Blog About Boring Stuff
In his TCS column, “Blogging: The Next Wave” Glenn Reynolds gives advice to wannabe bloggers:
There are lots of political/national security blogs (“warblogs” as they’re sometimes called, though most of them spend a lot of times on non-war subjects). There’s always room for another, especially if it offers special insight: either in terms of knowledge or location. But there’s no question that the warblog field is probably the most crowded, and that it probably is harder to get attention, even with a very good blog, in that area than in any other.
So if I were starting out from scratch, with the goal of having maximum blog-impact, I think I’d give that subject a pass. Instead, I’d look around to see what’s going on that’s potentially very interesting, but that isn’t getting enough attention.
That can be a subject-matter area (Howard Lovy’s Nanobot blog on nanotechnology is a good example), or it can be a geographic area (just look at all the attention that Iraqi bloggers have gotten, by virtue of being close to the action).
It can also combine the two. One of the things that gets undercovered in American journalism is local politics. One reason is that many people think it’s boring. But the other reason is that local newspapers and television stations have trouble covering it. They tend to be understaffed (my local paper has fewer reporters than it had 20 years ago, but it’s not as if there’s less news) and they tend to have trouble making the stories interesting to casual readers or viewers.
If politics isn’t your interest, local blogs focusing on the music scene, restaurants, or retail can do just as well. Review local bands’ shows, shoot a little video, post some interviews with fans or musicians, and you’ll soon be well-known in your area. You may even find people willing to pay to advertise on your blog, or to donate in support of your efforts.
So now we know how he stays on top: Throwing potential competitors off the track!
No, no, no–don’t write about the things that the top hundred or so bloggers are doing–it’s a crowded field. Instead, write about boring things because nobody else (at least, nobody anyone reads) does that! Hmm. This reminds me of the old Yogi Berra line, “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”
Although, in all seriousness, I’d probably read a good blog on Iranian nanobots that cover local restaurant bands.