Thursday, December 27, 2007

Proper Post Proportions

Posting size and frequency should be proportionate to purpose and popularity.

Focused bloggers can afford to post frequently. That discipline yields readership. Examples: Feminist Law Professors, Engadget, ICANHASCHEEZBURGER.

Note that post lengths are inversely proportionate to post frequency: either posts are lengthy and occasional, or short and plentiful.

Also note that you need not read every word to get the point.

Activity of the day: Calculate your Blog Post Proportion (BPP).

Divide your Average Post Length by your Average Post Frequency. This gives you the number of words you expect your readers to read within a certain time period.

What's an appropriate BPP? Well, let's consider Scoble:

It would take the average American, reading at 250-300 words per minute, ten minutes to merely sift through today's 2,300 words of content across 8 different posts... save nothing for the 30 hyperlinks embedded in each post.

Is Robert Scoble worth 10 (or more) minutes of your day? Every day?


Yet, your turd of a blog most likely contains as high, if not higher, BPP. Can you hold a reader's attention for 10 minutes a day, every day?

No. Neither can Scoble.

By comparison: this post, at 207 words, takes the average American less than a minute to read.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Why You Bore Me

You don't get to the point.

See that? I handed you the punchline. Whereas you, you meandering peasant, open with wandering prolegomena and half-baked musings without semblance of cogent thought.

Take this moment to apply the following exercise to the last thing you've written so that we may quantify how much you bore me.

Activity of the day: Calculate your Lead-in Logorrhea Index (LLI)

Identify the clause that contains the punchline and count the words in that clause. Call this x. Now, count every word (including parentheticals and numerical statistics) leading up to that clause. Call this y.

If x is less than 10, the LLI is:
y / (10 - x)
If x is 10 or greater, the LLI is:
(y + 10) * (x - 8)

Punchlines greater than ten words incur a hefty penalty.

If you cannot identify the punchline, your score is .
A perfect score is zero-- which is precisely how much you should publish.

Stop Blogging.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pure Genius

blog reading levelEvaluated by a highly non-scientific website, our blog need be read by Geniuses.

Sadly, this is not you.

In the future, we'll refrain from dazzling you with our lexicon and impeccable grammar. Instead, we'll merely post pictures of cats and embed YouTube videos featuring laughing babies and dancing robots.


Friday, December 7, 2007

Blogging Alternatives

Your greasy little fingers can't help themselves: you yearn to express yourself.

So learn to express yourself.
  1. Read

    Before you run, you walk. Before you walk, you crawl. Crawlers learn to walk through imitation, so start here: Malcolm Gladwell; Wonkette; Stop Blogging.

    Meanwhile, learn the rules of effective writing. Buy these books: The Elements of Style; Eats(,) Shoots & Leaves.

  2. Journal

    Share your words with only the people who care to read them. And, for now, that's you (and only you). Write whatever you want. Try it using a pen and paper-- it forces slow, deliberate thought.

    Don't erase. Write something and mean it.

  3. Review

    Find a good editor to critique your work. Hand her a red pen and instruct her to be ruthless. Read her comments. Read her comments again. Ask questions. Rewrite, rinse, repeat.

  4. Micro-blog

    Join a micro-blogging website like Twitter. Learn how it works. Follow some people who share your interests.

    Get to the point. Use only the space provided. If it's worth saying, 140 characters is more than sufficient.

    The previous sentence contains only 51 characters. The previous paragraph, 108. This paragraph, 114. Get the idea?

  5. Voice

    This blog employs laconic styling.

    This is our voice. Find your own.
As a service, we'll critique your writing if you've completed these five steps. It's one of the ways we put-our-money-where-our-mouth-is.

Send it in to 'stopblogging' at GMail.