[This was originally published by Chuck Wendig on 1/24/2010 as a guest post on his blog, TerribleMinds.com, but is no longer available there. It was retrieved via the Wayback Machine and I’m republishing it here for my own archives, but also because it’s arguably timely again.]
This is part of a series of blog posts cranked out by my adoring proselytes — erm, I mean, faithful readers. I’m in Utah (er, presumably — maybe the plane crashed, or maybe I was forced into white sexual slavery somewhere in Dubai), so the task of entertaining you froth-mouthed moppets falls to others.
Today’s post is by Guy LeCharles Gonzalez.
First, a sincere thank you to Chuck for letting me play on his blog in his absence. I’ve never met him in person so I’m still not convinced he’s human, but if he does turn out to be a robot in disguise, I will happily bow to our new robot overlords and declare, “Well played, Google. Well played.”
Second, my definition of a blog: It’s the Internet, Stupid!
Third, I’m a firm believer in “When in Rome…”, and having a chance to let loose in #TerribleMinds mode is fucking awesome!
Preliminaries out of the way, here’s my two cents on the future of the blog.
GET A CLUE!
I’m a big fan of The Cluetrain Manifesto, a book published back in 2000, that was born online as a digital manifesto in 1999.
(Yes, 1999; back when the Internet was AOL, newspapers still existed, and the eBook celebrated its first anniversary. Oh, what, you thought eBooks were new? Can I interest you in a nice bridge to go with your ignorance?)
If you haven’t read it yet, do so.
Seriously, go ahead and click. The whole book is online for free, and unless you’re reading Chuck’s manuscript (assuming he’s not just lying robot scum sent here to demoralize human writers with his ridiculous ability to blog every. fucking. day.), it’s probably better than whatever you’re reading now.
(Yes, that includes this post. STFU.)
It’s the only book about the Internet that’s worth reading, because most of the other ones that have been published ever since are crap rehashes of what Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger had to say way back then.
Back then, in 1999, before blogs really existed and AOL ruled the Internet.
Today, blogs are everywhere. Like assholes and trolls, they’re everywhere and everyone has one. (Or is that vice versa?)
The Huffington Post is a blog.
The Atlantic is a blog.
The NY Times has a bunch of blogs.
CNN wants to be a blog.
Even William Shatner has a blog. (Very loosely defined.)
Shatner’s on Twitter, too, which is a “micro-blogging” platform. It’s like a blog on training wheels, for bloggers too stupid or boring to put together a compelling paragraph or three, and social media gurus who don’t like dealing with people all that much.
Ev and Biz clearly had no idea the monster they were creating.
GET A BLOG, YOU FUGLY BASTARD!
There was some talk last year that Twitter and Facebook (a social network that has blog-like capabilities) had killed the blog, but here we are on Chuck’s blog, so clearly that’s not true.
Blogs are here to stay (except for HuffPo; I’d love to see that thing disappear quick and take TMZ with it) and every writer should have one. Why?
Because only ugly writers don’t have blogs.
Think about TV newscasters for a second. On the National level, you have to be attractive or covering politics in order to avoid doing stories on restaurants with health code violations and on-the-scene reports from hurricanes. Ugly people get stuck on local newscasts in small towns people are trying to escape, and eventually end up behind the camera or becoming journalists.
Except there’s no journalism jobs any more because of, wait for it… blogs.
Unknown writers who blog get noticed, attract an audience, and steal well-known writers’ jobs who were afraid of blogging.
Unknown writers who blog have a better shot at getting published offline than unknown writers who don’t, too.
The old days of submitting short stories and articles for prestigious journals and magazines, building your clips to impress an editor who hates you and would rather be writing their own stories are over. Most of those journals and magazines are now gone or moved online and don’t pay jack shit; and the ones that do pay, only pay writers who’ll drive traffic to their site.
Writers who blog. Pretty writers.
But like Chuck said, “If you’re going to be exposed, then expose yourself.“
Get a blog, write a post at least weekly, and — this is the really important part — read other blogs that interest you and interact with them.
Because the future of the blog is already here.