Teaching a class like B:BtB has, of course, made me analyze the blogs I read and follow. The blogs I’ve followed the longest all combine information with a very specific and personal voice. Or as John Gruber of Daring Fireball and Merlin Mann of, at the time 43 Folders say: Obsession + Topic + Voice. That’s from their talk at SxSW Interactive in 2009 with a rather hyperbolic title: HOWTO: 149 Surprising Ways to Turbocharge Your Blog With Credibility!
John also did an interview on Glenn Fleishman’s The New Disruptors podcast—Episode 14: No Kind of Work for a Grown Man with John Gruber—where they cover how John went from having a part-time blog to blogging full-time, and the various monetization models he explored along the way.
43 Folders is an interesting example for our class. Merlin Mann hit some success with his blog about personal productivity and was making good money from advertising, but then he realized that in order to keep that level of advertising, he would in fact be distracting his audience from their own productivity—churning out quantity over quality and he basically just stopped. Unless the goal of your blog is simply to have the blog, its important to keep an eye on your real goal and make sure that the blog is serving that goal, rather than the other way around.
An interesting video to watch is Justin Hall at this year’s XOXO festival. Justin was on the web from nearly the very beginning and was the original oversharer. (That’s someone else’s phrase and now I can’t find it to attribute it.) It’s funny and sweet and a great talk from a blog pioneer.