Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
The different kinds of bloggers and techniques involved
Published on November 17, 2003 By Draginol In Blogging

There are basically two types of bloggers. And JoeUser.com is aimed at supporting both of them.

Web Diarists

The first type of blogger is the web diarist. This is a person who wants to be able to share his or her thoughts about their lives in a way that is recorded for the long haul. My wife fits more into this category. Years from now, she wants to be able to look back and be able to show that she did indeed think about things and do things besides change diapers and chase after our little sons.  Diarists are motivated by the desire to record their lives for posterity.

Web Editorialists

The second type of blogger is the indie editorialist. That's what I consider myself. Most of the top bloggers fall into this category because their blogs are designed specifically to be read by others. And in fact, they are designed to be read by as many people as possible. I became a editorialist out of frustration with the media. For one thing, I've done enough media tours over the years to know that many people who write the articles we read on a day to day basis know little about what they are talking. Whether that be politics, technology, software, games, etc. they often have their voice simply because those more knowledgeable than them simply went on to more lucrative pursuits.

To be fair, I don't want to imply that all journalists fall into this category. Most of the top journalists that you read on-line, in magazines, etc. really do know what they're doing. But enough journalists are clueless about the issues they write about (and I've witnessed this first hand) that I wanted to set up a forum that made it easy for people, all people, to have a shot at being able to editorialize.  Which brings me to the second motivation of web editorialists. What gets covered by the mainstream media is often not based on any sense of fairness but rather luck or the journalists personal tastes. 

And so that is where blogging, as an indie editorial movement, has really taken off.  Now anyone can have a voice.  Sure, you end up with a lot of crap. But how is that different than some of the dribble written by professionals?  How is Tucker Carlson's new book written any better than what Steven Den Beste writes? Can someone explain how Michael Moore's views are more well founded than what is written by Sanity from the Left?

Being a good web editorialist

So what about those web editorialists? Those bloggers who write things that they want others to read? Part of my reason to open up JoeUser.com to others was frustration out of my personal blog not getting linked to. I'm sure many of you reading this who have had blogs know that frustration. As an engineer, I want to see the popular blogs be largely based on quality. Not based largely on how long they've been around. Or worse, based on the decision of one person on a popular blog site who chooses, often on a whim, to link to another blog.

That's where JoeUser.com really comes in. If you have Alexa, you may have noticed that with only 2 months of availability to the public to have blogs, JoeUser has climbed to being in the top 20,000 most popular websites in the world. I predict within another month it'll be in the top 15,000 and still be climbing. This is important for bloggers because of the way JoeUser is set up -- the main page of JoeUser is designed for YOU. All blogs written are available from the home page. Popular blogs are highlighted. Top users are highlighted. Top articles are highlighted. Users have the ability to give points to articles they think are particularly well written thus pushing them up. And you can see who is linking to your articles giving users an incentive to go out and get their blogs linked and automatically rewarding those who link to them with a back link.

What gets featured on the home page is still currently handled by me. Eventually, as the site matures and gets more users, articles that get a lot of "Interesting" and "Insightful" ratings will be highlighted to me so that I can feature them quickly (right now I have to read through them). 

The idea isn't to feature articles that provide a certain point of view but rather articles that meet these fairly straight foward critiera:

Which articles tend to get highlighted:

  • Good subject matter that interests other people and is coherent.
  • Well written articles. Specifically, relatively low on spelling and grammar errors. Have a topic and make a coherent point. Sometimes poorly written articles (I featured one tonight that I wish I hadn't) do make it up if they were provocative but generally quality of the article matters.
  • Is visually appealing. That means good formatting. Spaces between paragraphs help. Bullet points. You're not writing a thesis.
  • Articles that aren't excessively wordy. Length isn't your friend. If you can make the same point with fewer words, that is good. This is a problem I run into. I tend to use more words than I need because I type 120 words per minute.
  • No profanity.
  • Has links in the article to sources or other things when possible.

I tend to write my articles in Front Page, then copy the HTML into the clipboard and paste them into JoeUser. It makes it much easier to write articles.

But whether you're writing because you want to add your voice to the world in the form of an indie editorial or you're just sharing your day to day life with those who are interested, I hope you're finding JoeUser an interesting and enjoyable place. We have a lot of other goodies in the works that we think will increase that enjoyment further.

I'm hoping to get JoeUser t-shirts made and send them out to the top users and top bloggers. If you're a regular here without an account, create one as every time you write a comment you get points and if others think what you write is interesting, they can give you more points too!

Happy blogging!

 


Comments
on Nov 17, 2003
Wow i'd love a JoeUser T-shirt. I'd probably even buy one if I'm not in the top ranking by then!
on Nov 18, 2003
I think that this would be one of if the best blog site I have seen yet, and in general the standard of articles is very high, interesting and always insihtful, it's nice to a) be able to have a say, and hear others have their say. Not to mention the inside gaf we get on the like of MS. Thanks for this site guys, and yes I am one of the long worded guilty, especially in my replys and comments, however I am now writing all out in star office, editing out the paddingsaving as HTML them posting, it has improved my spelling as well. Thnks Guys.
on Nov 18, 2003
Thanks. Now if we could just get the site to be FASTER.
on Nov 18, 2003
I've been reading joeuser for a while now, and I'd have to say, I'm very happy to see it going in its current direction. I have a blog site up, but I am so busy, that I have not written any articles for it. I do like to read other's stories and respond. The greatest thing is that not only can the editorialist put forth their own view on a given topic, but others can also rebut the main article, thus extending the range of editorial on that topic. It also gives a chance (to steal a catch phrase) for "fair and balanced" opinions. Thanks Brad for giving us all such a great creative outlet!
on Nov 18, 2003
I'm grateful for JoeUser.com and its ease of use.

EZP

on Nov 19, 2003
Until I saw this site I had never seen a blog! But I must say this is very addictive reading - usually well written and very entertaining! There is a certain amount of bias but the comments section allows a balance. At some time (when I can find the time) I may well start my own one.

Keep it up!
on Nov 27, 2003
This is a great explanation to my search! I had noticed the word(s) blog, blogger, blogging several times on the web. It was not on my list of priorities. Today I happened to be on a website where there was an invitation to blog. What in blazes is that? I fired up the search engine and found an abstract slideshow on blogging. It was short on words and big on images of examples. Somehow I still was not sure what it meant. I clicked on a link that said I could get my own blogging software. I arrived on your home page. After wading through some articles and the tabs at the top, I found this article. You know, blogging is the answer to my frustration. I am alone most of the day and my limited audience is not interested in my rantings. Perhaps writing it all down in a log like this will help put me together. I am a "jill of all but master of none" I truly enjoy the quality of posts here. Let me give this a try and I'll see if I can add this to my site! I need to learn more.

Thank you very much! You made my day!
on Jan 13, 2004
That's the spirit, Annette, keep learning.
Brad, I realize this is your baby and can arbitrarily feature your own articles--but must there be all of them?
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