One of the best/worst features of Google Reader is the ability to "star" blog entries for easy retrieval. My list of starred items usually runs between 15 and 50 entries that I just know I'll get back to some day.
Among those starred items have always been a few Kathy Sierra "Creating Passionate Users" posts. (I wish she would start writing again.) Anyway, I re-read her post "Seven Blog Virtues (for a Global Microbrand)" and was glad I did so. (The post is actually a downloadable slideshow in pdf.)
Sierra has always been about marketing and increasing one's visibility (her job), but most of the virtues she writes about in this post just seem so applicable to all of use who write for other professionals about our profession regardless of medium. Her "virtues" and a few memorable snippets:
You should always blog for yourself, but if you want more readers, you should also blog for them.
Virtue 1: Be Grateful Our readers’ time and attention is a gift. Out of all the possible things that our readers could be doing (or reading), the fact that anyone comes to our blog at all is incredible. We must be grateful and try to give something of value in return.
Virtue 2: Be Humble
Virtue 3: Be Patient
Virtue 4: Be Generous Teach people to do what you do. Don’t hoard your “secret sauce.”
Virtue 5: Show Respect Don’t post for quantity, post for quality. If you don’t have something that you believe is worth the reader’s time, think twice about posting.
Virtue 6: Be Motivating
Virtue 7: Be Brave If everyone loves everything you write, it’s probably mediocre.
Don't blog the cat. It's not about you.
As an English teacher, I always reminded my student writers to keep purpose and audience in mind when writing. It's advice I ought to give myself now and then as well. Too often I find myself writing for simply personal amusement rather than writing to help my readers or the profession.
But it will be tough not to "blog the grandsons" and forgive me if I slip now and then.
Sierra's post is worth a look...
Picture from Kathy Sierra's "Seven Blog Virtues (for a Global Microbrand)" slide show.
For an op-ed POV see the next day's post.