Blogging for Skeptics
I am an author. I write fiction, screenplay, and have had my share of articles published. Why am I telling you this?
I’m telling you this because when I was asked to write blog content for this site I was scared out of my mind! This year I have become "the answer to life, the universe, and everything" (thank you Douglas Adams for the quote). This means that I was raised in a time when articles were written and published in black and white and landed on your doorstep every morning. In fact, I may have even delivered the paper in which you read those articles. So when I searched out the concept of a ‘Blog’ I wasn’t really too sure what I was looking for. There are so many formats to choose from on so many platforms that I had a hell of a time trying to narrow down how I was going to proceed. I figured that if I could share the thought process that helped me, perhaps it could help you too.
I started by asking the most obvious questions:
What is a ‘blog’...really?
Wikipedia describes a ‘Blog’ as “a truncation of the expression web log". It goes on to say much more than that, but from what I surmised, a blog is used as a personal diary, opinion or marketing tool. Here is the link if you’re so inclined to try and decipher the textbook description: tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog
What should I write about?
Well this part is quite simple – whatever crosses your mind that you believe will interest a wide range of readers. You may even chose to work with a theme.
Many relics like myself who were raised on newspapers and magazines may not have made the transition to mainstream media with ease and understanding. In fact, while the concept of the blog has been around since the 90’s, it wasn’t until last year that I started to understand the importance of how it has evolved. That being said, this new understanding has opened up the doors to new ideas and concepts that I’m looking forward to sharing with the masses.
What should my blog look like?
This question is going to depend on which platform you choose. With so many drifting through the cloud it’s hard to choose which stage you’d like your words to stand on. However, since you’ve arrived at this site, we’ll assume that you’ve found your blogging home and now it’s time to decorate.
Black words on a white background are pretty damn boring but at the same time, too many visuals can steal the focus away from the point that you’re trying to make. A bold statement printed on top of a Jackson Pollack would be as effective as water in an engine. If you don’t quite understand that statement, here’s another link for you to peruse (http://www.jacksonpollock.org/ - I had to stop after a couple of minutes 'cause I forgot I was writing an article).
How do I get my message out to the people?
Two words – “social media." The internet is flooded with social networking sites trying to cash in on the many successes that have graced the world wide web. Moreover, most of these sites link to one another in many different ways, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get your message out.
As an author myself, I have many pages to showcase my works in. Now the relic in me says, “Tone it down! There’s way too much confusion and people won’t have any idea how to find you. Simplify, idiot!" The realist - and dare I say narcissist - in me does a search of his own name and begins to see the saturation that multiple social pages can have. So like many others, I do my best to link as many pages at my disposal under one banner (or brand). For me, that banner has become, “Author Jaden Braniff".
So there you have it. Four simple questions that I asked myself in an attempt to integrate the relic that I am into a society that is accessing information all while riding the bus to work.
What questions will you ask yourself to make your voice stand out above the rest?