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February 3, 2010

Finding the blogging superhero in yourself

Power blogger.

That’s a new phrase to me, and it was new to Maria Langer, too, as she noted in her An Eclectic Mind blog. As part of a podcast panel, she was asked to offer advice on how to become a power blogger. Some of her fellow panelists mentioned the quantity of posts, but Maria’s focus was elsewhere:

The number of blog posts a blogger publishes should have nothing to do with whether he’s a power blogger. Instead, it should be the influence the blogger has over his readership and beyond. What’s important is whether a blog post makes a difference in the reader’s life. Does it teach? Make the reader think? Influence his decisions? If a blogger can consistently do any of that, he’s a power blogger.

I couldn’t agree more. I appreciate reading any blog that gives me useful information or analysis that hadn’t occurred to me. For example, I recently had issues with a new PC I’m using at home as a media center. It was not picking up all the channels in my area, and an excellent blog post helped me solve the problem with little fuss. To me, that author is a power blogger.

What I frankly find irritating—and certainly not my worth my time—are blogs that are basically what I’ll call “link farms”: posting links or excerpts from other blogs with no valuable information added. I’m quite the cynic, so when I stumble upon such a blog, I figure the blogger is merely trying to generate Google hits and ad revenue, is lazy, or both. Quantity—particularly when said quantity is composed of rehashed material from other bloggers—does not a power blogger make.

When it comes to contributing to this blog, I try to write posts that have a least one nugget of helpful information, analysis, or humor, and I think that’s true of the posts from my fellow coworkers. (At the risk of sounding like I’m bragging about my coworkers, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read one of their posts and thought, “That’s smart!” or “That’s cool!”) Frankly, I’d rather not write anything at all than to publish something just because it’s been a few days since I posted. And I have a lot more respect for bloggers who write quality posts once in a while over those who put out lots of material that is borrowed from elsewhere.

And on that note, I’ll leave you with a short clip showing superheroes using their powers for a practical solution. (See, I’m trying to entertain you, too!)