Write Articles, Not Blog Postings

Jacob Nielson (the usability Guru) wrote a recent article named Write Articles, Not Blog Postings. The article is very well written.

To treat every entry on the blog as an standalone article that is valuable even after years is a very good way to think of blog.

What is a Blog?

The word blog refer to too many things, in just one word.

It can mean blog tools, like MovableType, or TypePad, or MSN Space. However, you can create not only blog with blog tools. For example, MovableType can be a useful Content Management System for creating help center for a website.

Blogging means the behavior to create one journal per day (or at other fixed frequency). You can blog without a blogging tool. Paper and pen, for example, are good for blogging (if you share what you write publicly).

Blog also means the result of creative work of bloggers. Blog refers to the articles on a blog, or created by a blog software, or created by a blogger, or of any combination of these three elements. For example, a blogger without using blogging tool, or a non-blogger with a blogging tool.

Blogger, of cause, refers to the person who blogs – like me.

Separation of Blog and Articles

The idea to write an article per day is great. When I do reflection about why I started blog, I remember the initial thoughts was just to write one article per day, no matter what topic I write. If you look at the first few articles I wrote, you get some idea about what Wangjianshuo’s blog initially looks like:

  1. MovableType Successfully Installed on Windows XP
  2. Network Infrustucture in my Home in Shanghai
  3. ODP – Not As Good as Zeal.com
  4. Korea: The Bandwitdh Capital of the World?

Well. As you can see, there is no Shanghai information at the very begining. Later, when the time past by, and I found by sharing my personal life, I am sharing about what is happening in this city, and then the blog became THE Shanghai blog. This, of cause, didn’t change the initial idea of writing an article every day and accumulate something big. This exactly echo what Jacob suggested: write articles, not blog, although I am using a blogging tool, and write daily, and I am called a blogger.

I hope I share my small piece of history with my readers who also write blog, and we all remember to create something valuable for Internet, instead of creating noises, or information pollutions on the Internet.

Google AdSense and its Impact

I cannot believe it that I have put Google AdSense on this blog for more than 4 years. It started as an experiment but later became a pretty good revenue source for this blog – at least I got more than what I pay for hosting, domain and everything related to keep this site up and running. Well, pretty more than that.

That is a good thing (to cover the cost so I don’t need to pay to blog), but there are some side effects. When I do the annual reflection about what is good and what is bad, I found the Google AdSense does not positively impact the quality of the post. Sometimes, I found to write a topic that is easier to get some Google traffic is more rewarding (in terms of page views, and so with the small amount of $$$ from the program), I feel I am losing the faith to create an article (I do mean A-R-T-I-C-L-E), and sometimes started to create blogs. By blogs, I mean the general meaning of the term blog: things like what is going on? what is the whether? how does my friends doing, blah, blah…

Maybe (I guess) the biggest difference between my blog and millions of other blogs is, I am writing articles that is useful, maybe only after several month when a real traveler found the site, and he/she happens to be on the road in the next few days or weeks. So keep what I am proud of.

So, I want to look back with my readers together and refresh the belief of writing articles instead of blogs.

3 thoughts on “Write Articles, Not Blog Postings

  1. I ran across your blog today from the United States. Very nice and informative, and, better yet, it’s in English!

    I visited China two years ago and made it to Beijing only but really wanted to go to Shanghai. Maybe some other time.

    As you can see, I work for the Voice of America in the US and invite you and your readers to visit our site. It may be hard to get to but I think with the right searches, you can find us. If you do, check out our new English webcast, The Daily Download. It is a noncontroversial video of all things web, cool pictures, latest happenings both serious and non-serious, and a great way to spend 3-4 minutes.

    It is also a great way to pick up the latest English phrases and hip sayings in the States so your English is up to date.

    So much for the ad, I hope to learn more about Shanghai from reading the postings on your site, and I truly hope to visit one day.

    Neal Lavon

    Washington, D.C.

  2. Well, I think your blog’s success base on your work experience.

    Since your worked for M$ and eBay, they’re lots of expats who wanna know more about Shang Hai visit your blog, and find your blog extremely useful.

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