How would you guide the reader’s eye in terms of content on your blog? What would you want them to look at and for how long? Would you want to present a lot of content or only a small amount? Continue reading On focusing the reader’s attention on your blog
OR On blog content arrangement Part 2
We talked about difficulties of navigating blogs without proper cues yesterday in Part 1. Let’s think about a few principles of arrangement of posts on the page today.
On a reader-friendly arrangement of posts
So how can we arrange content on our blog so that it’s more accessible to the reader?
There is only one answer.
The easiest way to do this is to put ourselves in the reader’s shoes.
We won’t be able to know how it feels in the reader’s shoes unless we first know what kind of content we are generating which in turn is attracting what kind of readers. Continue reading On a reader-friendly arrangement of blog posts
Have you ever seen a blog that you’ve wanted to see more of? You’ve tried to spend a minute or two trying to figure out how, been frustrated, and then moved on?
Haven’t you wondered sometimes how some bloggers put a lot of effort into writing a post, then select great pictures, put colourful badges, icons and a lot of other pretty things around the page and then put little thought into how the reader would navigate the blog? Continue reading On blog content arrangement
This post is as much for myself as for my readers.
I’m beginning to take notes as things work and as things don’t as I blog on the blog hoping to help myself and anyone who reads this compendium of evolving experience on writing as I grope my way through the blogosphere.
So here are my words of wisdom to myself.
Continue reading Five ways to hold your readers’ interest in your blog posts
Some things just become better with practice. I never realized the importance of this dictum until I started this blog myself.
There were some tenets of writing on the web that I knew theoretically but never really felt the importance of until I put those ideas into practice myself.
Through numerous trials and errors and experimentation, I’m afraid, on my extremely generous readers, who have always been ready with their good words, I’ve come to make the following observations about blog writing specifically and writing on the web generally:
Continue reading Improve your writing on the web
In an earlier post, On learning writing through blogging, I wrote about the benefits that blogging has brought me. I still stick by my idea that blogging is beneficial overall. But having said that, once the exuberance of maintaining a blog has subsided, I do think there are a few caveats related to the blog form that regular bloggers need to be aware of. This might be even more true of new writers who might be getting into a mould through repeated writing that will set their habit for life.
So one needs to keep in mind the following bloggers’ maladies: Continue reading Five drawbacks of blogging
It’s a rare day when you can sit down for a nice long blog. To read. More so, to write. Continue reading The long and the short of blogs
Comments. They have really been around a long time in many other avatars.
Continue reading Five kinds of comments
Continued from: Telling Stories:(Part 1: The Confusions)
The little blind lane on which my parents’ flat is located in Calcutta is very narrow but by no means sleepy. As you pass by the other flats you notice a mixture of old and new buildings. The new buildings rise up perpendicularly–straight from the road–while some of the older buildings have benches made of cement in small verandahs adjacent to the street beyond which the actual rooms start.
As I walk by my eyes glance over the verandahs, the curtains slightly ajar or the doors half open. A woman sweeps her balcony behind the metal “grill” of the railing. A green curtain is half closed behind which I see an elderly man sitting on a wooden bed in front of the TV, his head hidden from my view by the wooden shutter. A section of an old painting shows itself on the wall through a half open door. Voices float out of the homes in various different sharps and flats. I hear pots and pans clanging in the background as the domestics talk loudly to the women of the house as they clean the vessels. A voice floats out. Someone practising singing at dusk with the singing master. [Still has a rather long way to go, I think, that voice, as I pass.] A dog with four newly born puppies lies curled up on a cement bench on a verandah waiting for the domestic help to come out with a bowl of rice.
All bits and pieces of complete stories waiting to be told.
Continue reading Telling Stories (Part 2: The Arrangements)
Continued from On Writing and Complexity (Part 1)
How do we react to the following writers who might be trying to say they’re happy?
Person A: Awwwww. How sweet. That’s the best thing ever! Red roses are my favourite.
Person B: The flowers made me so happy.
Person C: My felicity was assured by your gesture of goodwill expressed by the earlier mentioned red roses at my doorstep.
Believe it or not, person C’s do still exist amongst us in the twenty-first century.
But usually, in the everyday world, C’s are really A’s or B’s rather insecure about what to write or trying to get an edge over A’s and B’s. What else can they do? It’s a competitive world.
But no matter what their intention, what do these styles make us assume about the people behind them?
I had the good fortune one of these days to help a friend edit his dating profile. He is a good looking, normal enough, fairly interesting guy but this is what he had as his killer writeup. He was sure that the following would have droves of women impressed:
I am a goal oriented, driven, optimistic, hard working, funny individual. I like hiking, biking, travelling and reading. Favourite book: Life of Pi.
Now, when he told me his favourite book was Life of Pi, I could not deny it. I had seen a copy of the same on his bookshelf in his living room. The goal orientedness probably came from the objective statement of his scintillating resume. As for the rest, well, he did have a sense of humour. When people laughed at his jokes.
Continue reading On Writing and Complexity (Part 1)
This is my space for idle speculation. What’s cool about speculation in this space is that it can be really idle in the true sense. My thoughts don’t need to be developed beyond the heated coffee shop conversation stage, nor need be backed by too much evidence.
From that totally secure vantage point, I decided to rattle around randomly through literary history in my battered, quirky time-machine gathering patterns that might tell us which way our stories might go in the future. Continue reading Where will stories go?
Have you ever scrolled through what seemed like a million blogs before you managed to come up with one that seemed worth reading? Have your various feeds been bombarded with numerous posts so that you have wondered if you needed to “unfollow” or “unfriend” someone while the whole time being aware of an uncomfortable feeling that you might be missing out on a few good posts by removing the blogger completely from your feed?
There are bloggers who post too much. We simply don’t feel like seeing them again. And there are bloggers who post too little. They get buried in the avalanche of the prolific post-ers.
It’s not the blogger’s fault. My limited experience with blogging has revealed an inherent contradiction embedded in the very genre of the blog .
Continue reading Blogging: Quality vs. Quantity
We drove to a quaint little town on the banks of the Hudson with nice little roads lined by painted houses with small well-tended gardens and quaint little antique shops that had their wares displayed on the pavement. The town seemed to be mostly populated by the elderly. We had coffee and freshly baked honey cake at a pretty little coffee shop.
It was there that I spotted an item that I’ve lost touch with in a while.
Continue reading Reading print newspapers
I must confess that amongst different kinds of writings, the introduction to blogs have posed some very special challenges. A blogger has to achieve a myriad different goals and effects within those first few lines. Otherwise, s/he gets shoved into oblivion without a second glance. Or a second chance. Continue reading Writing blog introductions: Challenges
My blog had a wonderful long weekend! The party started out being Freshly Pressed for Sounds of the Blogosphere (a second time in the blog’s life after My Blog Audience) as part of the Weekly Writing Challenge–The Sound of Blogging on Friday. Then, the group of wonderful readers who had decided to become “followers” taking out precious time from their schedule reached 1000 Monday night.
Continue reading Freshly Pressed again and 1000 followers!
When it comes to writing, different people do different styles well. No style is easy be it reflective or expository or informative.
Writing to entertain can take various forms but the most challenging to pull off, according to me, is the humorous.
These are the records of the Earthling Bottledworder (henceforth to be referred to as EB in the third person) trapped in the spaceship Over-Enterprise for several months on its voyage to the Blogosphere.
Continue reading Sounds of the Blogosphere
I learnt a lot about writing through this blog this summer. But what left me rather awestruck was how meaning travels and takes a life of its own in the blogosphere because the audience is so heterogeneous in every way imaginable.
Continue reading Blogging, writing, meaning