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Well-thought-out posts? Do we or do we not? May 14, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, food for thought, random thoughts.

One of the things I have admired in my fellow bloggers is the capacity to stop themselves on their tracks, do a substantial amount of research and write a carefully-worded, impeccably-written, well-thought-out post and THEN publish the post. I really do honor to my name. Very frequently, I just blurt out my thoughts, type them as fast as a hummingbird can (hehehe couldn’t resist) and then wait for the response.

Nevertheless, the more I read other blogs, the more I realize that sometimes, I do need to stop, take a breath, and write a more substantial post. For example, some of my most popular posts include those where I have put a lot of thought into choosing the wording.

I recognize that sometimes I’m not able to be as funny as I would like to be, and my sense of humor is very different to that of other people. However, it seems as though I’m able to extract laughs from my readers even when I “sulk” (hehe, no I didn’t!).

My event recaps and live-blogs (both on my own blog and when I’m honored to be invited to guest-blog for Miss604.com) also seem quite popular. Normally, when I live-blog, I try to capture exactly what the speaker is saying. However, when I do a recap, I try to summarize what I learned. As though I was doing a literature review ๐Ÿ˜€ Yes, I’m an academic-geek! In these cases, the well-thought-out post usually comes after I’ve had some time to digest what I have learned.

“What is bugging you, Raul?” you might ask. Well, here’s the thing. Last year, controversies arose around a specific blog post that danah boyd wrote on class divides amongst those who use MySpace and those who use Facebook. She got a lot of flack (and media exposure) because of that half-baked post (her words, not mine). So what I’m pondering is – do I risk publishing a post that I just have begun to think about, without having done substantial research? Or do I just simply wait for the feedback? So, now the question goes to you… what would YOU do? If you are a blogger, would you publish an idea even if it is half-baked? If you are a blog reader, do you mind that the idea is not fully formed or do you prefer to have the concepts and argument and everything very well laid out before you? All comments much appreciated, as this particular post is precisely, half-baked.



1. gusf - May 14, 2008

I have to admit most of my blogs are not very well thought out. I am not a writer by any means, and most of my blog is personal. As such I write what comes to mind, at the moment. I have a few blogs that I am doing a little more research on, but I find those take more time and hopefully when they are finally “published” I won’t look that stupid ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Daniel McLaren - May 14, 2008

I think it depends on your intended use of the blog. Some people only post well-thought out and edited articles. These people usually don’t post as often but the quality of writing is a lot better and the ideas more-developed. Others post more regularly but it can sound more like stream-of-consciousness.

Personally, I think blogs are a brilliant platform for getting half-baked ideas out there and receiving feedback. That’s what danah boyd did, and look at all the feedback she got before moving on to writing her “good copy.”

3. Karen - May 14, 2008

I think it boils down to what kind of blog that you have, and, that prickliest of things, the expectations of your audience. I think danah did not gauge that her words would be taken so seriously, but as a popular punk-researcher, that turned out to be the case. Do I expect to get BBC stories written about my blog posts? Hardly, but I haven’t ever held the title of ‘fellow’ for anything either. I think I suffer from quite the opposite problem – I think out my posts so much (not to say anything of thinking them out “well”) that it’s an absolutely incredible month where I post more than 5 times.

I think your audience can handle half-baked ideas, IF you qualify them as such and IF you are ready to stand up for their half-bakedness, as well as IF you are ready to have others run off with the idea, which is inevitably what happens. My opinion is that I, like most others, am not brave enough to post to see what sticks and to take the attention as a good thing. Somehow, I don’t think you’re like me in that sense, but that’s just based on my impression of your posting and your personality from the few times we’ve talked ๐Ÿ˜‰

4. TylerIngram - May 14, 2008

I tend to just write about something. I will do a little bit of research if I am not totally familiar with the topic though I really need to stop writing posts and publishing them. I do read over my posts but I find if I read my post the following day I find mistakes (grammar etc).

Why do I post right away though? If I don’t the thought I have will elude me and I forget why I was posting about a particular item. Which then I tend to scrap the post (draft) since it has no relevance anymore.

5. monicahamburg - May 14, 2008

I agree with Daniel, I think blogs are a good place for “half-baked” ideas.

While I am obsessive about what I post (like Karen, I don’t post very frequently for that reason), I don’t think it has to be that way. I’m crazy about how I write, because, well I’m crazy ๐Ÿ˜‰ and I’m a writer, so I have to make sure I sound hyper-articulate.

But I read many good posts that sometimes just address a topic, quote something, ask a few questions and then move on. Blogging shouldn’t be about being perfect.

And of course, there is a time issue with the internet: you are better off posting something half-baked now about a timely topic rather than a fully-baked post when the topic has been dealt with ad-nauseum.

6. Jan - May 14, 2008

I find the half-baked ideas worked for my personal blog where I use it to capture ideas or point of interest. Like Tyler, if I don’t post when a light bulb hits me, the idea/topic will escape my mind and I’ll probably end up pulling my hair trying to find it back.

I’ve recently started writing about a more focused topic. This one I actually do a lot more research on and put more thoughts into the wording and flow of the content. I’m not a very good writer (writing is actually one of my weaknesses) so hopefully this would help me improve on my writing skills.

7. Raul - May 14, 2008

Wow. Thank you guys all for your responses ๐Ÿ™‚

@ Gus – I think you’re a great writer!

@ Daniel – Thanks! I agree. danah probably pored over the thousands of responses and learned a lot.

@ Karen – You know me very well then ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I enjoy getting feedback quickly ๐Ÿ™‚

@ Monica – So right! I wanted to write about Twitter but the topic has been over-analyzed already.

@ Tyler – I concur – even THIS post was half baked.

@ Jan – Thanks for visiting – yeah! I mean, I love research (that’s what I do for a living) but I do get stressed when I just think about it way too much.

8. Marina - May 14, 2008

I guess it depends on what the blog is used for. Some blogs I read are purely personal so “half-baked”, non complete ideas are welcomed and frankly, that’s how I use my personal blog – as a hashing ground for putting thoughts together. Other blogs are obviously less personal and when I read posts on those, I do expect that each post is well thought out and researched if necessary.

9. Jon - May 14, 2008

We just have to make sure we’re not all spending too much time reading others half baked ideas and writing our own.

More time spent baking!

Twitter & etc. scares me… I’ll take my RSS feeder and selective blog roll… then conversation with friends on the side ( — and all my starred items on the feed to show ’em! — ).

And what’s with the endless blogging about blogging about blogging? The Vancouver blogging community seems obsessive… who cares about the technology/techniques of blogging if all they’re used towards is talking about the technology/techniques of blogging.

The blog post is a means, not an end.

Dunno why I chose this as my place to beak off… sorry. And in no way is this focused on you Raul, your post just stirred up some ideas… Continue.

10. Raul - May 14, 2008

@ Marina – Thanks for the comment ๐Ÿ™‚

@ Jon – LOL. I understand. I’m glad you feel that you’re in a safe place where you can blow off some steam. I don’t feel offended at all, I know it’s not a reflection on me. Now, about that baking… how good is your cheesecake? I’m just sayin’ ๐Ÿ˜€

11. Jodi - May 14, 2008

Oh I’m completely half baked. All the time. I really admire people who put a great deal of time and effort and produce really compelling articles on their blogs. I dream of being one of those people, but I’m afraid it’s just not my voice.

12. Raul - May 14, 2008

I would *love* to be one of those who can just whip out a great, fully baked post. But doesn’t happen to me, at least not all the time! But this partially-thought-out post did stir commentary, which is what I wanted. Keep ’em coming!

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