What makes a good blog?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/04/08 00:55 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/04/07/406392.aspx


A little while ago, tonyso wrote a post entitled If a blog falls in the forest...

It got me thinking....

Now for what it is worth, I am not fishing and no one is expected or even desired to post and say that I am. This is an official request to not post along those lines, everyone!

I am not sure if I am a good "blogger" in the conventional sense. For example I know that my policies about editing to fix typos and such goes against the whole "slice of time" idea, and the fact that I do not completely open up comments in a "free for all, Microsoft bashing" vein smacks of censorship.

Also, focusing on an area as broad as international means I am covering way to much to be intrinscly and consistently useful to anyone on an everyday basis. If people read consistently it is either because

  1. they find it interesting, or
  2. they hate it and want to see what I will say next (also known as "the Howard Stern effect").

Both of these ideas are vaguely flattering to me, for reasons I have not fully analyzed. :-)

I think I do have passion for internationalization in general and key areas of it (coinciding with that list of things I am doing now) in particular.

I am reminded of a quote from the movie Back To School. Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) is talking about a somewhat crazed professor Terguson (Sam Kinison) who he had just shouted down. He says "Good teacher, he really seems to care....about what I have no idea." I think sometimes people may see what I do that way (hopefully not too often!).

But I am having fun. I bought the following T-Shirt from http://www.thinkgeek.com/ not too long ago:

And I love wearing it, especially on days when I am going to a meeting where I am not allowed to breathe a word of what is said. Keeps people on their toes. :-)


# David on 11 Apr 2005 10:50 PM:

Harumph - the very idea that one can list criteria for 'good' or 'bad' blogs - bah! A blog is just a generic medium, like a blank piece of paper and a pencil on which one person might draw a comic strip while another a portrait while another writes a story and so on. Whether or not the end product is "good" depends entirely on what the viewer/reader is looking for. It would be ridiculously presumptuous to claim that a piece of paper is "supposed to be used" only for e.g. drawings. Likewise for blogs. A blog isn't "supposed to be" one thing or another (e.g. 'slice of time'), it's only "supposed to be" what the blogger wants it to be, be that just something to post thoughts occasionally, or a kind of public personal diary, or a forum for posting informative or interesting essays. And whether or not it's good depends on what the reader is looking for on a given day, e.g. right now I'm looking for more info on aspects pertaining to sorting of Unicode text etc., which makes your blog seem good/useful to me at this point. Of course useful is one thing, presenting useful info in an interesting way is another thing, and perhaps harder to measure the quality of except subjectively.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 12 Apr 2005 12:03 AM:

David -- all excellent points. Obviously I do not buy some of the rules set out by The Red Couch rules (cf: http://redcouch.typepad.com/weblog/), but some people seem to be enjoying it anyway.

Would I get more hits if I did things differently? Maybe. But would I have as much fun? Almost certainly not. :-)

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2007/10/28 What it means to me to have a Blog containing a blog in which I blog about stuff (like 'Go [[to ]the ]Prom')

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