Sunday, June 27, 2010

Top Five books I’ve read on Blogging

It’s been just over 10 months since my first post, and since then I’ve actually done really well at my goal - three posts a week, every week on my explorations in genre fiction film and games, as well as the occasional thing I’ve noticed.

At this point I thought it would be kind of fun to look at the books that have helped me the most in my aspirations to be a good blogger. The first major blog I began following was Neil Gaiman’s, which initially was a record of the book tour for his 2000 novel, American Gods. It had everything I was looking for in a blog at the time, a project (documenting the tour), a recognizable voice (I’ve been a fan of Gaiman since Sandman - you can read about it here), and it was easy to read. Luckily, rather than going back to his oldest posts, you can simply find the book Adventures in the Dream Trade (pictured left), which collects the initial run of his blog as well as a number of other writings.

So when I first got interested in creating a blog last summer I had been a dedicated reader of one blog and that was about it. Like everything in my life I try to do as best I can at any new project, so I started by grabbing a couple books out of the library and began to figure out how not only to create a blog, but also how to maintain one. The two most helpful were No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 ideas for your blog (pictured right) by Margaret Mason, and The Rough Guide to Blogging, by Jonathan Yang. Both books gave me a lot of tips, not only on content, but on how to get my blog out there, and I have to say that a lot of the postive results I have achieved can be traced back to these books.

These days I’m actually taking a slightly more academic look into the phenomenon of blogging and have just picked up a book both intriguing and slightly creepy regarding the blogosphere. The Peep Diaries (pictured left), by Canadian author Hal Niedzviecki looks at the culture around blogging, Facebook, Reality TV, Twitter and YouTube and attempts to see what it is saying about us as a people - I like the fact that the book raises some interesting questions, but at the same time gives a lot of the positive aspect of these things as well.

My favourite part of reading about blogging is finding new authors, and my current top pick of the blogger / professional writers is definitely Jen Lancaster, blogger ( and author - although to be honest my wife found these books and strongly suggested I check them out. Honestly, if you only check out one of the books I’m recommending here - check out her first book, Bitter is the New Black (pictured right), as it is one of the funniest, bitchiest, heartbreaking/warming non-fiction books I’ve read this year.

It’s kind of funny, with the one-year mark in sight (only a month and a half away), I’m trying to figure out my challenge for year two - I was thinking of fooling around with podcasts - but if you have any suggestions, feel free to comment!

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