Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In which I talk about blogging styles

For better or worse, writers often develop a distinctive style that is easy to recognize. For example, Dave Barry often uses the phrase "I am not making this up."

Writers who are not as well-known as Dave Barry often have their own distinctive writing styles. If you've read Robert Scoble, you know that he has a very distinctive writing style. And if you've read Steven Hodson, you know that he has a different, but distinctive writing style. As a test, let's see if you can tell the two of them apart. Here's number one:

Currently, [Whole Foods] gives a free bottle of water on a first check-in -- a very welcome freebie during this heat wave. Last week, the offer was a free product on a 10th check-in. This is really taking advantage of the Foursquare platform -- a great way to use a location-based service to drive a lot of repeat store visitation with minimal investment. I can't wait to see where Foursquare takes this a year from now as its user base grows, as the marketing elements of the platform become more robust, and as marketers and agencies get more familiar and creative with its capabilities.

And here's number two:

What is it with tech people? For the fourth time this month I've been to a totally inappropriate venue for an industry function.

The strangest thing is how organisers keep picking expensive, fashionable bars. All of this is fine if the organisers are paying. However it's a usually a pay bar so it's the guests who pay for the organiser's bad choices....

But the kicker was the bar was a disused bank vault. Perfect for demonstrating wireless broadband applications.

Alas, dear readers, I have played a trick on you. Neither Scoble nor Hodson wrote the items that I just quoted. The first item, the one that enthused about Foursquare and how it can work with businesses, was actually written by Dave Morgan. I encourage you to read the entire post, especially if you - like Dave Morgan and myself - were former members of the Radio Shack Battery Club.

The second item, which promoted practicality at corporate events and even spelled "organisers" in the wrong (i.e. non-American) way, was written by someone called Cranky Tech. I don't think that Hodson makes a habit of going to industry functions anyway.

However, my trick does illustrate the point. There are people such as Robert Scoble and Dave Morgan who are enthusiastic about ways in which new technologies can be applied to businesses, and there are people such as Steven Hodson and Cranky Tech (and Loren Feldman) who caution that practical business applications come first, and that fluff is a waste of time. But even within these groupings, you can tell one from another. Steven Hodson, for example, doesn't do puppet shows like Loren Feldman does.

And if you really want to scratch the bottom of the barrel, you get down to me and my writing style - and yes, I have one. One distinctive style element that I've used for years is to bold and italicize long stretches of quoted material. In fact, when I switched my blogging identity from "Ontario Emperor" to "John E. Bredehoft," one of my former readers (I think it was Shawn Zehnder Lea if I remember correctly) could immediately recognize me because of my distinctive quoting style.

And, of course, I'm fond of "In which I..." blog post titles, such as In which I lose Louis Gray's "feeling betrayed" challenge and In which I drop color saturation and lomography. The latter post, incidentally, includes a very brief quote from an e-mail, the quote being in "blogger Associated Press" style:

lowering...saturation of...colors

And while I haven't successfully persuaded the entire world to lower its color saturation, I have managed to maintain a consistent blogging style.

Alas, it may be a little TOO consistent. My four Empoprises blogs use the same Blogger template, and therefore look VERY similar to the casual reader, and even the not-so-casual reader. Caroline (@thevixy) addressed this comment to me on FriendFeed:

Ur entire blog changed. Your doing music marketing now?

Apparently Caroline had never seen my Empoprise-MU music blog before, happened upon it, and thought that I had changed all of the content on THIS blog (the business blog).

So it appears that I do have to do a LITTLE surgery on my blogs to make them more business-y or music-y or Inland-y or Buzztimey as the case may be. Add to the Empoprises to-do list, along with my project to adopt the personae of much more popular bloggers - or at least their stereotypes.

Hi! Who are you?
blog comments powered by Disqus