Journalist Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice has one of the best-balanced and best-quality political news/general observation blogs on the web. Make it one of your daily reads!
From Joe, sage advice for bloggers from The Moderate Voice....
- It doesn't matter what a friend or loved one thinks. If the key to weblogs is honesty, then a friend or loved one may understandably not appreciate what writers on weblogs write because, more often than not, its more blunt and detailed than what someone would say verbally. They used to say journalism was "history in a hurry." Blogs are "journalism and op-ed pages in a hurry."
- Some people can't understand a hobby or perceived part-time job (if you look at blogs that way) as being worthwhile because people are using their free time on something that doesn't produces income. But WHY? How many people spend time their free time watching TV shows, napping or reading novels? Why don't they use THEIR free time producing income? Because it's FREE TIME.
- What is blogging? So far it is (for most) a new news medium that can bring rewards (recognition, a productive hobby, a way to constantly fine-tune writing and reasoning skills plus a way to meet via the Internet some very interesting people who are NOT in chat rooms talking about their hot weekend date with a sheep.)
- If you're honest when you write, some people may not like it and some people may automatically hate you. But in the end getting links is not as important as being honest and making your case. That's YOUR case — not what you think other bloggers, political partisans or your Uncle Sid want to hear. I've talked to three bloggers who now sleep better at night due to bloging. Why? Because they were true to themselves and put their pent up feelings, passions and political positions on their site.
- Never be upset by comments on posts. People ask me: why don't you answer the comments more? It's because I'm always behind on everything and have to choose between doing posts and answering comments. I chime in once in a while. But I respect people who leave comments showing they disagree with me because they've taken the time to lay out their case. It's an HONOR that they consider this site a place where they can debate..and that they return to give me hell (but it's nicer when it's THOUGHTFUL hell instead of just name calling).
- "Flaming" does hurt. Let's not be hypocritical. We draw the line on abusive language or nonstop personal name-calling attacks. But, again, healthy criticism and debate is what blogs are all about.
- No one is unanimously liked. Bill Cosby talks about "the Face" in every audience — how an entertainer can do a show for an audience of 10,000 smiling people. But it's that ONE FACE that isn't smiling that the entertainer will zero in on and get upset by. Someone will NOT like you if you're honest. And that could be a friend or mentor.
- Always remember that these days when people disagree with you there is a tendency to put down and demonize. That seems to be the 21st Century style.
- Blogs are a new frontier. They're just becoming prominent. To those who don't read them, it's puzzling why anyone would write something for FREE and spend all that time on it. And the fact that blogs lend themselves to total, free expression of OPINION is dismaying to some...especially if they don't agree with what you write.