Recently, one of the weblogs I used to read often closed it’s doors. It was kind of sad to see it happen, but I am sure sooner or later it’s doors will open for something, even yet, more interesting. It is (or was?) Joaquin Bernal “bitacora”, a weblog in spanish.
I decided to poorly translate his last post, which I found quite informative and interesting. I say poorly translate, first because english is not my mother tongue, and second, because with every translation you loose a lot of meaning that can be only understood completely on the language the text was written.
According to Earful’s Joaquin Bernal, here is how to “maintain your weblog and be proud of it in twelve simple steps” (original in spanish):
- Speak your mind, always. It will do good to your weblog: If you speak your mind and your readers do not like it, you will spark a controversy: that will attract visitors. If you speak your mind and your readers like it, your thoughts will have a good foundation: that will attract visitors. If you speak your mind and nobody cares, a lot of your readers will assume it is good material: that will attract visitors. Finally, if you speak your mind and all you are saying is something obvious, your readers will want to tell you they agree with you: that will attract visitors. Speak your mind, that will attract visitors. Phrase: “We can only give impartial opinions about the things that we do not care about, that’s why impartial opinions lack of value.” (Oscar Wilde)
- What you do (your job) it is not you: A critique to what you do is not a critic to you. An opinion about someone else job must be focused about the job, whether you like it or not. That applies always, but even more on weblogs, where you will never meet a lot of your readers personally. No that you even need it. Phrase: “Having kids does not makes you a parent, the same way that having a piano will not make you a piano player.” (Michael Levine)
- All opinions are not final. You do not need to please everyone: If you have the right to say whatever you please, your readers also have the right to disagree. That also applies to those who say that everyone has the right to say anything they want, curiously. Phrase: “There is something I can not deal with and that is intolerance.” (Earful)
- Forget about your site statistics: A visitors counter is not a geiger counter. That is, you do not need to worry about what it reads. Further more, if you do not need it is because everything is working like a well oiled machine. I am refering to both, the geiger and visitor’s counter, of course. If anyone ask you, how many hits you get, just reply “enough” and start an interesting conversation, for example, talking about lobster’s sexual life has given very good results. Phrase: “No one is really envy worthy.” (Arthur Schopenhauer)
- Be clear and stay away from ambiguities: Doing so you will avoid uncomfortable confussions. Although, if you think about it, no matter what you say there will always be someone that will twist it to make it sound completely different. So I am trying to tell you this, and the other at the same time. You do not understand? I was trying to be ambiguos. Phrase: “Try to understand what I am trying to say, not what I am saying.” (Popular wisdom)
- You can not make a life out of your prestige. Nor of your fame, either: Being on center of a needle’s eye, on a hurricane eye or the epicenter of an earthquake is impossible by definition. Believe you are can be a slight “massage” to your ego. But your life is something else, or it should be. If you need one of those “massages”, stay with your friends. In real life they are much better (the messages). Phrase: “Starting out from nothing we have reached the highest pick of misery.” (Groucho Marx)
- Think twice before you write your opinions about something, depending of that something: Think twice and then give your opinion. If later on you think you were wrong or your opinion has changed, do not be afraid to do so, it doesn’t hurt. You will not die because you changed your mind, you will not be worse or better by doing so. The head is round for a reason: so your thoughts can change direccion. Phrase: “Never reason with your superior, you might be right.” (Marco A. Almazon)
- Run away from posting smart, intelligent things all the time: Not everything is useful. There are things we call unuseful that are, or should be, essential. Every once in a while, publish something stupid, or a link to a site without much interest. After a while you will realize that the end results to your weblog are the same. It is all about being, not doing, so do not try too hard. Phrase: “The unuseful wisdom only differs from the stupidity in that you need to work harder to come up with it.” (Swedish proverb)
- Some chinese do not know how to play the violin: Every once in a while you will see on the news a report about some prodigy chinese child, how well it can play the violin at an age when we did not even know how to count with our fingers. Does it means that the chinese are musically genetically favored? No. It only means there are plenty of them. Phrase: “There are three types or lies: the lie, the damn lie and the statistics.” (Mark Twain)
- Do your work right, so it will stand on itself: If you feel obligated to explain, justify and defend what you do, it means you are still on the early stages of what you do. Work harder and one day you will not have to worry more than the normal. Phrase: “From a protective father will come neurotic sons.” (Popular wisdom)
- You haven’t signed a contract in which you are bind to post daily: This do not normally happens. If you have done so, then I can not help you. Publish, post, yes. But refrain from being obsessed. An interesting post every 4 days is better than 4 worthless daily. It is your weblog, and it is not clossing because you haven’t post. Phrase: “The indigestion will preach moral to your stomack.” (Victor Hugo)
- Have a lot of fun, always: This is so obvious that does not needs commenting. If you have not fun on your weblog, then pack your things and go. If you do so, give me a buzz and we will drink some beers. Phrase: “Full of fortune is the man that laugh about himself, it will never run out of reasons to be happy.” (Habib Bourguiba)