Thursday, May 24, 2007

3 Time Management Tips For Bloggers

I've had blogging get in the way of working, my social life, even sleep. Here are a few things I've learned.

1. Batch your blog reading.

You need to read relevant blogs to make your own blog relevant, but the last thing you want to do is check your RSS reader every five minutes. I used to check my RSS feeds once a day, but my new schedule is once a week. Why is this? First, the longer you wait before putting your two cents in on the controversy of the day, the more likely your post will be interesting, put forth a unique perspective, and approach truly controversial subjects with fairness and calm. Second, staying up to date with blogs is much less important than filtering good content from bad. Good content makes your readers more effective at what they do; bad content is just noise.

2. E-mail before you blog.

I've got a post coming up on a neat Ruby library. I had a whole in-depth conversation about the library with the person who wrote it, and after a while realized it was more than enough for a good post. I've also written posts where the best content came from people who corrected me in the comments, and who I could have gone to for the correct answers in the first place. If you know enough to write an interesting post about something, you also know enough to identify some friends or acquaintances online who know more about it than you do. Check with them for a little tech editing and you'll save them the aggravation of correcting you later on.

A lot of people are scared to look stupid. Don't be. I'll be bragging about my advanced Rails skills and looking stuff up in the Ruby standard library on the same day. Acknowledging your own ignorance means that when you do claim expertise, people know they can trust you. And acknowledging the expertise of others makes them happy.

3. Throw away pointless words.

If you get halfway through a post and realize the idea is tiny, don't blather on filling up empty space. Just make your point and move on.

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