Sunday, September 11, 2005

Struggling to get people to read my Blog

I don't know whether you have noticed this but the world is made up of two kinds of people. There are those who know what Blogging is and there are those who sort of glaze over as if in a strange trance whenever they hear or read about Blogging. Technology is funny that way - people love it or hate it.

I have a very good friend who at my encouragement now has a web site and a blog. I say she has them, when she writes an article it's a good days work for a couple of paragraphs. The reason is that she just gets bored and goes off to chat to someone. I keep trying to persuade her to get a microphone and start using the MS voice system which would help. I shall not give up.

But it struck me that there is a divide now between those of us who write online and those who don't and I notice that those who do not write also tend not to read much. Now I am a prolific reader and writer. I can sit down and write 1000 words for a post on a forum. My challenge is write succinctly. Winston Churchill is credited with saying, though I think he was paraphrasing Somerset Maugham, "I'm sorry this is such a long letter, I didn't have time to write a short one."

That said it concerns me that there is such an emphasis on sound byte communicating. It's as if everyone wants to know everything, but "Can we have it in a single paragraph please." One technique journalists use is to tell the story in the first paragraph and then to progressively reveal more of the detail like peeling the layers from an onion. There is an maxim in speaking from an old Baptist minster whose name I forget, that you "Tell 'em what your gonna tell 'em, then you tell 'em, then you tell 'em what you told 'em."

Back to Blogging - having got into it now, I find myself having an even harder challenge getting people to read what I write, but interestingly I notice more and more web sites now with Read My Blog clearly positioned on the site. I suspect however that another step is required, to educate and encourage people to even look - that will be my project tomorrow - to find a way to make the idea of visiting my blog more appealing to my friend. If I can reach her, I can change the world.

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