10 Things This Blogger Will Tell You

I keep coming across the SmartMoney article 10 Things Your Blogger Won’t Tell You, and to be honest, it really doesn’t strike me as being all that insightful. Of course a blogger isn’t going to tell you “Hardly anybody reads me.” Not if they’re serious about getting people to regularly read their blog. Saying that tells the reader that he is nobody.

But then it occurred to me today when I came across this article, what if I did tell you these things? Maybe that’ll set my blog apart, and thousands upon thousands of people will beat a path of ones and zeros to my page. Or better yet, maybe the author of the article will start reading my blog. (Daniel Cho, if you’re reading this, all I have to say is “owned”. I kid. I hope you like this post. 🙂 ) If there’s even the slightest chance of that, then I owe it to myself to give it a shot. It’s not like it’s going to cost me anything, aside from a few minutes at the computer.

1. “Hardly anybody reads me.”

Not true. I actually have more people read this blog than I physically talk to in a day’s time. Usually. On a slow day, I get around 10 page views. On a fast day, around 45. I’m actually very happy with the amount of readership I get, and appreciate everybody that comes along. And it means I can work a full time job and still respond to every comment I get.

2. “The more companies pay me, the more I like their stuff.”

That sounds like a nice arrangement to me. I’ll get back to you on what that’s like once somebody actually pays me to post. I’ll take my payment in coffee, cigars, books, import or micro brewed beer, port and/or random gadgets. Seriously though, I do my best to be honest. People always catch you in a lie sooner or later.

3. “Did I mention I’m not a real reporter?”

I’m not a real reporter, but I have every right to speak my mind and give you my opinions. You have the right to disagree, dislike and not read them. You also have the right to read, love and forward the links to my posts on to friends and family (or bookmark, or digg, etc.). Everybody’s happy.

Why is this even an issue? If reporters quote a blog, they are obligated to fact check that just like the word from the guy on the street. Don’t be lazy, you’re paid to write. Do your job. Don’t assume somebody had done it for you you.

4. “I might infect your computer with a virus.”

I won’t. You’re faulty or lacking anti-virus software may allow you to get infected (talk to wordpress, they host this for me), but I promise my words will only give you a headache.

5. “I’m revealing company secrets.”

I think most people know better than that by now. Anyway, I avoid posting about work, generally. I find that most people are about as interested in reading about your work day as they are in hearing you talk about it. Yep, not much. Besides, why would this be a bad thing for the reader? Aside from being absolutely boring, I mean?

6. “Just because my name’s on it doesn’t mean I wrote it.”

Yeah it does. Unless you’re a lawyer. Or a crazy ex-girlfriend. Or a crazy lawyer ex-girlfriend.

7. “My blog is just a stepping stone to bigger and better things.”

Yeah, that’d be nice. I look forward to the day when one of my crackpot theories develops a cult following and turns into a 7 figure book deal. I don’t see any reason why that would make me stop blogging though. And if it did, wouldn’t it be great to have it all in book form? Until then, I’m interested in blogging as a creative outlet. I’m not interested in becoming a reporter, I like the work I do now.

8. “I can control what you see on the Internet.”

I am Loquitus of Borg. You will be assimilated. Seriously, this is just crazy talk. I control what you see on this blog. Google controls what you see through it’s search engine. You don’t like what you see? Try another search engine. Or perfect your search skills.

9. “Blogging just about ruined my life.”

Again, I’m not sure why this would be a negative thing for the reader. The story behind that would probably make for a good read. So far, blogging has only introduced me briefly to people I would have never encountered before. I’d say that’s a slight up tick. Not an interesting up tick, but one none-the-less.

I also avoid talking about controversial topics like religion (Baptist/Christian Church), politics (Libertarian— rah, rah FairTax) and the Great Pumpkin (no comment). I find that mostly these topics make people angry, overly aggressive, and more resistant to decent debate. And it’s hard to debate via a blog anyways. I can post, you can’t. And I can nuke comments. Hardly fair at all. 🙂

10. “I’m already obsolete.”

I’m not, blogging is still pretty trendy. But I’ll agree to say 10 minutes after the people writing for newspapers say it, if it’ll make anybody feel better. Honestly, I now know about news typically 24 to 48 hours in advance of the newspaper because of online news sources and blogs.

After giving it some thought, it seems that the goal of this piece is to bias the average person against blogs. The undercurrent here seems to be bloggers are dangerous anarchists, not like you. They must be stopped! While of course the truth is, bloggers are you neighbors, writing about their daily activities and posting pictures of their pets in awkward poses.

(Note to self: get a pet, and take pictures for future post.)

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Atlanta’s 7 Year Explosion & The Hip Hop Oasis

Apparently my adopted home town leads the nation in population growth, going back as far as 2000. And I can believe it, I’m part of that statistic. And I’ve driven in the rush hour traffic.

I never planned to make Atlanta my home when I first arrived on a contract job in 2003. I thought I’d be here for my 6 month contract, and would return Portland, Oregon in a better job market than when I left. My plan was detoured slightly when that contract was lucratively extended by 3 months. And finally plans to return were put on hold as contract after contract held me in town with rates of pay far superior to that of Oregon. Even now, nearly 4 years later, with job market picking up in Oregon, I still find the offerings inferior to what’s available locally.

Another interesting fact that is relevant to this discussion is my neighborhood of Buckhead is home to the “the highest concentration of high end stores in the United States” according to wikipedia and bears the title of “Shopping Mecca of the Southeast“. Unsurprisingly, it’s also one of the centers of night life for Atlanta.

So why is Atlanta doing so well and attracting so many people? I have a theory that’s been rattling around in my head for a while. My theory is Atlanta is the city sheltered in a hip-hop/sports economic oasis. Oh sure, favorable conditions for business, proximity to Coke, Delta Airlines, CNN and a ton of major financial institutions has its influence too, I’m sure. But anybody can tell you that.

What not everybody will tell you is that the eternal exuberance of the local music industry and sporting events keeps everybody out late, living it up and spending money. People spending money keeps non-essential businesses open, creates new business opportunity and keeps people working even if they can’t dunk, pass or spit out clever rhyming phrases over old funk and disco hooks. (I’ve tried, I can’t. I do a comical beatbox, but I won’t prove it.)

In an effort to be thorough and back up my crackpot theory (do note, it is tagged “crackpot theory”), I did a quick Google search on the economics of hip hop. (The sports part is sort of a no-brainer.) There’s not much out there. I only found an article that mentions in passing that hip hop had the possibility to help rebuild urban areas in Detroit, but that doesn’t help me prove it has had anything to do with the good times here in Hotlanta, the city of Bling.

So I’ll leave it up to you. I welcome all attempts to shoot holes in my theory. Just make sure it’s my theory you’re aiming at. 🙂 Oh yeah, and if anybody goes on to get a plush grant to study the impacts of Hip Hop on the economy of Atlanta, I want an honorable mention. Or a really well paid spot on the research team.

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