Formulaic

Lots of probably valid advice are* flickering out there in the digital ætherverse about how to improve and maximize the potential of “your blog.” WordPress offers some, and many bloggers have repeated (and repeated and repeated and…) some basic notions, achieving a clear-cut and simplistic formula for the blog-writer to obediently follow directly to success.

Fourth (it had to go here because I already had my three points in the post), a cute or snappy image (or two) is recommended to increase interest and attention. Not that this horrific picture qualifies. This image is one The Lovely One snapped of me for the program for One Flew over the Cuckooʼs Nest (I didnʼt choose to use it for reasons I believe are pretty obvious). Perhaps it should replace my aged Gravitar…

First, I am supposed to keep it short. Sometimes I do but not nearly as short (enough) as many, if not most, blogs, boasting just four or five short little paragraphs as a post. A short one for me runs about 400-500 words…

Furthermore, I need a very snappy lead (opening paragraph in just a sentence or two), followed by no more than three basic points, each stated as directly and briefly as possible. I should frame the post around a single clear issue and finish with a question to stimulate responses in the comments section. I have read some (some pretty good) blogs that follow this format, excessively programmatic as it seems. Most read like theyʼve been brewed (overly quickly) to a formula, bland and all-alike — like Hollywood movies. And the clever little question at the end often smacks of drooling manipulation (of the readers) or a desperate effort to turn a simple, gentle observation into a debatable controversy (or pose a question so bland no one really should feel motivated to bother answering).

Third, I should post regularly but not too often, so that my gentle readers donʼt feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of perusing my mortal observations. And my tags, that list of words in various sizes revealing the number of posts tagged with that term to the far right below the Category Cloud, need clarification and normalizing. This matter seems to preoccupy WordPress powerfully of late, because once I post manually, I arrive at a screen telling me how many posts I have made and how long this particular one is in words (a count that varies significantly, lower, from my own in Scrivener and theirs in the editing window for new posts, strangely), topped with one or more suggestions about more normative or obvious tags to draw seekers to my blog from search engines. For instance yesterdayʼs “You Have Posted” page got me to add the “dictation software” tag to my list, and I might have tried “Dragon Dictate,” “microphone” and about a half dozen other terms drawn directly from my text. Personally, I figure if I just tagged posts with “sex,” “naked” and suchlike lazy lures, Iʼd have all the pornseekers hitting on my blog all night and day.

So what do you think? Is pat formula preferable to crotchety, quirky curmudgeonliness? 

* It took me a second look, too, but “Lots,” the subject of that first sentence, is** clearly a plural.

** However, the word “lots” itself is just one word, therefore singular.

Footnotes are undoubtedly a poor idea, according to the formulæ, I feel sure. My cantankerous apologies.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

2 thoughts on “Formulaic

  1. I like your normal style and the fact that I never know what you will be writing about. And the picture is fine. Cute face, for an old guy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s