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Old 14-07-2013, 08:37   #16
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Re: To blog or not to blog ?

Blogging is just a way of getting something (done). One can opt for a website, a blog, a miniblog/social (twitter, etc.) or purely social (fb, etc.) or anything else or in between. Just chose the tool that does best the job you have in mind.

Whatever means you opt for, have something to say. And say it in a way that entertains or teaches (why not both) others. Or else keep it for yourself.

I think blogging, as any other activity, consumes huge amts of time. Or else you are a writer/editor genius.

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Old 14-07-2013, 10:02   #17
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Re: To blog or not to blog ?

Frankly speaking, majority of sailing blogs should have never been started. I have gone through really a lot, and most of them are plain boring. Not that there should be a gale everyday and wonders of exploration of some new land, but there are very few blogs that write about what surround them interestingly enough to read them.

The reason may be (according to a wise comment I have seen somewhere) that majority of people's blogs are about "Me", some about "Me and the world", and very few about "World". Those about "World" are the ones I keep reading. So, if you can create something that will contribute, and do it right - i.e. with proper fonts and graphics, proper text formatting, proper photos (size, placement), proper usability - then by all means do blog. If this is going to be another "Me" blog - well, what's the point?
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Old 14-07-2013, 10:05   #18
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Re: To blog or not to blog ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Whatever means you opt for, have something to say. And say it in a way that entertains or teaches (why not both) others. Or else keep it for yourself.
I think that is a rather harsh requirement! Have you been on the internet much?
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Old 14-07-2013, 10:33   #19
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Re: To blog or not to blog ?

I blog. I have a gig writing for the local newspaper writing (what else?) a blog about living on a sailboat in Annapolis. I started it to help non-sailors in our town understand why someone would want to live on a boat ... because I want to live in a community that understands liveaboards. What I discovered was that writing was a way of working through those thoughts for me, and that it made a fascinating record of my evolution from clumsy newbie to seasoned cruiser. I got so hooked that I've even taught a seminar on blogging!

With a friend, I am also involved in a blog-collector website: The Monkey's Fist: Collecting Cruisers' Perspectives that accumulates individual posts on specific topics. If you click "Monkey See, Monkey Do" on the banner, it will provide links to some blog writing tips and other handy stuff. And if you/she does decide to blog, we welcome contributions!
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Old 14-07-2013, 12:16   #20
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Re: To blog or not to blog ?

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
I think that is a rather harsh requirement! Have you been on the internet much?
Mostly ... ;-)

Ooooops, sorry, that was for the "If I do not agree..." thread ... ;-)))))


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Old 14-07-2013, 12:19   #21
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Re: To blog or not to blog ?

I will subscribe to that "me" comment above.

The whole civilization in now all about "me".

Read Dampier's blog, not much about "me" there, huh?

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Old 14-07-2013, 12:43   #22
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

Whenever I begin reading a blog I'm quick to become bored. They remind me of being invited to watch someone's old "super 8" home movies back in the sixties or scanning through someone's scrapbook. I do keep my own deck log, but I never suggest that it's for my guests aboard to read. There's a wealth of information on the internet, but searching through blogs is among the least efficient way to learn anything. Blogs may be like golf. Some are players with great interest and follow the game while others have no interest at all.
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Old 14-07-2013, 14:07   #23
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

We have a blog and we follow several blogs that change depending on our current interests.

For the average non-techie, there is no difference between a blog and a website, so don't worry about it. If you are a techie, you know the difference and if it matters to you already.

90% of your friends and family will lose interst within 5-10 blogs. The other 10% are actually interested in what you are doing.

The blogs we follow tend to be related to items we are interested in. For example, we are currently in the planning stages of shipping the boat to europe to do the canal system, so we are following a number of blogs of people doing the canal system. We also follow a few blogs of people with the same boat we have.

If you are trying to make a profit, you better have good writing skills and some wit. If you don't have good writing skills and wit, go ahead and do it anyway. No one is hurt if you do a bad blog.

We settled in on around once a week as a good starting point. If you try daily, it's a lot of effort and you wind up talking about doing the laundry (though we've come across some good laundry stories). If you do monthly or quarterly, I tend to lose track of the blog and don't remember to check it.

Generally, it should only take 15-20minutes to provide a post. If you don't have much to talk about, just write a quick paragraph and post a couple pictures.

Benefits:
- Friends & family that are worried about you going off the deep end, can check that you are still alive and out of jail.
- Other cruisers with similar interests will probably pick up valuable tips and ideas from following your blog.
- In a few years, it's fun to go back thru and remember where you were and what you were doing.
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Old 14-07-2013, 14:31   #24
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

I follow several blogs and love a few of them. The blog hook was set by Slapdash, which was fantastic. I also really liked Bumfuzzle when on their catamaran now its mostly about their kids which its fine, I'm just past that point in my life.
Currently I follow Windtraveler, which is very well written with beautiful pictures. I also live Banyan, also well written, because they are doing now what we wish to do in three years. Also good its Zero to Cruising, but they are about to start a new phase in their life a and work in the chartering side.
All of them are funny, show you the hard unglamourous side to some degree and help this live the dream from my sofa or desk.

