Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Reading Incentive

What’s the difference between blogs and published writing? There is a difference, and many people don’t seem to realize it. Besides the fact that blogging is new to the writing world, blogs offer a new style of writing, compared to published articles, columns and books. Blogs particularly seem to have their own style of writing and attitude. It’s a style of writing that people seem to enjoy reading, but why do they enjoy it?

What makes blogging so popular is the freedom of writing. Freedom meaning writing in any kind of format one enjoys to write in, along with attitude, arguments, or even writing from a mood someone may be in. Most anything will get someone’s attention, but keeping it is what is hard to do when it comes to blogs. Some readers seem to like blogs short and to the point, and some would even argue that 1000 words would be to long. Therefore a blogger must ask themselves the following question: what can I do to keep a reader reading? Along with it being a freedom of writing, blogging is a form that keeps readers’ interest, the most when using humor, irony, and personal experience that people can relate to. Readers enjoy this and it makes blogging unique to other forms of writing.

Every writer has their own attitude or tone they enjoy to write in. Some range from a more serious attitude with a professional tone, others may write for fun and not care about how it sounds. These styles are either liked or disliked by someone. Because of the independence with blogs, people tend to find a favored style they enjoy reading. Once the people are drawn to a blog; the hard part is to keep them hooked to the reading. The reader may lose interest faster when reading a blog, so the writer must put in something to keep their attention, to keep their minds entertained. Examples would be: a change of topic, tone, emotion, and style. What kind is up to them, but some work better then others. Out of all of them, emotion is the strongest of them all; it is the most personal and descriptive. This is what writers tend to incorporate into their blogs.

Like all writers, bloggers use multiple writing techniques, which reflect to their topic. In comparison, writer’s blogs, tend to have a greater sense of humor than published writers. In fact there are bloggers who only write in a humorous style, like Uncle Bob’s post, “Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers.” Uncle Bob takes us through an eventful day at work when everything goes wrong for him. His style of writing is a personal narrative, which he writes as if he were telling it in person. He writes as if we begged him to tell us what happened. Looking back at his blog online, he has many different posts with this similar style. He also uses attention grabbing titles like: “There Oughtta’ Be a Law against Bran Muffins” and “Global Warming Can Kiss My Sweaty Behind.” This is a unique form of writing which attract readers. He tends to go off topic on small tangents, explaining his surroundings, to give the readers a total understanding on what is going on. At the end of the post, there is a hidden point to why he wrote this, but it can be hard to recognize because sometimes his titles don’t relate to his text. In all, his posts can be very funny. There is no meaning, nor lesson, so he wrote this blog for his pleasure and for the reader’s pleasure. Why people may read this would be to just laugh, to have a fun read. People go to blogs like this because it is rare to find a read similar to it outside of the blogging community. Bloggers write like this because readers want a fun read, they like to see humor in writing every once in a while.

Some bloggers are dedicated to write with humor, but there are others who do in different ways. These writers, they write for a known topic, but they may incorporate different styles in their writing. How this differs from writing outside of blogs is the use of narration in blogs, to tell a story. It is still very common to see most bloggers write as if they are telling a story in person. It seems though if they want to have a serious attitude in their writing, they have to be wiling to have a joking attitude as well. To write about a topic and staying on track, but throwing in the fact that they have a joking side as well. In “What the Hell Is a Weblog and Why Won’t They Leave Me Alone,” by Derek M. Powazek, he explains his journey into blogging. He stays on track, explaining how he got into blogging and how it has affected him. Throughout his post he doesn’t hesitate to throw in some of his personality, some over exaggerated statements like: “So I did something dreadful. Something despicable. Something so horrible and evil I couldn’t stand the sight of myself in the mirror in the morning. I started weblogging.” A statement like this makes the read easy, enjoyable, and fun. The use of irony and humor in this context makes readers want to read more.
Personality is key when it come down to writing. Writing has to have its own life to give to readers. I learned that by blogging myself. I try to put a piece of my personality into my writing. I try to give the reader an idea of who I am like as an individual, even if they don’t know who I am. Though I try to do this in all of my writing, but it just seems to be more appropriate for a weblog. Why is this? I feel that blogging is a type of an informal writing style without any limitations. Because it has no limitations, blogs can be written in any way. Now why people choose to write with humor or about a personal story is because people enjoy reading it. People enjoy relaxing reads, along with entertainment, put those two together and you get weblogs.

Graham, Alan, and Bonnie Burton. Never Threaten To Eat Your Co-Workers. New
York, New York: Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., 2004.

Rodzilla, John. We’ve Got Blog. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2002.

“Uncle Bob’s Diary O’ Chuckles.” Uncle Bob Fat and Bloated In Alabama. 27 May
2007. 31 May 2007 http://unclebob.diaryland.com/index.html.

1 comment:

mchasemd said...


You are correct that inherent to blogging is the freedom to express yourself without constraints. There is no newspaper editor to decide whether your blog will be printed, whether it will be frontpage or back, whether it will be returned for a rewrite or discarded entirely.

There is no one to hold you to the standards of journalism that the readers of The Lantern or The Dispatch come to expect.

As noted in my comment posted on your May 10th blog "Times have changed", I was distressed by your comments. You choose to report the feelings of an unidentified source without the usual reliance on the specifics of what, where, when, by whom and why's that lend some veracity to your statements.

Take any assertion made by this anonymous source and there is an alternative view. Regarding movies, we played a movie on a 9-foot screen from the first of November through the end of December, for 5 nights per week during erging. That's more movies than we ever showed during your rowing years.

Take the October Halloween night in which rowers dressed up and rowed, followed by a cookout and big bonfire. It was fun, but remember that was offered as an alternative to our usual regatta overnighter that was cancelled by Toledo. It was not spontaneous party. Parents bought the food, fired up the grill, and even covered the picnic tables.

When you talk about drinking before and after an event, I'm incredulous. We won seven regattas in a row between last spring and this spring, including large ones such as the Speakmon Regatta and Governor's Cup. The kids had to be at both regattas at o'dark early. If they drank the night before, it certainly escaped my sensitive olfractory system when we huddled up for a cheer. Their performances were incredible. As the winningest coach in the Midwest exclaimed to me after one race, "They must have set a course record" referring the the men's varsity boat. It doesn't sound like a bunch of hungover kids.

Perhaps the assertions are true and I protest too loudly because it is an attack on what really matters to Westerville Crew.

At its most basic level, we provide an opportunity for kids to belong to a group (or gang). That group has expectations to which its members must adhere. Some of these are punctuality, hard work, diligence, and tolerance....and no profanity please.

Punctuality needs no explanation. Diligence and tolerance go hand in hand. We tolerate uncoordinated, unathletic, even fat kids because we know doing the same stroke several thousands times per evening in a diligent attempt to improve always meets its goal. We tolerate kids who are not popular at school because it matters not when you're exhausted at the 1500m mark and you're relying on everyone in the boat to hurt themselves for another 500m.

Regarding tolerance, as you and I both know, it's often the less popular kid who is searching for more meaning in life, that finds crew. The 6'2" blond haired, blue-eyed, handsome kid in the Abercrombie mold has enough going on that Westerville Crew is not even a thought. We tolerate (no, welcome) all kids.

No, I choose to believe your source was providing misinformation and blogging panders to that. Still, I will read your blog but recognize that is what it is (versus the old days of, "It was in the paper and therefore, it had to be true" feeling).