Blogging About Blogs

I went to an interesting meeting last night, it was the monthly meeting for the San Diego Refresh group held at the offices of digital-telepathy. There was a fairly large crowd and it was encouraging to be in a group talking about web “stuff”, which I get fairly excited about myself. The focus of the discussion was about blogs and was held in an open forum method, with questions being asked by the moderators and then being answered by people in the group.

Definitely a focus on marketing blogs and how to make money from them. The basics seem to be, come up with a good topic, update regularly, link to other blogs and build up your traffic to a point where advertising will at least for the site and possibly pay for you to make a living. There were some links provided with more information about these topics. I’ll add those on at the end of this writeup for those poor souls who stumble over this page somehow looking for ways to make money quick from your blog.

While sitting and watching the group I was struck by a couple of observations. One was that boy, I’m old to be a web developer or at least in this group I was. Another thought was how easily the people seem to take to the social websites and have built up collections of sites where they are part of a community. I have looked at social websites and I belong to a couple of them but for me I’m still trying to figure out the appeal of the massive amount of personal information sharing that make up most social sites. But as I said I was definitely one of the older people there and I did not grow up with the Internet being easily available. It kind of saddens me a little bit because I could also see that this group would see new potential applications for the web that I could never envision just because the Internet and web sites haven’t been part of my everyday existence. Very similar to my comfort level with computers compared to my grandparents, it’s something I take for granted while they might not even have imagined the idea of a box that could do word processing, financial calculations and connect so easily to other people through the Internet.

Another thing that made me think was how everyone is involved in building up an on-line persona in order to be a part of various communities. Since there isn’t any physical presence on the web, we don’t get our normal cues from other people on what they think of us, how we fit into a group, and what’s our role. We have evolved to make sense of facial expressions, hand gestures, body movements, and other physical expressions and on the web the only thing that exists right now is text and some pictures. Maybe a few moving pictures but normally not live pictures feeds of who we are talking to.

The comparison I came up with was of amoebas interacting. They are pretty spread out, there aren’t a lot of clues as to what they are thinking and it could be easy to misinterpret what they might be trying to communicate. With the advent of social websites it is as if the amoeba is now trying to build a skeleton and fit itself into that. There is structure, there are movements that can be interpreted but it isn’t quite a complete being yet.

And since it’s a skeleton it’s easy to see through it and maybe see too much of what the person is made of. Think of the stories of people losing job interviews because of beer parties posted on Facebook, or of teenagers being caught for crimes because of video they put up showing them in the midst of committing the crimes. There isn’t always the privacy that we take for granted when we operate in the real world, face to face. I find myself very curious to see what flesh eventually grows on the skeletons of interaction that are on the web right now.

Okay, for those looking to make some money on blogging, here are a few of the links that I caught. I recommend checking out the referenced websites above for more information.

Copy Blogger – Site focused on bloggers and making money on blogs.

Tech Crunch – An example of how big a blog can get and features you might include. Includes some good technical article references.

Uncovering web2 – The opposite of Tech Crunch, looking to find what is the worst part of what Tech Crunch covers and how bad the sites really are.

Web Worker Daily – Information on how to use the web to be more productive at work.

Think Vitamin – A resource for web designers, developers and entrepreneurs.