Trying to connect

About a couple of months ago Bob Borson referenced me in one of his ever motivating posts as he contemplated the blogger’s million dollar question: How big is your blog? I’ve been wanting to give Bob some feedback on that topic but my life being crazy as it usually is, this time with a car crash in the middle to make things even more complicated, it’s been hard to get my thoughts together to write what I wanted to say. So, a bit late but still, here goes…

Bob started his blog – Life of an Architect – in January this year. If you haven’t visited it yet, you should. There’s some really great stuff going on there, not only because he is a truly diligent and prolific blogger but also because, as it turns out, he has very interesting friends as well. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying those guest articles although I would never make Bob’s mistake of letting my own wife write a post. Oho…

Anyways, just recently one of Bob’s friends, Derek Leavitt, wrote this interesting set of Rules for an Architect’s blog. It kind of goes full circle with his original post since writing a successful blog is about finding balance between what attracts readers and what makes the experience fulfilling to yourself. So, most likely quoting Mr. Miyagi, a personal blog is all about finding your own balance. And therefore the original question then becomes something like…

How big is big enough?

I started my own blog in December 2003. Now that’s a long time because, as we all know, blog years are like dog years. This blog has gone through many mutations and I’ve certainly made all sorts of mistakes in the process. But a couple of years ago I was making it big for an architecture-related blog, hitting the thousand daily visitors mark. Yep, those were the days because, for several different reasons, nowadays that average has been cut in half. And that’s okay.
Let me be honest about it. I’m not saying I’m happier for that fact. What I mean is that I’ve been trying to find that sense of balance, to find the reasons that drive my need to write a personal blog. And to me it has become a mixture of interrogations: who I’m writing to and who I’m trying to connect with. And the latter part of this equation really is a great measure of what makes a successful blog. Who are you reaching through the web? Who is tracking what you write and what feedback are you getting from it?
That has become a far more important measure of success than the single number of visitors one gets on a daily basis. And so I have come to realize that I’m trying to reach people who share similar interrogations, on architecture and life in general, and although I’ve been loosing ground on my home base of readers, the world map has been lighting up on my Analytics account. And it feels great.

As I face this new stage of my blogging experience, going through the set of rules outlined by Derek certainly makes a lot of sense to me. At the core of it lies the importance of humanizing the writing process. Simply put: be honest, be different. Share what you know. Share what you don’t know. A personal blog doesn’t have to be about yourself but it should be about your own vision, your doubts and your ideas. That’s what makes it universal, no matter where you are.
And if you stick to it, and keep learning and growing, people will come from all parts of the world. And in this nebulous landscape of the digital web, you will matter.

3 comentários:

  1. I checked out Bob's blog, just loved his honesty and insight. I'm in the process of starting to write my first blog and althought I'm scared, after reading your blog and Bob's... I feel inspired.

    Thank you

  2. arte urbana uma boa escolha de arquitectura interessante...

  3. Daniel, gostei muito deste post, as motivações de quem escreve (vejo mais como "falar") e as motivações de quem lê (ou "ouve"). Haverá comunicação? Que tipo de comunicação?
    Vejo os blogs como inúmeros fiozinhos de conversas que se cruzam no espaço, que se encontram e desencontram, neste tempo fragmentado, cada vez mais fragmentado a que nos tentamos adaptar.
    Colei e linkei aqui:
    Mas ainda gostava de o colar noutros lugares blogosféricos.