This blog post is unusual in that it’s actually a critical review of itself. It opens with a simple statement of what makes it different from other blog posts, and then in the second sentence it provides a summary of all but the last sentence in the post. The third and final sentence opens with a less-than-subtle allusion to the author’s own loss of interest in the post’s “gimmick”; reveals the author’s doubts about whether the word gimmick really ought to be enclosed in quotation marks; and then correctly observes that overall the post’s principle virtue is that it is short.
Image Credit: Pixabay
After several months of mulling it over, I’ve finally found a by-line I like for my blog: Walrus.
Or maybe “The Walrus”, like in the Beatles song, or maybe like some badass, comic-book superhero.
As much as I love the word autistickish for the name of this blog, I really wouldn’t want anyone to feel like they couldn’t use it as an actual word. As I’ve explained elsewhere, I think autistickish is a great, much more colloquial alternative for conveying the fundamentally spectral nature of autism — the idea that autism is characterized by a great deal of variability in the way it manifests in particular individuals; that being autistic can mean something quite different for different people (“If you’ve met one autistic person, then you’ve met one autistic person”1); and I wouldn’t want to co-opt this word as some sort of trademark.
So, Walrus it is then, or if you need help with the transition Autistickish Walrus, or maybe just A. Walrus, but definitely, at least on occasion, The Walrus — as if it were the name of some badass, comic-book superhero.
Look! Up at that picture above! Is it a penguin? A submarine? Its….the Walrus!
And I even have a theme song (goo-goo gajoob):
1 Attributed to Stephen Shore, Ed.D.
Image Credit: Pixabay
First, I want to thank all of you who responded so warmly to my previous blog post, Ten Powerful Ways To Entice People Into Reading Your Blog. Despite the sarcastic punchline that looms at the end of this very sentence, please know that I am quite sincere in telling you that I feel genuinely grateful for all of your warm and encouraging “likes” and comments — yup, all five of them.
Please, please don’t let that sarcasm tarnish this expression of my gratitude. I am thoroughly sincere in thanking you, and I’m actually trying to reward you a bit with perhaps a chuckle or at least a smile at the folly of what I can only assume was my newbie-blogger gaffe. Can we please, please find all this a little funny? Because if it’s not at least a little funny, then all I’ll have left is to feel smoopid — a confusing mashup of both smart and stupid, with an emphasis on the latter.
Maybe I’m just being impatient, but it’s been almost a week, and I have to guess that it must mean something that so few people found the post feedback-worthy. But what does it mean? In my opinion it’s actually a pretty good post. Believe it or not, I’m even proud of it. Is that ridiculous? If so, I hope you will find that funny too, but the fact is that I think that post was clever, insightful, practical, funny and well-written. I have no doubt that it could be improved in various ways, but only with suitable, corrective feedback from readers. Frankly, I think the post is easily representative of the very best work I can do, and that I’ve taken it about as far as I can on my own down the road toward quality.
But the facts suggest otherwise — those darn pesky facts — and especially since I used every one of the ten “powerful” ways in writing the post itself. If the ten ways really were as “powerful” as I thought they were, it certainly didn’t show in the results.
What am I missing here? What went wrong?
- Write a list post with a title like “Ten Powerful Ways To Entice People Into Reading Your Blog”. Golly, what is it about lists? Seems everybody loves a good list!
- Write a post that asks people for advice. For example, “How do YOU entice people into reading your blog?” No, seriously, that’s an actual question. I was originally going to call this post “Twelve Ways to Entice….”, but could only think of 10 ways, so if you have suggestions for additional ways, please post your comments below!
- Use the word entice as much as you can, both in your titles and in your posts. There’s something quite enticing about the word entice.
- Write a post that provides little-known information that is truly useful. For example, do you realize that the whole secret to writing a decent joke is to try a lot to write bad ones? If you try a lot to write bad jokes, you will occasionally screw up and write some good ones!
- Read someone else’s blog and be sure to like and comment on some of their posts. If you’re skeptical about how powerful this is, then just wait until somebody tries it on you and notice how it makes you curious about them and what they’ve written in their own blogs. That is a two-way street!
- Don’t expect too much from Facebook. After all, how often do you actually click on a link and then wait for your browser to load the article? Rather, focus on interacting with other bloggers (#5) and especially on writing good posts. And be sure to take full advantage of the great advice you can find in this post and in others like it!
- Write an instructional post. Here’s how:
- Pick a task you think others would like to know how to do (e.g. write an instructional blog post).
- Re-conceptualize the task in terms of the things one needs to accomplish the task, and the steps one needs in order to complete it (e.g. see the parenthetical examples given in items #3 and #4, respectively, to follow).
- List the required things (e.g. a computer and some sort of text-processing software with blog-post functionality).
- List the required steps in sufficient detail (e.g. these instructions you’re currently reading).
- Test your instructions by giving them to someone else to follow (e.g. might you be so kind as to give these instructions a test run by writing you’re own instructional blog post?).
- Request feedback and use it to improve your instructions (e.g. please let me know what you think of these instructions in the comments below!)
- Illustrate your blog with pictures, but don’t infringe on copyright law. I’m still learning about this myself, and my primary resource is the post found here.
- Keep your posts as brief as you can.
- Follow the advice in this short video:
I hope you found the above useful and at least a little amusing. Please let me know what you think in the comments below!