1. Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    looking back at the decade that was 

    “how to blog” (June 16, 2004)

    at some point i realized i had made a terrible mistake by telling my boss about my blog. the point might have been when i was talking with him and i noticed that he had a folder named “Tony” on his desktop. we worked in a small department and there werent any of my other coworkers honored with their own folder, so i assumed that he was filing away anything negative about me so he could easily make a case against me.

    these were the days when i rode the bus and subway everywhere and occasionally caught rides from people. one night i was waiting for a ride home from someone and while i was waiting i decided to do a post.

    the purpose of the post was to warn people not to make the mistakes i had made. but while i was making it i became inspired to also give some unasked for advice in the name of Better Blogging.

    i was inspired by a book written by a gentleman named Biz Stone. i had met Biz and had read his blog and i was shocked and amazed when he wrote a book. also jealous. also mad and competitive because even though i respected Biz, his blog at the time wasnt anything that i felt would inspire any book deal.

    so when the post “How to Blog” became an overnight sensation (that lead to a Bloggie Award a year later) i decided to make a blog book (a blook) called “How to Blog”. but unlike Biz’s book i was determined not to give any advice whatsoever other than my list of 30 tips, which i would tuck away for the last two pages.

    strangely the blook became a huge hit, despite being self-published via Cafepress.com, and despite having 210 pages with only 2 pages of straight up tips.

    like most great things, today the list seems outdated. and i dont even obey most of the rules, but thank god nothing in here is true.

    one little aside about the cover. other than the text for the title, the photo is something that i shot of an electrical box near my work. and yes thats one of Shepard Fairey’s famous Andre the Giant posters.

    when the blook started flying off the virtual shelves i got an email from Cafepress saying that they needed permission from the artist if i was going to continue to use that cover. i said, no offense but thats graffitti, since when is grafitti copywritten? the guy was all, man i just work here. unfortunately this was the Monday after Thanksgiving, now known as Cyber Monday. i didnt have a lot of time, so i blogged about my dilemma and strangely people came out of the wordwork with Shepard’s email address.

    i wrote Shep and a day later he gave me generous permission. and we’ve been virtual friends ever since.