When I started writing my blog in late 2002, I read the Mark Bernstein‘s 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web from A List Apart. At that time, not many people run bloggers, especially in China – actually, people say 911 event is the push power for the popularity of blog since people began to stop the work on their hand and to start thinking and recording about their own lives. It is the same as Muzimei’s role in the Chinese blog world – the one of the important tipping points of the popularity in Chinese blogging world.
Mark’s article was the guideline for my blog writing. In his article, there are some important rules I’d like to recommend to everyone to follow.
Write for a Reason
“If you don’t really care, don’t write.”
“Show us the details, teach us why they matter. ”
“Write for yourself; you are, in the end, your most important reader.”
“Write honestly. Don’t hide, and don’t stop short. ”
“If you don’t write for a few days, you are unfaithful to the readers who come to visit. Missing an update is a small thing ?rudeness, not betrayal ?and readers will excuse the occasional lapse.”
“If you cannot write for a time, and the reason for your absence is interesting, write about it.”
“Omit unnecessary words.”
Make good friends
“Read widely and well, on the web and off, and in your web writing take special care to acknowledge the good work and good ideas of other writers. ”
“Weblog writers and other participants in the Living Web gain readers by exchanging links and ideas.”
Find good enemies
“Disagreement is exciting. Everyone loves a fight, and by witnessing the contest of competing ideas we can better understand what they imply.”
“Don’t take yourself too seriously.”
“Don’t worry about the size of your audience.”
“Do let your work on the Living Web flow from your passion and your play, your work life and your life at home. ”
Note: All sentences in quotes are cited from Mark’s original article 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web.
Owen from T i M E aNd T i D E (Chinese site and blocked in China. Why?) posted an article: Be True. He quoted Scobleizer‘s quote of my post Living Cost in Shanghai (Ops. What a wired sentence). Owen suggested to focus on small things. I was flattered by his article. Actually, focusing on details is a great way to amuse the writer him/herself, and the readers as well. I often check my previous posts and only those with great details about the day – the weather, the grass or some details attract my own eyes. These posts act as a training to bring me back to the old days via a time tunnel….
I do have a lot of friends. I feel guilty that I didn’t put link to their articles as often as I should. This is the problem to have an English weblog – I am aware more than half my reader cannot read Chinese and putting a link to Chinese site may be difficult for them to continue reading. I do want to share the good ideas generated by them. :-D BTW, Billy Qiu started English blog site: HitHat. He shares something similar with my blog: focusing on the small things in the city of Shanghai. He just posted an article 24-Hour Self-service Banks: Can We Really Count On Them?. Worth reading…
The largest list of blogs in China is Sinosplice’s China Blog List. According to Sinosplice’s description, “Many of them are written by foreigners in China, although a few are written by non-Chinese elsewhere or by Chinese people.”