How to write like a blogger – Seth Godin

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Eric Barker  -  
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You can improve your writing (your business writing, your ad writing, your thank you notes and your essays) if you start thinking like a blogger:

  1. Use headlines. I use them all the time now. Not just boring ones that announce your purpose (like the one on this post) but interesting or puzzling or engaging headlines. Headlines are perfect for engaging busy readers.
  2. Realize that people have choices. With 80 million other blogs to choose from, I know you could leave at any moment (see, there goes someone now). So that makes blog writing shorter and faster and more exciting.
  3. Drip, drip, drip. Bloggers don’t have to say everything at once. We can add a new idea every day, piling on a thesis over time.
  4. It’s okay if you leave. Bloggers aren’t afraid to include links or distractions in their writing, because we know you’ll come back if what we had to say was interesting.
  5. Interactivity is a great shortcut. Your readers care about someone’s opinion even more than yours… their own. So reading your email or your comments or your trackbacks (your choice) makes it easy to stay relevant.
  6. Gimmicks aren’t as useful as insight. If you’re going to blog successfully for months or years, sooner or later you need to actually say something. Same goes for your writing.
  7. Don’t be afraid of lists. People like lists.
  8. Show up. Not writing is not a useful way of expressing your ideas. Waiting for perfect is a lousy strategy.
  9. Say it. Don’t hide, don’t embellish.

What would happen if every single high school student had to have a blog? Or every employee in your company? Or every one of your customers?

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Q&A with Clay Shirky on Twitter and Iran

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Eric Barker  -  
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What do you make of what’s going on in Iran right now.
I’m always a little reticent to draw lessons from things still unfolding, but it seems pretty clear that … this is it. The big one. This is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Chicago demonstrations of 1968 where they chanted “the whole world is watching.” Really, that wasn’t true then. But this time it’s true … and people throughout the world are not only listening but responding. They’re engaging with individual participants, they’re passing on their messages to their friends, and they’re even providing detailed instructions to enable web proxies allowing Internet access that the authorities can’t immediately censor. That kind of participation is reallly extraordinary.

Click for the full interview.

Clay Shirky’s book “Here Comes Everybody” is here.

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How we read online:

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Eric Barker  -  
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To really get your attention, I should write like this:

  • Bulleted list
  • Occasional use of bold to prevent skimming
  • Short sentence fragments
  • Explanatory subheads
  • No puns
  • Did I mention lists?

Great article. Read the whole thing for a full explanation.

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