Blog This

From spring of 2003 until my graduation in May 2006, I wrote many articles for several sections of my college newspaper, the Los Angeles Loyolan. Here's one of my articles from the now-defunct humor section, Tangent.
Blog This

James Malins
Tangent Editor
Mark J. Lehman
A&E Editor

Originally Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Internet has a long history of providing mind-numbing worthlessness with no redeeming value. Primary examples include Hampsterdance, Hot or Not and the Dancing Baby. Blogs are shaping up to prove that little is being done to change such trends. What should be an excellent forum for thought and writing typically amounts to little more than a Harry Carey-style play-by-play account of what happened during the day. It is incorrect to believe that people are interested in the flavor of Starbucks you bought, or even that you went to Starbucks. The only time this might be interesting is if, say, you happened upon Scott Baio at that particular Starbucks, and he was not only drinking the same beverage as yourself, but was also covered head to toe in red war paint.

So don't let your blog fall into the steady drone of boring and overly-detailed personal narration. Don't become one more person to hate in this world-that list is already filled to capacity with people like Hitler and Tony Danza, post-"Who's the Boss?". In other words, don't be "That Guy," especially if you are female.

The following dos and don'ts will help you develop a blog that people might prefer over repeatedly gouging themselves in the eyes with unsharpened No. 2 pencils. (It happens, I've seen it.)

  • Update. This is a big one. Though reading about summer shenanigans in February can provide a welcome trip down memory lane, if the purpose of the blog is to provide up-to-date information about yourself, it might make sense to, you know, actually do that.
  • List a song you are currently jamming to. One of the best ways to find new music is to see what your friends are listening to. Provide this information and help spread quality songs-and by quality, we're talking Hanson circa 1996 ("Mmmbop") as opposed to Chumbawumba during the "Tubthumber" fiasco. This is not to be confused with embedding songs on your page that play automatically when you visit. Those are annoying, and sometimes make one feel that life is not worth living any longer. 
  • Funny pictures. 'Nuff said. 
  • This may be obvious, but it clearly needs to be said: write interesting stuff. If you don't do this, you should not be blogging. Keep a diary instead so nobody has to know about any aspect of your sad existence.
  • Tell every excruciating detail about your day. Unless you are famous-which you probably are not if you are reading this-nobody cares. Do not do this. 
  • Typing LiKe ThIs Is ReAlLy AnNoYiNg. Do not do this. 
  • Surveys. In sixth grade, these were cool. No wait, they were never cool. Do not do this. 
  • Checklists of things you have done. This is much like the first "Don't," but in bulleted form. Still not okay. Do not do this.
Blog Stats
  • A new blog is created every second. 
  • There are currently 14.2 million weblogs (not even including Myspace pages). 
  • Only 13% of blogs are updated weekly.
[via Los Angeles Loyolan:]

(And yes, the irony that I'm posting this on a blog is apparent to me. Hopefully I'm following my own advice. If I'm not, someone come fire me. Please.)
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