Friday, November 10, 2006

In Search of a Good Post

What makes a good post on a J-blog?

By 'good', I mean a post that draws interest and comments.

[Caveat: Hirhurim doesn't count here. It is in a class by itself as a gathering place for sharing of ideas. He could post on Shaatnez in potato chips and get 125 comments]

Here's what I think, in descending order of importance:

1) Have a take. Sometimes, a post will just be a quote from somewhere, or a compilation of source material on a certain matter. Unless that matter is very current and a matter of controversy, and/or the source material brings a fresh or surprising angle to the table, it's a dud. There aren't too many people who want to read a bunch of information just to get that information. That's what an encyclopedia is for, not a blog. There has to be something original, or you're useless.

It can even be not-so-thought-out, and original. That makes the commenters who call you on it feel smart. (Of course, if you're consistently stupid, then you gather a following of people whose only way of feeling smart is by calling things stupid...)

[That's something that people sometimes miss on the blogosphere. People fly out trial balloons of ideas, in posts and comments, that get shot down. Just because they didn't actually say B'feh Malei that they concede that their point has been demolished, doesn't mean that they don't recognize it. Doesn't mean they do, or think it has been, either...]

If the take is controversial, Harei Zeh Meshubach. To a point. You can't go too far off the edges or you lose your readership. So no posts denying the Holocaust. Or other sacred cows held by the mainstream blogger. Let me give an example. Ikkarei Emunah are not sacred cows to the MSB. RIETS is.

2) Write well. If a writer can throw in some wit, get in a good turn of phrase, or has a sense of humor that comes through, that will attract readers. Even if the take is not that controversial, or there is no take at all, just an entertaining presentation of an issue, that flies. Grammar, spelling, and all that stuff that you actually need an education for don't matter too much. Really. Unless you identify as right-wing. Then, the MSB will say that it's a Chillul Hashem that you write publicly and never took English Comp.

3) Form. You've gotta have paragraphs. If you just write 58 lines of unjustified text, it's an eyesore.

Anything I missed?



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