Friday, February 17, 2012

Thinking About Starting a Blog?

I had a nice chat today with a colleague who is thinking about starting a blawg.  Here's a bit of advice on that topic, first posted on May 17 last year.  Be sure to check out Kevin's original post, it is full of useful info.

Have you ever wondered what it is really like to write a blog/blawg?  The best description I've read of what it's like just came across my desk in A Blogger's Reflection by Kevin LaCroix, who writes the D & O Diary, A Periodic Journal Containing Items of Interest from the World of Directors and Officers Liability, with Occasional Commentary.  Congratulations, Kevin, on reaching the five year milestone!

He observes, however, that

The actual blog content is only a small part of the operation. The fact is that I am for all practical purposes in the publishing business. I am not only responsible for content, but I am the copy editor, the fact checker, the proofreader, the typesetter and the art editor. I am the research department, the customer service department, and the subscription department. I am the managing editor, the business manager, and the chief operating officer. With all of these duties, the process of maintaining the blog takes an insane amount of time.
and then he notes

Another problem is that the blog has required me to dwell among the demons of technology. No one would ever believe (except perhaps another blogger) how many weird technological challenges I have had to confront. To cite just one example, one day out of the blue, for no apparent reason and without any warning, our firm’s IT manager changed the IP address of the server on which I housed all of the self-hosted documents to which I had linked on my site. That meant that every single one of the hundreds and hundreds of links on my site to self-hosted documents (pleadings, case decisions, etc.) was broken. I was on suicide watch for several weeks. I eventually repaired the links in the most recent posts but the links in many older posts simply don’t work, and at this point, alas, probably never will again.

You really should read his entire post on the topic if you are at all interested in blogging.  All of Kevin's comments are right on target.  His blog is an excellent resource, and the scope of his reach is testament to how well he works his craft.  But even without having that sort of readership, writing a blog can be incredibly fulfilling.  I'm only approaching my third anniversary this fall, and I have a way to go before I reach my millionth reader, but I enjoy it just the same.  Just like Kevin, I get more out of it than I ever imagined I would when I began.

So if you like writing and think you might enjoy blogging, give it a try.  But just don't keep any part of it on your firm's server.

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