Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Blog Voice: how to command attention


Visit some blog sites and soon you'll realize this crucial fact: a blog needs a voice.

A unique voice.

A powerful voice.

An edgy voice.

An authoritative voice.

A self-secure voice.

A memorable voice.

An comical voice.

Practically any kind of distinctive voice, almost anything but the bland, vanilla, average sounding drivel that you can find on thousands of blogs.

What is "Voice"?

"Voice" in literary criticism refers to a one-of-a-kind tone, or style, of writing. What the text "sounds like in your head" as you read it.

Sarcastic, sincere, serious, silly, professional, amateur, educated, ignorant, hillbilly, Ivy League, subdued, wild, gentle, hostile, whatever.

You need to develop a vocabulary, tone of voice, and method of approach that sets you apart from the multitudes of other writers.

Does Vaspers the Grate have a "voice"?

Well, Vaspers has been banned from three other sites for being a bit too vocal. Yet Vaspers is just a mild mannered web usability analyst.

Vaspers is opinionated, but also quasi-diplomatic.

Vaspers is scholarly, yet also faux fun-loving.

Vaspers is non-conformist, but also pseudo-status quo.

Vaspers is spiritual, but also immaterial.

Vaspers is out-spoken, but in-formal.

Literary theorists will tell you that you simply must be different, which means cultivating a distinct personality, or saturating yourself with the writings of those who are eccentric, special, pioneering, unique, hard to imitate.

If you're exposed only to all the normal, regular, unspectacular stuff that everybody else is, how can you expect to be unique and interesting?

You'll just end up polluting the blogosphere with yet another "blah blah blah blog."

That's a blog devoted to boring, excruciatingly dull accounts of what a blogger had for lunch, what his favorite movie happens to be at a given moment, his opinion about this, and his theory about that: self-revelatory and self-exploratory drivel.

Please. If you're going to blog, at least say something fresh. Or say something stale if you must, but say it in a fresh style or manner.

Creativity and Unique Voice can be learned.

Sometimes, when a well-read or widely experienced person simply blurts out what they really want to say, it will be said in a unique, distinctive voice...

...if they're being authentic, true to self, genuine, and fervent, passionate about their subject.

It also helps to read some individualistic, innovative literature:


*The Bible



*Mark Twain

*Jacques Derrida

*Ernest Hemingway

*Marcel Proust

*Martin Luther

*Charles Darwin

*Charles Finney

*Buddhist texts

*Seth Godin

*Jakob Nielsen

*Maurice Blanchot

*O. Henry

*Jorge Louis Borges

*Alain Robbes-Grillet


*Aesop's Fables

...any writings that have created controversy,
revolution, progressive movements, or
explosive reactions by opposition groups.

No great thinkers and actors on the stage of
history made their mark by being typical,
boring, normal, usual, conformist, or timid.

Follow their examples.

Speak your an interesting fashion!

Keep these principles in mind, and we'll all enjoy reading blogs with VOICE!

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