples of bad blogging.

Links:

1 Lesson on Social Media from a Salami Sandwich

The Only Guarantee in Social Media? Mistakes

The Punishment for Failing to Use Social Media is Death

5 Responses to “Bad Blogging: A Guide”

  1. Good Blog! Consider yourself “Pressed”.

  2. Thank you for the kind words – and for being a fan of the stick man!

  3. Good tips on bad blogging, tks.
    I would like your honest advice on this. I’m considering blogging about my thoughts on life in generl BUT, as English is not my mother tongue, I’m really worried that I’ll end up regretting this. I keep getting the idea, as you mentioned, that we should blog like we speak and although I speak English fluently, I don’t use fancy words. I love reading raptitude.com, what a well written blog that is but at the same time, to me, it’s a bit scary bcause I’m sure, I could’t express myself so well as David in his raptitude blog, for instance. Ok, too long now, sorry.

  4. You can always blog in your native tongue. But reading your comment it seems as if you would have no trouble blogging in English. Good luck!

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