I say write the blog, you never know, someone you never know may read it and love it and come up and say hello in some far away harbour.

If you don't like reading someone's blog don't read it, but don't tell them don't write it our ask what's the point. I and thousands of other people my love reading it.

Just my .02
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Old 14-07-2013, 14:58   #25
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We have a blog. We started it for the simple reason family/friends at home were freaking out about not knowing where we were and what we were doing.

Once I started it, I realized it would be a beautiful memory/journal of this time in our lives. I have written about the good, the bad, and the yucky. Today I wrote a post from my cat's perspective -- I think it is entertaining. We have included topics like the install of a watermaker, from the lighthearted side. I have written posts about weather where I explain certain weather issues in the Caribbean, so my family could understand. I plan to write posts that describe the places we visit, when we finally visit someplace new -- probably in August.

I do it for me. If people find it interesting great, if its boring then don't read it. I have tried to infuse a lot of humor into it, and I make fun of myself (and sometimes my husband) a lot -- certainly the post from my cat offers a different view that I think is humorous (or not, it depends on the person).
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Old 14-07-2013, 15:03   #26
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I forgot to mention I follow several blogs as well. Landfall Voyages has had some hilarious post.
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Old 14-07-2013, 17:42   #27
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

I started mine last year when I found my boat again, after it was stolen.
The blog was going to just be about her recovery and restoration.

There is pretty much SFA when looking for Westerly Nomads on the internet, so I figured that it may help someone else with their restoration.

When I tried to change the blog name to my own URL, Wordpress lost it all, so now I'm having to rebuild the blog. Yes, a smart person would have written it all in a word processing program, and saved it.
(I have to rewrite it. )

I've been pretty bad at keeping up with it, mainly because I haven't done much to her, but I'm also a bit lazy at blogging!

The theme was going to just be about the boat, but I have other interests too, mainly travel related, but I don't have the big bucks to go the traditional route.
So the theme is going to be my version of the Pardey's, "Go Small, Go Simple, Go Now!" . . . "Go Simple, Go Cheap, Just F-ckin' Get Off Your Ass And Do Something!"

The blog will be about budget (cheap) adventuring, and how I'm building my adventure vehicles as cheaply as I can.
There will be tips on scrounging parts, making your own, etc.

I figure that there are a lot of other people that want to get out and do stuff, and are looking for an affordable way to get out there and do it.

Just for an example, right now, I'm building a Honda CT90 (Trail 90, AKA Postie Bike) from a pile of scrap parts of different bikes (it's called recycling), and whatever I can source cheaply! When I'm done it will be an all new (all mechanical parts renewed) adventure bike for a lot less than you would pay for a new one at the dealer.

Anyway, I know there are people out there with similar interests, so the blog is going to be there to help them out, and give them ideas for things they can make for themselves.

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Old 18-07-2013, 18:39   #28
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

Good point Lilly.

As an ex photographer of the rock circuit I've only ever warmed to blogs where posters have a reasonable grasp on composition with images and who can string some interesting facts together.

There are far too many blogs not giving enough 'grit' that they dilute the real things we like to read. I once read a blog through 6-8 months before the guy even mentioned his wife was aboard. Admittedly she was a midget sleeping in one of the stern lockers but all the same...

I would say keep it real and say everything. The less detail conveyed the less creative and which is when readers start using 'next' tab.
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Old 18-07-2013, 19:14   #29
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Blogging should be like any other communication. Know who you are talking to and what they would like to hear. Will Aunt Mildred want to know your budget? Unlikely. But wannabe cruisers will eat it up.
Our audience is family and friends. So I make sure not to get too techie. I try to give a slice of our very unique (to them) life. I don't have a ton of followers but those who do are quite disappointed when we haven't posted in a while. They're fascinated by something they would never do and it is much more real when they know the person out there doing it.

Whatever your audience, please try to keep your posts short! I've seen some blogs that get quarterly entries that are 10 pages long. NO NO NO! You will loose your reader asap.
If you have a lot to catch up on, break it up into a series of short postings. Most blog software allows you to schedule postings into the future. So instead of one long boring story, write 10 short stories and schedule them to publish every 2 or 3 or 5 days. Keep them coming back for more. I created a series of sailing quotes and scheduled them once a month for the next year.
Pictures are very important. So get good at shooting pictures and take your camera everywhere.
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Old 18-07-2013, 19:18   #30
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Re: To blog or not to blog ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Frog View Post
Frankly speaking, majority of sailing blogs should have never been started. I have gone through really a lot, and most of them are plain boring. Not that there should be a gale everyday and wonders of exploration of some new land, but there are very few blogs that write about what surround them interestingly enough to read them.

The reason may be (according to a wise comment I have seen somewhere) that majority of people's blogs are about "Me", some about "Me and the world", and very few about "World". Those about "World" are the ones I keep reading. So, if you can create something that will contribute, and do it right - i.e. with proper fonts and graphics, proper text formatting, proper photos (size, placement), proper usability - then by all means do blog. If this is going to be another "Me" blog - well, what's the point?


Well, another problem with blogging about sailing is that sailing has been described as 23 hours of boredom followed by 30 seconds of sheer terror ... or something like that.

If you can't make ordinary things interesting, it's not going to be a good blog.
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