Workshop: Your Blogging Profile
What kind of blogger are you? What tools do you use, how do you convey yourself to your audience? In developing one’s craft of blogging, it’s important to be self-aware and know as much of one’s process as possible. Starting this series devoted to questions about blogging, let’s first figure out what the individual components are – and from there, we can start to figure out what’s important about each component, as well as what it says about each of us.
Here’s the categories I’ve come up with so far…
PLATFORM. What blogging platform do you use? WordPress.com, self-hosted WordPress, Blogger, Livejournal, Tumblr, TypePad?
HARDWARE. What machines do you use to compose your blog? Desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone?
SOFTWARE. What programs do you use to help you prepare your blog? This could be word processing, image processing, video or audio recording tools, and so on.
BEAT. What exactly do you cover in your blog? What is considered the primary topics you will handle? Is it just Jpop or just Kpop? Is it gravure idols? Is it AV idols? Is it an H!P-centric blog, or an AKB-centric blog?
TYPE. What kind of content do you provide? News, reviews, opinions, humor, eyecandy?
TONE. What is the attitude you convey through your content? Respectful, worshipful, snarky, neutral?
FORMAT. How do you communicate your content to your audience? Do you write news pieces or essays, record podcasts, post up picspam? Do you do screencap reviews of PVs, track-by-tracks of albums?
These strike me as the most important for discussion of the craft, the ones most directly concerned with blogging itself. That said, there are other things to consider, peripheral issues that can can also prove crucial. For example…
SCHEDULE. How often do you post? Daily? Weekly? Sporadically?
SOCIAL MEDIA. Do you connect your blog to other social media, such as Twitter or Facebook?
THEME. What theme do you use for your platform? Do you go with the basic, or do you spend a long time seeking one out and applying it? Do you do heavy modifications to make it better suit your needs?
CONTRIBUTORS. Basically, individual or team blog? And if a team blog, what is the team dynamic, how do you decide who does what? Is there a hierarchy?
METRICS. Do you measure the number of visitors to your blog? If so, what do you use to do this?
WORK AREA. Is there anything about where you work on your blog that keeps you going? Inspirational pictures, or a certain comfortable seat?
There’s more that can be covered, such as the use of plugins and widgets, the use of blogrolls and trading links, and… well, there’s LOTS. And we’ll try to cover the aspects of blogging you may have questions about, or answer some longstanding questions like: What’s the best way to do a podcast? Which is better, WordPress.com or self-hosted?
Anyway. To apply this to my own experience here with Idolminded, here’s my profile…
- Platform: Self-hosted WordPress. Tried and true and always improving.
- Hardware: Old netbook running Windows XP, first gen iPad, Touchpad running Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Someday I’ll upgrade, but don’t know when.
- Software: A wide variety, but I rely on these primarily: WordPress but not the mobile versions, which aren’t very good; writing on OpenOffice, Documents To Go, iWriter, and Elements; if I’m messing with rankers or generators it’s Notepad to code; images are worked on with Photoshop for all three machines and ACDSee for Windows; I make fumetti with Strip Design for iOS. I also have a couple of programs for making macros / LOLidols, though I haven’t done any for IM yet.
- Beat: Both Jpop and Kpop idols – and more important, bloggers about idols.
- Type: Aggregate link blog – which makes us indirectly a news blog, but not really – as well as opinions and reviews.
- Tone: Snarky towards idols, respectful towards bloggers. (Mostly.)
- Format: One-line linkblogging, along with essays, fumetti, and some various weird stuff.
- Schedule: Daily for the linkblogging, sporadically for anything else.
- Social Media: A simple Twitter feed, no Facebook because I never spend time there.
- Theme: A lightly modified version of Suburbia.
- Contributors: A team blog, with lots of guest contributors (I hope).
- Metrics: I use Sitemeter, Google Analytics, and WordPress Statistics.
- Work Area: If I’m sitting down to write and I’m at home, it’s a portable desk where I usually keep my netbook, sitting on a cheap ottoman from Target. I could set up at a real desk in the same room, but for some reason I like being hunched over this smaller area from a lower perch.
So, what’s your blogging profile? Share them in the comments! And if I forgot anything, point that out as well!