A blogger reading a book about blogging. Unfortunately, I wish I had read another book. Who Let the Blogs Out, by Biz Stone, current Senior Specialist on Blogging for Google, has good intentions but it still needs some work.
His audience is the group of people who have yet to start their own blog. His writing is very simplistic, filled with inside jokes (though only funny and understandable to himself) and run-on sentences and more Google advertising than the Google homepage. Biz speaks in hyperboles all through his work, and although he means well to encourage people to start their own blog, not everyone will be granted a book deal “willy-nilly” and he neglects to mention that for a blog to really take off and become successful, some skill is actually involved. The techno speak regarding HTML is kept to a minimum, only one chapter. That was the chapter I actually enjoyed and was able to learn from. He offered some good suggestions in terms of advertising the blog and taking it to the next level, although other that Google’s Adsense, I still don’t know how else to make money advertising on my blog. I would have appreciated a few more options, regardless of whether or not Google is best to use.
He spends most of his time talking about Blogger (acquired by Google in 2003), and I was disappointed that there was no mention of WordPress, but I think WordPress didn’t develop until after this book was written. He spends a lot of time talking about specific cases of blogs becoming successful, Instapundit.com for example, but he also discusses how blogs can be used at work, at school and at home. I liked the connection and ideas with using blogs at school, as a great way to promote group activity as well and improving reading comprehension and writing skills.
This is a good introduction book to blogging, but only if you’ve never blogged in your life. It offers an insider’s view, he did help start-up Xanga afterall, but if you already have a blog and know what you’re doing, this book is not for you.