Friday, February 22, 2008


From time to time, people try to get a sense of how really big the Internet in general, and blogging in particular, has become. One fascinating, if a little cynical, look at the phenomenon can be found at:
From this little report we find, among other things, that somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of all blogs are abandoned by their creators within one month of starting them. Millions of blogs have not been updated in 2 or more months, according to a study made earlier this decade; indeed, the same survey noted that almost 1.1 million blogs were started, then abandoned after a single day.
I've never been quite so cavalier as to start and end a blog in a single day. Within 2 - 3 months, though? A few. At various times I actually thought there was money for me to make on the Net. Either I had the wrong topics, the wrong design, too low a level of energy, or just pooched the whole thing [does anybody besides me remember Television Versus Reality? (not a look at "reality" TV - that actually might have found an audience!) It was a look at how unrealistic TV was. Well, duh, Mike. Did you know that some people believe professional wrestling matches are staged? But I digress...]
So, with my record as a blog-killer thus acknowledged, I'd like you to try:
This time, it's NOT about the money. Or the fame. Or the EntreCards. It's an honest attempt to improve the state of blogging in general. Two "pet peeves" I have are poorly designed blogs, and blogs that are badly written [and I should know!]. I'm hoping The Blog Lab will become a place that bloggers will come to for tips on better-looking templates, and better writing techniques. I am far from expert on either of these matters, though, so I am welcoming submissions from the Web. Please send them to:
[and please put the word "SUBMISSIONS" in your subject line! If you get as much spam as I do, you'll understand how easy it would be to delete an entry, thinking the sender wanted to sell me under-the-counter pharmaceuticals]
It's said that Confucius, when asked by an official for lessons in farming, replied, "I am not as good as an old farmer for that". Similarly, if you're looking for lessons in SEO, monitization, or other such topics, visit blogs by people who have actually made money with blogs. Goodness knows there are enough of them out there. I'm here hoping to improve the state of casual blogging [The money bloggers are certainly welcome to submit, but I would hope their efforts for here would be more general]. Previously published posts are welcome, as long as you own all rights to the work. No direct sales pitches will be welcome, but you are free to add a link to your web site or blog, if you're so inclined. So if the mood strikes you, come visit, submit to, and in general please support, The Blog Lab. Blogs will only improve to the degree that we, as bloggers, make an effort to improve.
-Mike Riley