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The Common Blogger's Manifesto

Never before had so many people written so much while saying so little to so many others who couldn’t have cared any less.

I had a weblog once. It was back in the day when MovableType was awesome and WordPress was still a youngling. It was a time when there was still a debate on whether RSS short for Real Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. A time when the word “loose” was still the opposite of “tight” and “lose” wasn’t out of fashion yet. The good old days.

That age of innocence didn’t last long, and nor did my weblog. I probably tried to start a new one a few times, but I always ran out of steam.

But I did learn a thing or two, a few lessons that form a manifesto of sorts for the non-celebrity man-on-the-blogosphere:

  1. I shall not apologize for not posting. It always leads to an apology sandwich, where every entry is surrounded by two "sorry for not posting for a while" posts.
  2. I shall not obsess over statistics. Checking stats should be like watching one’s weight; done once every week or so and instantly evoking feelings of shame and guilt.
  3. I shall not spamdex my weblog. It’s good form to post a comment on someone’s weblog to share an insight or simply express gratitude, but there’s nothing more pathetic than filling every textbox on the web with rubbish for the soul purpose of gaining one more link-back to one’s own site.
  4. I shall not use ads, be it Amazon Store, Google Ads, or what have you. Leaving out such eyesores and keeping one’s dignity intact by foregoing the annual ad revenue that is worth about the same value of a Grande-sized Latte is a bargain.

  5. I shall add value. The web has enough Lifehackers, Engadgets, and Diggs that do a pretty good job as it is of aggregating and sharing the new and interesting. There’s no excuse for quoting someone else’s content verbatim with the preface “I found this and I thought I should share it” and calling it a day.

  6. I shall not be an a-hole. In a medium where one has all the time in the world to reflect upon one’s writing, a lot of people still manage to come off as total and utter dipsticks. Counterintuitive, isn’t it?

  7. I shall read more than I write. Preferably, a lot more reading than writing. For therein lies the difference between talking and yapping.

That’s about it I think. I could have added more, but I don’t think I would have reached the magic ten, and seven is vastly more biblical than eight.

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