Monday, August 24, 2009

A Spoon Full of Sugar: The Art of Good Blogging

Now that I am a "published author" (although some people would say that if you self-publish it doesn't count) I have started to do a little reading about creating an online footprint and building an online presence. And for a while there I was thinking that I really screwed that up with all my stupid blog entries about bowel movements and leg shaving and other things. Or, if not then, by tweeting a series of inappropriate things said and done on our trip to Columbus last week. But this morning while Kari and I were in the shower (SEPARATE SHOWERS AT THE Y) I was mentioning to her that maybe unintentionally I have been doing something that makes good sense.

I have seen some folks who are very intentional in their blogging and they only blog about their topic of choice. Their words are well thought out, their writing articulate, and they would be the "go to" people for the people wanting to read about the topic they have chosen to be the central focus of their blog. However, the best of these bloggers, throw in personal things once and a while that keep the readers coming back. One of my favorite non-adoption blogs that I try to keep up with and that I have mentioned before is Scott Kelby who has been my hero for years. On his blog his sense of humor occasionally breaks through. He is professional, but his weekly embarrassing photos of himself, along with other things he throws in, keep me coming back.

Then there are the bloggers who seem to have no purpose at all for blogging. They are often very hilarious and write well, making blog entries out of almost nothing. But if you follow these blogs long enough, the passions and opinions of those people seem to develop a theme. Even in the midst of "meaningless fluff" they seem to have a message.

The key to a blog's longevity and effectiveness has to be finding a good balance between the two. Because honestly, I don't want to take my medicine plain. If I need to learn about something that is hard for me to grasp (again, photography is a good example) I don't want to read page after page of technical stuff without any relief. But if I want to learn about a topic, I don't want to wade through pages of nothing meaningful either. I want the content to be there as well.

I don't think it would take long for you to guess my passion and the underlying purpose of my blog (other than my own cathartic, narcissistic meanderings :-). I want kids in families before they age out of foster care -- either my family or someone else's. And I want people to learn how that can be done with the parents surviving the experience. But in the middle of it all, a few personal stories that make you laugh probably provide enough balance to keep you reading.

So if I post about the small forrest I have growing on my legs and that gets you to read the next post about how we are all getting way too resentful and need to let that go, then it's served it's purpose.

Unintentionally I've found a fairly decent balance. I'm sure there are those of you who want more medicine and need less sugar, and those who want more sugar and could skip most of the medicine, but hopefully in the end we'll all be healthy from a good combination.

Because after all it is a spoon full of sugar that helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way.

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