Tim Carmody had a great guest blog post last week on Kottke.org about what a great blogger Jason Kottke is. Sure, it’s a little meta, but I think Carmody hits on something really important about what makes for a good blog (and good social media generally):
But really, if I had to pick my favorite thing I love about Kottke.org, it’s the structure.
The structure of a Kottke post is totally elemental:
- Pull (blockquote, picture, video)
- Reader comments (optional)
And that’s it. It’s the five basic units that blogs were built on, distilled to their essence. And titles and comments are important, but Jason’s done without them both. They’re paratext. The real core is link, pull, response.
These are also the elements that help establish bloggers’ identity as readers in conversation with other readers: I have seen something that I feel strongly enough to think and write about, and what would make me happiest is if you look at it, then think and write about it too.
For me, this is the key point about social media that I find myself trying to convey over and over again to my clients. If you want to do it right, social media has to be about playing nicely with others. It doesn’t always have to be about something someone else has written, said, or done– but it does a lot of the time.
If you’re unhappy with the response (or lack thereof) you’re getting to your blog posts, it might not be because the post is uninteresting. It might just be because you’re not taking the time to respond to others.