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What kind of blogger are you?

November 3, 2006

I would conjecture that everyone who takes the time to post, has, or is developing a sense of personal style that epitomizes their particular blog.  I would think most people want to be original, but with the sheer volume of electronic ink flowing daily, what does one do to create unique content and style?  The more blogs I read, the more apparent to me that there are certain categories, genre’s, or formulas for a blog.   As I write this, see how many apply to this post and my blog in general.

 1) The Lister – Characterized by frequent “Top X lists”.   Ten best car chase movies of all time, Music I’m listening to today/this week,  Best websites on lock picking,  Top 20 beaches with the best waves,  etc.   Value?  People have opinions, especially if you craft a list about something they care about.  Drives traffic and comments, especially from those that care about the subject and don’t agree with the order, or  inclusions / omissions from said list. 

2) The Linker – Creates posts that contain numerous links to other blogs and web sites.  In better forms, a unique opinion or insight is offered, and a few links are used to reference subject matter, opinions, and issue treatment by others.  In bad form, the post is a rehash of what everyone else has already said, and the link vs original content ratio is way skewed in favor of the links.  In short, about every third word is a hyperlink somewhere.  When used heavily, I wonder if this is employed simply to create traffic flow.

3) The Re-Poster -This is where the blogger found something, that another blogger said and creates a post that is entirely just a cut and paste from someone else – with attribution of course.    Where an introduction, or “treatment” is provided, then I’d look at it as falling into the linker or the analyst depending on how it was handled.   This tactic is simple, and helps drive traffic flow and organically grow awareness for subject bloggers.  Ultimately though, It’s the orginal content somewhere that enables many of these other formulas, so some are valid for creating traffic and readership as “hubs” to tap, but then they become nothing more than a feed source of sorts.

4) The Ranter – Everyday is a new day to be torqued off about something.  Angry 365 Days a Year is up front about it, and does it in an entertaining fashion.   There are numerous others, most just rant about life’s trivialities ranging from who ‘stole’ their parking place at walmart today to their ongoing saga with those ‘jerks at the cable company’.  In fact, some people do this semi-professionally, contributing to sites such as Consumerist.  To see what I mean, find a few ‘well knowns’ that have posted there and do some searches and you’ll often find they write about their issues with various companies, utilities and products on a regular basis – but only if it’s negative.   This is one of the more successful formulas for driving readership, because at some level we all relate and feel that the writer is sticking it to the company or organization.  It’s spectacle, and people like spectacle.

5) The Analyst– dissects virtually any subject.  This formula has lots of permutations and is probably the most common among the ‘A-listers’.  Topics are wide ranging from perennial favorites such as online / web marketing, blogs and blogging, to technology and technology companies and the people that run them.  The objective here is to make some observations, assert a opinion about how things are, how they work, or how they should be viewed, and then back it up with either facts in the post, or through linking to posts by others that have covered the same or portions of the same material.  Sound familiar?  The style may be informative, or slanted to reflect the author’s judgement.  Often the analysis turns to the negative slant. 

6) The subversive– creates a site dedicated to bringing about an end objective, which often isn’t exactly the objective expressed by the blogger.  Typically, it’s presented as “sharing the truth about…” or “what they don’t want you to know…”.  Subject matter can be political figures, prominent corporations, or social networks.  Pretty much anything is fair game, if the author has conviction, persistence, and access to enough information to separate this from just a rant.  It’s most effective when a community of regular readers / responders forms, and when the target organization reacts.  This creates an almost endless opportunity for new content in the saga or ’cause’.  There are many, but this example comes to mind.

7) The Personal Diary– This covers a lot of ground, and I should probably create some sub-categories here, but I’ll just bodge it all together for simplicity.  In some variants, the blogger draws from and writes about noteworthy events in their life – usually to make a point, or share an insight or lesson.  The entries are varied and may cover past or present occurrences in form.   Some versions are daily entries chronicaling what the person thinks and feels about their work and private lives.  Sometimes people publish things that they really shouldn’t.  I guess they don’t care, aren’t aware of what comes up in searches, or are unaware that bosses, spouses, neighbors, family, co-workers are online?  I’ve found some real jaw droppers – no links, find your own. 

8) The Tech Blog– This is a blog about any subject matter, that stays consistently on topic.  Usually the content is technical, factual, and informative.  It could be all about appliance repair, offering tips, techniques, and resource links to help the audience fix a cranky washing machine.  It could also be about philosophy, or psychology, or religion.  I differentiate here from the analyst blog, in that a tech blog isn’t about deconstruction of a subject matter with editorial, but rather an instructive piece with the objective of helping the audience gain proficiency in that subject area.

What kind of blogger are you?  What additional genres can you identify?   A similar post could be written, looking at the motivation of bloggers, and which of these or other formulas best support that motivational objective.  

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2006 2:25 pm

    Very thorough and accurate investigation! I would have to be an analyst as I like to analyse and suggested new marketing ideas.

    Additional genres? Perhaps bloggers turned famous? There are quite a few success stories around…

  2. November 4, 2006 1:40 am

    I’d like to be more technical, but I’d probably have 20 blogs if I did. I’m a linker and personal diarist. The other category I’d add would be ‘reviewer/critic’, so like the Gizmodos and Engadgets of the world.

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