Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Style Points
Although I've blogged about it already, I just can't get it out of my head: one new blog is created every second. Can you even process that? I can't. It's like there's a new one set up right now. And another one now. And... now. And... now.

Wow. Actually, that helped a lot. I guess I could process it.

Sure, I know most of the new blogs being set up either totally suck (like, say, this one) or will be quickly abandoned (like this one), but there are a few who will stick it out, who will fight through the growing pains and develop the absolutely necessary delusions of grandeur that are required to keep and maintain a blog.

From time to time, I--Pops, Master Blogger--have taken it upon myself to try and impart some of my vast knowledge that I have acquired in my long and distinguished blogging career. I know what you're thinking and you're right, it is very selfless of me to offer my time and wisdom for the benefit of a bunch of trend-jumping late-arriving parvenues who are just looking for something to do while they download music illegally.

It's simply that I feel obligated. Not just to the blogosphere--to ensure that the new blogs, the ones that stick are of a certain base-level of quality--but to humankind in general. I feel it is incumbent upon me to usher new bloggers into bloggerhood. It sounds altruistic, but in a way, I'm just repaying the debt. It's much like the way I was ushered in to manhood under the soft, guiding hand of... dang, what was her name? I don't think she had one. The guys at my high school called her "Open Sore Sally". She was an older lady who lived near the school and it was widely known that, for the right price, she would totally let you do it with her. So I gathered up courage and sallied forth, as it were. I marched up to her place--half a tarp and a bed of old newspapers under a freeway overpass--and left boyhood behind. And all she charged me was the lower half of a broken glass bottle, 18ยข in loose change and a shiny blue button. I think she might have been crazy.

That experience was so very important to me as it taught me a great many valuable lessons. 1) Sex isn't all lit candles and mood lighting and perfect bodies slowly writhing like in the movies; especially at rush hour. 2) In the presence of truly noxious odors, I can survive if I breathe through my mouth. 3) Always use a condom, kids. I guess the name "Open Sore Sally" should have been a tip off. Luckily they were all treatable with antibiotics. Except the PTSD.

The good news is that starting a new blog doesn't have to be as painful or traumatic as sex with a dirty old crazy homeless lady under a freeway.

My first entry in this Blog Instructional Series (and here, I'll post the link again) was sound advice that I stand behind 100%. But those were general points to shape and inform your basic blog philosophy.

Today I want to talk about more specific points of style. Regardless of your topic, there are ways to present your information that are effective, impressive and won't necessarily make you sound retarded.

Just to re-emphasize, New Blogger, I don't think you're actually retarded. I'm just fairly confident that you sound that way when you blog.

I blame public education.

Just stick close to Pops and ever't'ing go'n be irie. Mon.

Yes, I'm totally high right now.

So You Want To Be A Blogger

Lesson #2

1) Capitalization and punctuation, please. I know, I know, this is your blog and you can do whatever you want without having to follow all those goddamn rules your stupid English teacher is always on your case about, man. Bad news, hippie: exercising your personal freedom from the tyranny of syntax gives me a headache, which makes me stop reading your blog. If I wanted to read something that gave me a headache, I'd pretend to read James Joyce. At least that way I could look like I was smart for my trouble and impress all the girls down at the coffee shop. Your SHIFT key is your friend. We already had one e e cummings. You are not him.

2) To compliment the first point, ALL CAPS is just as bad. In internet parlance, it means you're shouting. For me specifically, I will assume you're trying to sell me LONG ERECTION CHEEP BUY NOW VIAG.K.RA CHEEP or something similar, just like the 100 or so ALL CAPS spam e-mails I get every day. Thanks, but I already have a guy who gets that for me.

3) There is no such word as "fucken". Swearing is an essential part to any good blog, but it's important that you do it effectively and not just because--tee hee!--Mom and Dad don't know your blog exists (yet). I know, you're saying: "Shut up, asshole, I say that word all the fucken time". Actually you don't. You say "fuckin'". Just like you don't say "should of" you say "should've". Don't worry, I know... words is tricksy. That's what I'm here for.

Right now you're feeling kind of defensive, thinking I should mind my own business and let you do what you want to do. You don't care if I read your new blog or not. But just consider: I'm here every. Single. Day. I don't work, I don't talk on the phone and I don't pay particularly close attention to my kids. I couldn't tell you where two of them are if you asked me right now, honestly. Why not? Because I'm blogging. And after I'm done writing, I read. The same blogs, every day. Yours could be one of them, so long as it doesn't suck.

And if you can't bother to make it readable, a new one will come along that will. Like right now. Or now. Or... now.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 2.7



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