There is heaps and heaps of advice out there on how to write good blogs, mostly in the “5 easy steps” genre. Oddly, though, there is little in the “5 dazzling blogs” or “5 perfect blogs” Digg-friendly category. Maybe there is an adjective for blogs that I am missing!!
I don’t have any qualifications at all in literary analysis. Indeed having a literal rather than literary turn of mind, I was a total dunce at literature at school. What is the significance of the weather in Wuthering Heights? It rains in Yorkshire. You think it will stop because we want to be happy? You get my drift. I am bad at this sort of thing. Zero neuro circuitry for the oblique, obscure, metaphorical and mystical.
But there is an underlying structure to blogs, good blogs, that goes deeper than “5 easy steps” and I’ve been admiring @loudmouthman’s Social Media White Noise for two weeks now. What is he doing that makes his blog so compelling?
Easy reading features of Social Media White Noise
Yes. The blog posts are short.
Yes. Loudmouthman is listing resources. We love resources.
Yes. Social Media White Noise filters the social media news saving us a lot of time reading our feeds.
Yes. The prose is readable.
Yes. The layout is consistent and easy to scan.
Entrancing twists of Social Media White Noise
The pattern of the content is also interesting though.
Each post seems to be a brief description of mundane details in the day of two geeks in the south-east of UK, followed by a list of major events in the social media world world wide.
The mundane details are tongue-in-cheek in the self-deprecatory style of British humour. The contrast between the mundane details and world events also seems to be the key to much British humour. There is a sort of smugness, we are above it all, the world is really ridiculous anyway, ironical view which is commonplace in our descriptions of our world. We try and try but nothing works but it doesn’t matter anyway. Humour that is incomprehensible to many cultures and faintly irritating to others.
I think the blog really works though because of the sense of two streams of time – the forceful main current of social media world wide and the choppy waves and eddies lapping at its edge.
But it is the the juxtaposition that seems important. If the content were reversed and we saw the main events of the world in the background and our own daily activities in the foreground, it wouldn’t work. It needs the tension of foreground and background interchanged.
But why are the streams important?
I rather suspect the sense of motion is appealing to me – I am not sure whether it is to others. I would be interested.
What is even more important, I think, is the sense of belonging to something larger than ourselves. When we see the backdrop of our work, the mundane realities, and even brutalities, of our daily lives take on perspective, if not meaning.
It is the counterpoising of day-to-day life against the broader picture that conveys the sense of authority and feeling that these are people we look to for leadershp.
To convey a picture of where we are going – our sense of purpose and even the comedy of our own confusions – against a picture of where are world is going, orients us and provides a valuable service.
Now to figure that out for my own blog.
Social Media White Noise is very clever and worth a read. So head on over and grab the feed. You will be happy.
And if you weren’t a dunce at literature, tell me what they are doing to make it work so well.
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