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Monday, August 5, 2013

The Lost Blogging Manual

Scott Rosenberg’s Say Everything How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, And Why It Matters is a homecoming book for me.

In a history of blogging, he explains why blog time is faster than print time, has great quotes from my forty favorite bloggers, friends, and heroes, and provides a context for some of the knotty questions I’ve read or thought about.

On journalists versus bloggers, he thinks it was unfortunate that blogs exploded as print media imploded, doesn’t think one has much to do with the other, and observes that most of the sniping is conducted by journalists ranting on their blogs. It’s tough to lose.

Rosenberg shows a dizzying range of uses and business models for blogs and how they worked out. I got a new appreciation for Sales Lab Posts and Through The Browser as well as ideas for where to go next.

If you blog or want to blog, read Say Everything. You’ll be encouraged and have a better context for proceeding.

Now I’m going to put in some of the pieces that meant a lot to me while reading the book (yes, it’s that good and that important), so I’ll now have a place to come back for them. They are a tiny part of the book.

Evan Williams of Blogger and Twitter implements the “ruthless simplicity” business model when its down to him, keeping Blogger going, alone in his apartment. 130

Dan Gillmor, journalist to blogger, My readers know more than I do 134

Andrew Sullivan, Peer-to-peer journalism, I realized, had a huge advantage over old-style journalism. It could marshal the knowledge and resources of thousands, rather than the certitudes of the few. 137

Kos, Blogs are a tool, nothing more. 142

Dave Winer, It was a mistake to believe that creativity was something you could delegate, no matter how much better they were than you, because it’s an important human activity, like breathing eating, walking, laughing, loving. 185

Joel Spolsky’s blogging formula, A series of essays delivered informally, blog style...festooned his technical discourse with recollections from his days in the Israeli army and references to the Yiddish folktales he cherished.. 172

Jon Udell, The demonstration of knowledge and expertise over time in a weblog is the modern equivalent of a resume. 173

Doc Searls, If you’re into blogs to make money, you’re into it for the wrong reasons. Do you ask your back porch what its business plan is?

Difference between making money with a blog and because of a blog.

This sort of blogging wasn’t really a media business at all, one in which you offer some creative material or “content” to gather a crowd and then sell the attention of that crowd to somebody else. It was more like a kind of low-cost direct marketing - an advertisement for yourself, by yourself. 173

Richard Dawkins, Meme – name for an infectious (or viral) concept or idea. 209

Clay Shirky, Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality. A mathematical explanation of why the top bloggers stay the top bloggers. 213

Clay Shirky, It’s not impossible to launch a new blog and become highly read, but it’s harder than it was last year and it will be still harder next year. 216

Insider’s Joke Instead of being famous for 15 minutes, being famous for 15 people 217

Chris Anderson, A passionate amateur almost always beats a bored professional. 282

Marc Andreessen, led the Mosaic browser development. When he was taking Ning to over 750,000 social networks, he was getting a lot of attention blogging. Andreessen’s blog was my first subscription, substantially changing my work process. I’ve said Marc was the Peter Drucker of the web.

After he left Ning, Marc took down his blog. Jed Christiansen liked Marc’s blog more (and more usefully) than I did, he resurrected it. I go back and read it often.

Marc Andreessen, I should have started doing this years and years ago.

Anyone who says blogs are not widely read is incorrect. I have been absolutely amazed at the range and diversity of the people who have been reading this blog, and so quickly.

It is crystal clear to me now that at least in industries where lots of people are online, blogging is the single best way to communicate and interact. 302

Clay Shirky, The web inverts the publishing structure. Say everything first, then filter. 318

Endnotes (links) are curated at

Thank you for reading the parts I wanted to save. Since you came this far, you might also like these posts:

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