Are you ready for a new year of blogging?
I know I am. I spent the last week doing a lot of thinking, and I’ve got lots of ideas for the coming months for making this blog better, broadening the content and including new perspectives. Good stuff.
Before we get to all that though, we’ve got to lay down some ground rules for the new year. Yeah, I know. Monday, I said that your only necessary resolution was to think. Well I’ve done some of the thinking for you already. Follow my advice, and you’ll be off to a great start.
See, blogging and social media is maturing as a platform for ideas. What was just some emo kids with Xanga pages a few years ago is now a democratized exchange of ideas and information. But there are just some annoying habits that are still hanging on, some things bloggers need to let go of in the new year.
So, here are my blogging resolutions for this year. I hope you and the rest of blog-dom can embrace them too to make blogging better and less annoying for everyone.
Enough with the Hashtag Jokes
When the Twitter gods created their universe, they blessed it with hashtags, an easy means to search for people tweeting about a common interest. But like all things that were once good, people have twisted them to their own idiotic designs.
Hashtag “jokes” (and I use the term “joke” loosely) now permeate not only Twitter, but Facebook, Instagram and blogs themselves. I’m not talking about people responding to things like #LessAmbitiousMovies. I’m talking about people who litter their tweets with #pointless #hashtags and #nonsensical #inside #jokes like this: #hashtagjokesarepointlessandstupidandIwillstartunfollowingpeoplewhousethem
Yes, I Unfollowed You
My Twitter interactions lately have started to become dotted with tweets like the following:
“@MattisAwesome, @TimTimmerson, and @TheBiebs unfollowed me today. Checked by fllwrs.com”
If you have a service that sends out auto tweets like this, stop it right now. That’s right, I unfollowed you because your tweets reek and so does your avatar. Why are you advertising this? Is this supposed to make me feel guilty? Because all it does is prove that you deserved to be unfollowed.
Yes, Everyone Likes Starbucks and Apple
I follow a lot of people on Instagram. It’s a freaking sweet app that makes any crappy iPhone photo look amazing. But for the love of Pete, can all you Christians on Instagram please stop taking pictures of your Starbucks coffee cups and Apple laptops? We all love coffee. Everyone loves Apple. You aren’t showing anyone how cool and unique you are by giving free advertising to multi-billion dollar companies.
My resolution this year is to start unfollowing people who take photos of their coffee and computers.
Get Some Perspective
If there’s one thing the internet allows, it’s people to think more highly of themselves then they deserve to. I love it when people call themselves social media “experts.” It’s incredibly self-important sounding, especially for what is essentially a made-up profession.
Here’s my point: a lot of bloggers, when they get even the slightest whiff of attention, suddenly deem themselves “experts,” “consultants,” “coaches,” or “mentors,” to other, lesser bloggers. Get over yourselves, bloggers. The blog world is still very small. The Christian blog world is tinier still. Your blog “fame” doesn’t mean a damn thing in the real world. Stop calling yourselves “influential” on your about pages. If I haven’t heard of you, then your influence on me is zero.
Get Some Real Goals
For that matter, bloggers, get some real goals. Every other blogger hopes their blog leads to a book deal. Why is publishing a book the end all of blogging? Not that I don’t want to publish a book in my lifetime. But remember this:
Blogging is a fun activity, but it’s never going to be the most important thing you do. Blogging is also not your golden ticket to a more glamorous life. Your blogging idols who got to quit their jobs just to blog are not the most important people in the world, so stop kissing their digital butts, name dropping them like crazy and trying to hitch your wagon to their star.
A lot of Christian bloggers are desperately trying to become “influential,” whatever that means. What they don’t get is that your influence doesn’t mean a thing without doing something actually important to back it up. Go get a real job. Stop worrying so much about publishing your work and instead devote yourself toward polishing your work. Until that happens, you’ll never get published.
Finally, and this is just for me, I have a goal this year to trademark my own name. That way, when people say my name because they want my attention, they have to pay me royalties.
Okay, I’m glad I got that out there, because those are just as important for me to remember this year as they are for you. So, what are your blogging goals for 2012? What bad habits should the blogging world leave behind this year?