Are Blog Posts Ever Finished?

    March 14, 2007

Today I came across an interesting post by Joshua Porter of The post, 9 Lessons for Would-be Bloggers, as you might expect from the title are some lessons Joshua has learned in his years of blogging. Darren Rowse has a follow up piece, Lessons from the Heart for Would-be Bloggers, at ProBlogger. While I’m not planning on talking in depth about each point there’s a theme running through a few of the points I would like to discuss.

First the 9 points

  1. It’s only an initial fear
  2. You have something valuable to say
  3. When in doubt, post.
  4. Use the comments for refining your point
  5. Everything is beta
  6. Have a schtick
  7. Correct English be-damned
  8. Show your greatest hits
  9. People are listening

Both Joshua and Darren offer some good comments on each of the above points and I’d encourage you to read both of their posts. I’d like to focus my thoughts on one of the themes I see running through these 9 points. As the title of this post asks, is a blog post ever finished?

If you look at points 3, 4, 5, and 7 all are an indication that a blog post isn’t necessarily meant to be a finished piece of work. I like one of the comments Darren made in reference to posting even when in doubt and I’ll use it as the jumping off point for my own thoughts.

I do subscribe to the theory that blogs are not just for finished or refined thoughts. One of the wonderful things about blogs is that when you track them over time you get to see the journey that a blogger has gone on. Good blogs will track the evolution of thought of a blogger.

A Blogging Evolution

Darren’s comment echoes my own feeling about blogging. I do want to get something from an individual post and in truth it’s probably going to be one of your better posts that gets me to click the subscribe button, but I also like to see the evolution of the blogs I read consistently. We’re all human and we all change our mind. In the year+ I’ve been blogging my thoughts on seo and web design and blogging have changed. The industries themselves have changed so why shouldn’t my thought.

A comparison between an article and a blog post might be in order. Even though it would be easy to consider a post an article, and admittedly I often interchange the two words, I see a difference. An article to me should be more a finished piece, more well researched. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t research the topic of your post, but I think it’s ok to get away with a little less on a blog.

I tend to think of an article as something I would submit to another site (even if it’s something I’m submitting to my own site) and something that may be your one and only encounter with me. Because of that it should expect a less forgiving audience. Where an article is focused solely on the ideas within, a blog post carries with it a person and voice behind the writing and the thoughts of that person are carried through the blog and not just in any single post.

A blog should be more informal. While I hope you’ll learn something in reading here I also want you to get to know me. While you may read only one post and move on I’d like to think if I’ve captured your attention with a post you’ll come back for a little more and get to know me and my thoughts over time.

I’d also like to get to know you and I think leaving ideas somewhat open allows for their continued discussion. A blog is not about a single voice, but rather a community of voices, perhaps directed by a single voice. Many times someone here has made a comment that’s gotten me to rethink something I said and rethink an idea I had held as truth. That allows me, my ideas, and this blog to grow and evolve.

Recently I’ve asked you a few questions about blogging. First I asked if you prefer full or partial feeds and then last week the question was if you thought there was an optimal length for a blog post. You can probably guess I have another question now.

Do you think blog posts are finished pieces of writing? Do they need to be your final thought on a subject or should the ideas in a post be allowed to grow? If a blog post is meant to be informal how important is it to use proper grammar when writing a post? Ultimately do you think a blog post is ever finished or should the ideas in it be revisited as a blogger’s thoughts on the subject evolve?