Apologies again for my semi-hiatus from blogging. I've reached level 40 (I now have a robo-chicken mount) on World of Warcraft and have completed (ahem) 80% of my research. One of the things I've been thinking about while not blogging is... blogging. A number of people have asked me to help new bloggers by giving them advice. In retrospect, I was giving people very specific advice based on my personal style. I thought I'd share some of the tips.
1 - You're probably stupid - Well, maybe not stupid, but at least ignorant. Often you are the last one to figure out that you're not as smart as you think. Assume that someone will think you're stupid and will kindly point this out in the comments. Preempt that by assuming you're stupid and uninformed. In other words, be humble and don't try to write something conclusively smart-sounding. Start a discussion where someone smarter than you can step in easily.
2 - You need help thinking - Focus on the parts that you can't figure out. Ask people to help you think. Most of the people who comment on my blog are helping me think. In other words, don't say, "Blah blah blah. I'm an authority. Now talk amongst yourselves while I go pat myself on the back." Say, "Gee, I'm not that smart, but here's something interesting I'm noodling on. I've gotten this far on these pieces. Help me out here... someone?"
3 - Take a position - Wikipedia is about neutral point of view. Blogs about points of view. You can always admit you're wrong later, but posts that don't have a point of view are boring and people are less likely to comment. "Here is what people are saying about Web 2.0" is less interesting than "I think the word Web 2.0 is stupid." However, remember rules 1 and 2.
4 - Link - Read other blogs a bit before posting. Link as much as possible. Try to participate in the conversation instead of soap-boxing.
5 - Write early write often - Don't wait for your ideas to be completed. When you have some inspiration, get it out of the door quickly. Update the post or write new ones as the thought or story unfolds.
Having said all that, I don't follow my own rules. Like this post and the last post... But this is the advice that I would give myself.