Nov 22, 2009  •  In Art/Design, Blogging, Web

A New Manifesto

Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day.
             ~ Thornton Wilder

Last week, a friend posed the question Why I Blog. (Why Do You?) The post was perfectly timed, because I had been struggling with the premise behind this blog for the past few weeks.

Technorati’s 10 most popular blogs as of November 22, 2009

Lately I have become disenchanted with the blogsphere, by the mere corporatization of the blogging world and its community.

I no longer consider the top blogs blogs. I consider them internet magazines, run by staff, featuring multiple writers, subject to corporate scrutiny, and driven by profit.

Little by little, I found myself glancing over their headlines, ignoring them, then unsubscribing to some altogether.

I began to work hard to discover “the little guys.” Mind you, they may have massive followings and make a pretty profit from ads and sponsors. Or they might be an obscure writer publishing under the default WordPress theme, unbeknownst to the world save a few lucky souls who happened to stumble upon their blog one day.

The only difference is that these bloggers write of their personal lives and innermost thoughts, bearing their hearts out to the world. They have no niche. And while millions may fit this mold, what makes these bloggers rise above the rest is their ability to draw the reader into their lives merely by their superb storytelling and writing prowess.

I want to be like them.

The problem lies in the fact that my writing ability is nowhere as great as these scribes. With 133,000,000 blogs in existence, how can I set myself apart from the rest without becoming commercialized?

The answer is simple.

Create a great written AND visual experience.

I have been told I am a decent writer. Why not add my eye for design into the mix?

This post is the start of a new direction, and I will continue to introduce visual changes to this blog. From this day forward, I vow to do the following:

Showcase my best work in each blog post. Take hours to write that one post. Read, re-read, and only publish the best. Take the time to include additional visual stylings. Take a clue from the bloggers featured in The Death of the Blog Post, and make each blog post a separate work of art.

Categorize each blog post. Written works will take on the format above. When I want to share a product, picture, video, hyperlink…even a tweet or a Facebook status, I will do so under a separate, appropriate category. And yes, each category will be styled according to its purpose.

Establish myself as a brand. Sure, I may not have a niche, and my life may not be too interesting. But what this blog represents is myself. I am my own brand. Let this blog best represent who I am as a person because who else can do a better job?

I once read that it is harder to get 500 subscribers than 1,000. I see this in action every day not only in the blogsphere, but in all facets of social media. The popular keep getting more popular while the smaller guys struggle to gain even modest growth.

Perhaps this change is what Geek in Heels needs to finally push it over that 500 mark.

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5 Responses to “A New Manifesto”

  1. Rhey says:

    While this sounds like a lofty goal, be careful not to censure yourself too much. What I love about small blogs is hearing the day to day of mundane life. If you set too many restrictions on yourself to only produce stellar entries, you may suffer from writing paralysis because nothing can live up to a set of imaginary standards. Sometimes it is the thoughts triggered by an non-notable event which creates the best blog entry. Don’t stifle yourself.

  2. Geek in Heels says:

    Thanks for your comments, Rhey! I have thought about this while planning my next steps for this blog, and I figure that the every day mundane stuff can be included with the thought-out, well-designed entries, in the form of pictures with captions, quotes, etc. I really don’t think I post too much about the little, boring stuff in my life anyway — it’s only when something happens, inspiration strikes, or when I come across something I’d like to share that I write each post.

    This new stylings and editing will only apply to my long, written pieces. I will continue to update as often and share the little delights of life with my readers!

  3. Palila says:

    I really like how you’ve succinctly put the three goals.
    And, the struggle of the reach. I’d been trying to get more with mine, but once I realized that my mom is my most-often-reader (and really, why shouldn’t she be my biggest fan?), I started putting more into my dog’s blog and using my personal one for my personal stuff and thoughts again. If someone’s a fan of my recent thoughts (mostly, making kickasseroles and looking for a new job recently), then awesome. I’ve come to terms with Angus’s blog being a) more popular than mine anyway and b) the brand-growth and showcase spot.

  4. Vir says:

    I think your content is pretty varied and interesting as is Jenny! 🙂 That said, I definitely think having a clearly defined purpose in mind for your site is a great thing and will determine how you approach blogging in general. I think a "successful" site varies so much from blogger to blogger — and when being lucrative and adding subscribers/sponsors becomes the primary goal, the site tends to become commercialized like you mentioned. I don’t think you’re heading anywhere in that direction!

  5. I found your blog while browsing on fabulously broke in the city, and it stands out from a lot of the others. There is an honesty there in your writing. I like your goals for your blog that correlate to mine at: iCafe Woman Moderne. Blogging is a joy and a challenge. I am that obscure blogger who choose to write innovative content rather than show a photo of myself in a new outfit at different angles and call it a post, and still manage to get ten comments. It’s mind-boggling at what’s out there.

    I struggle to get one comment for content surrounding intergenerational women. iCafe Woman Moderne is a virtual cafe where intergenerational women hang out inside a midcentury art moderne home. The setting is fiction-based, the patrons and servers are composites of women in my lives from 20 something to 60- something, but the issues are real. And,, I have to say, there’s a little piece of me in all of my icafe woman moderne divas. I plan to link your blog to mine and look forward to your personality shining through.

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