I’ve been enjoying Darren Rowse’s series about what people would do differently if they were starting their blog now. It’s a brilliant series for so many reasons- Darren’s blog is well named and one of my long-time reads.
Here’s some stuff I’d do differently. Some serious, some in fun. Hopefully you’ll be able to tell which is which.
1) I’d do a lot more reading blogs before I started writing one. I read a few blogs before I started blogging, but I didn’t really understand the process. I thought blogging was just an easier way to manage content on a personal home page. It’s a lot more than that. If I had known what I was doing when I started, I think I would have been accepted by the old school bloggers a lot sooner.
2) I’d start traveling up the hill with other bloggers sooner. Starting a blog is still really hard. It’s so much easier when you’re doing it with some other folks. Once I starting blogging around with Mathew Ingram, Scott Karp, Phil Sim, Richard Querin and others, it got a lot easier and a lot more fun. If you know that 5-6 other bloggers are reading and linking to your blog from the get-go, you will be way ahead in the conversation building game.
3) I’d start out using WordPress instead of Blogger, since there is no sane and easy way to move from one to the other.
4) I might be anonymous (in a Thomas Hawk sort of way). I could tell some funny stories if everybody didn’t know who I am. And as hard as it may be to believe, I am even more opinionated than I seem. Being public, somewhat high-profile within your industry and employed in a non-tech profession really limits your ability to say certain things. I’m not sure I’d do it, but I might.
5) I’d have blown my vacation money on a few conferences so the people who currently link around my detailed analysis in favor of 10 word posts by their buddies would think I was one of their buddies and ignore other detailed analysis in favor of my 10 word posts.
6) I’d get over my hang-ups about emailing other bloggers about a relevant post of mine. Like newspapers and magazines, popular blogs are always looking for content. I love it when someone emails me about a post of theirs, an application to review or a potential topic for me to write on- it’s like they’re doing some of my work for me. I used to think emailing was an imposition and a unfair shortcut. That’s not true at all.
7) I’d start out assuming a position of authority instead of typing my fingers off and waiting for people to realize that I am an authority.
8) I’d become a cheerleader for Web 2.0 instead of a skeptic. I used to get a lot more free stuff than I do now.