Geeks With Blogs
Caffeinated Coder A Grande, Triple Shot, Non-Fat Core Dump by Russell Ball
Do you think you have a good blog post in your, but aren't ready for the commitment of maintaining a blog yourself?  I'd like to open up my blog for a couple of guest posts each month. Send your masterpiece prose to along with a few sentences about yourself and possibly even a picture, then I'll display it for my vast readership to admire. at least I'll read it.

I am still relatively new to the world of blogging, but for what it is worth, here are a few questions that I have been trying to ask myself whenever I sit down to write a post these days. Keep in mind that this advice is fresh in my mind because I have failed miserably to follow them at some point along the way. Several of these ideas also come more from my experience as a reader of other blogs than as a writer, so you should be able to relate even if you have never written a technical sentence in your life.
  • Picking a topic:
    • What perspectives or experiences do I have that are relatively unique?
    • What do I feel passionate about?
    • What is most relevant in my life at the moment? (it is easier to write about thoughts and feelings that are still fresh on my mind.)
    • Is there a fresh spin that I can put on my otherwise boring topic to rescue it from the realm of cliche and white noise?
  • Category specific questions:
    • Link Love/Blog Reviews: How can I add value to the link and persuade a reader with no attention span to click on it. I would be afraid if someone trusted me enough to blindly click on anything I suggest without me first providing some context or reasons as to why I enjoyed the post or resource.
    • How-To Content: How can I make the information more concise and grokable than everything else I see out there? Blogs aren't the right medium to bring somebody from beginner to expert in one post, so I try to hook interest with my post and then provide resources that the reader can explore in more depth if they are so inspired.
    • Rant: How can I communicate my angst in a way that would make me feel comfortable even if the people who were the source of my frustrations were in the same room with me reading the post over my shoulder? If that thought makes me feel uncomfortable, then I take a step back and figure out another way to communicate my point.
    • Humor: Is my humor appropriate and does it add or detract from my message? Humor can either save or kill a message. It can be endlessly entertaining if done in moderation or incredibly tedious if overdone.
  • General good practices:
    • Separation of Concerns - What is my most important message? If there are multiple competing messages, I try to consider breaking them into multiple posts.
    • Research - Am I comfortable with the assumptions I made and the level of detail I provided? If I can imagine a reader legitimately calling bullsh*t on one of my claims, then I try to spend some quality time with Google.
    • Format - Is my post a reasonable length and are my paragraphs as short as possible (see Ayende's post on readability)? I think it is safer to assume that someone is more likely to stop reading my post halfway through because I am being a wordy bastard than it is that they get to the end and are left wanting more. Readers can always extend the conversation through the comment section if they want more detail.
Not to put anyone on the spot, but I do have a list of people in mind that I know and would love to hear from. In no particular order, my vicitims include: JR Growney, Marshal Simmons, Jacob Shafton, Raoul Ellias, Ionuts Ciordas, Dewayne Christensen, Troy Tuttle, Jim Sowers, Jim Wilson, Grif Sims, and Adam Miller.

Of course, you are still welcome to send me a guest post even it you don't know me or if you know me but were lucky enough to not be included on my list.

Happy writing.
Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2007 11:51 PM Musings, Rants, and Humor | Back to top

Comments on this post: Calling All Future Guest Bloggers

# re: Calling All Future Guest Bloggers
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Sorry, but I quit reading your blog three years ago...

Left by Dewayne Christensen on Oct 15, 2007 7:07 AM

# re: Calling All Future Guest Bloggers
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Wow, you're smarter than I gave you credit for. The people on the list were the ones that I thought didn't have enough sense to do that...:-)
Left by Russell Ball on Oct 15, 2007 7:26 AM

# re: Calling All Future Guest Bloggers
Requesting Gravatar...
thanks for the namedrop but you know I'm not near smart enough to write a post. ever since I came into computers I can't write more than two coherent cohesive sentences in a row. see, point proven
Left by marshal on Oct 23, 2007 11:48 PM

# re: Calling All Future Guest Bloggers
Requesting Gravatar...
@Marshal - Which ones of us has killed more brain cells through shots of Jack Daniels? Obviously I've proven that ample smarts is not a prerequisite for blogging. I'll give you a choice, you can run my next ultra-marathon with me or be a guest blogger...your choice...:-)
Left by Russell Ball on Oct 24, 2007 8:34 AM

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