12.11.07

Of Zen And Blogging







I'm not one for pretentious mission statement like this..."I blog, therefore, I am". When I see this I cringe. When you travel far and wide in the blogosphere, you're bound to come across all sorts of idiosyncrasies coming from bloggers. Tricks and treats are everywhere.


Let's face it, there's always the good, the bad and the ugly side of blogging, being the "free-wheeling" kind of space that the blogosphere is today. But let's look at the brighter side of blogging where the dissemination of information is freely given.


Bloggers who don't hold back in sharing their knowledge are the ones that really make the whole blogging experience something to be appreciated and worth the time spent doing it.


It's a positive attribute -- and spreading the goodwill can only be good and beneficial to the blogging community.


The best part of blogging, especially for those seeking to enhance their blogging experience, is to be able to build a community and network with people who have similar interests.


If you have achieved the status of celebrity bloggers you can establish your credibility as an expert or thought-leader in your field. What else can they be but to be leaders of the pack.


When these bloggers write a post, the flood of comments that pour in says a lot about their popularity and status. They get tons of RSS and email subscribers. They are usually on top of major blogging issues.
Some of the qualities you find in these bloggers are that they know how to use personality, opinions, expressions as a way of drawing readers to read their content.

In blogging you got to know the art of writing for blog readers. These so-called thought leaders do have some tricks up their sleeves, and they know how to use them and keep us coming back for more.


Recently, Maki of Dosh Dosh wrote one of the most profound articles on blogging -- "The Secret to Building a Popular Blog" -- which is so comprehensive in its presentation it caught the attention of many bloggers. The lengthy article -- a brilliant piece of work, if I may say so -- created a huge buzz.


What Maki's detailed article boils down to is that you can overcome the barriers by spreading your wings to build a popular blog. It's all about following the right process, using strong tools, and applying smart networking to reach your objective.

The kind of blogger you are...
Author and blogger Seth Godin may prefer to switch off "comment" on his blog. Kumiko's blog at CashQuests did the same for a spell but decided to switch "comment" back on again. They have their reasons for doing what they did.

For Godin, he took a lot of flak for his surprising view that he no longer wanted to see comments on his blog. One irate blogger put it down as "a movement among the self-impressed in the blogosphere to toss up walls around themselves to avoid having to interact with the unwashed masses."


Some bloggers are so choosy about commentators that they put up "comment roadblocks" so that they can filter those people who come over to their blogs by requiring them to register first. No matter what excuses these bloggers give, they are just a big turn-off for most visitors who will most likely not come back again.


The very fact that we blog is to build bridges with other bloggers. If you're a blogger and keeps a "closed door policy" a better place to be would be a mountain cave. As they say, blogs without links are not blogs, they are the creations of arrogance and vanity.


Then there are other bloggers who behave like snobs. You can try to be friendly with them by leaving comments on their site but they never reciprocate in kind. For whatever reasons, you might think they feel you're not good enough to mix with them. Or basically, they prefer to stay within their own clique or kind.


Linkbaiting is another form of blogging trickery that some bloggers venture into to attract traffic. It can be effective but usually it is looked upon as something
associated with "underhand tactics".

Can We Be Zen-wise In Our Blogging?
Bodhidharma. Woodcut print by Yoshitoshi, 1887

From a holistic point of view, would it be right to link that meditative word "Zen" with "blogging"? Copyblogger took that holistic approach when he wrote about "Zen And The Art Of Remarkable Blogging".


Brian Clark succinctly expounded in that post that "blogging and Zen are closely aligned".


Of course, he was not trying to teach you Zen Buddhism as pointed out by him. He was writing that post to "provide some insight into effective blogging, or, at a minimum, gets you to think differently about your current notions regarding content and the attention you seek with it."


He went on to discuss "The Four Noble Truths Of Blogging" -- (1) Get over your "self"; (2) Free your mind; (3) Detach from results; and (4) It's up to you.


Zen comes from the Sanskrit word Dhyana. It means a meditative state in the Buddhist tradition. Zen practice is a state of mind.
It is about self-development, about experiental practice which helps us to see life directly and to act with wisdom and compassion.

BlockquoteZen encourages practitioners to learn from teachers and other students to better understand how to attain truth through direct experience. The blogging community offers a similar environment," writes Brian Clark.
Would you follow the Zen path to successful blogging? Is there such a path in the first place?

2 comments:

James - DigitalKeyToInfo said...

First, this was a really thoughtful post.
Not all blogs need to have comments all the time, but I think it is one way to interact with the reader and to know if you are hitting the right cords.

Markk said...

> James: Without comments there'll be no interaction. But you're right, we don't need comments all the time. Only when necessary.


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