The Ultimate Bloggers

So, it’s January 5.  How are you who are taking the postaday2011 or postaweek2011 challenge making out?  Well, I hope and I hope that you’re able to find inspiration and ideas to keep your blog live and vibrant.  If you’re partaking, I’d enjoy reading your blog.  Please leave your link in the comments.

Bloggers are researchers, story tellers, entertainers, and inspiration for the reading masses.  They collect readers and build community and readership loyalty if they’re doing their job correctly.  Despite all this, the concept is not new.  There is a whole group who I’d like to call the “Ultimate” because they do the same thing daily, weekly, and most of all reliably.

These folks are the regular comic strip authors/editors.  They’ve been doing their genius for years and we’ve all enjoyed their efforts.  Who doesn’t know the names Charles M. Shultz or Jim Unger or Ripley or the story telling characters Dilbert or Blondie or Andy Capp?  Who can’t empathize at times with The Born Loser?

You can enjoy your favourites and find new cartoons for free with a simple subscription.  At, the registration is free and the possibilities/inspiration/humour is endless.

If you’re the type that needs a reminder to read your favourite comic, you’re covered there.  With a free subscription, you’ll end up with your selection(s) in your mailbox for inspiration every morning.  This is really handy if your local newspaper doesn’t carry your fave.

Think of what you’ve done with comics over the years.  Who hasn’t cut a copy from the newspaper and put it on your bulletin board?  Or included it as inspiration in a lesson?  Or quoted your favourite comic strip character in a conversation?  Or used Comics in the Classroom?

Using all of this as inspiration, why can’t blogging be the same?  It’s certainly a similar artform.  It’s a short article that gets to the point and conveys its message.  In fact, it’s probably a great deal easier since you don’t have to have the drawing to go with it!

If that genre intrigues you, read on.  Ontario Educators could certainly replicate this with their Bitstrips for Schools accounts.  With that, you too, could become an ultimate blogger.  But, real comic strip makers have teams of authors.  Hey, you do too.  Look out on that sea of 20, 25, 30 faces.  There are lots of stories just waiting to be told.  Putting it all into perspective gives you real appreciation for comic strip authors.  Don’t forget the Ministry licensed Comic Life.  Create your own strips there or as I showed earlier, do your own Ripley’s style research.

It makes postaday and postaweek a little more doable!

Regular Blogging

The folks at WordPress have a deal for you.  Of course, it’s in their interest to have people blogging regularly.  As well, though, those of us who read blogs like to read content regularly that could benefit from this deal.

“As part of the DailyPost, we’re launching two campaigns:

  • Post a Day 2011: Post something to your blog every single day through 2011
  • Post a Week 2011: Post to your blog at least once a week through 2011″

You’ll find people who are making this part of their New Year’s blogging resolution by the hashtags postaday2011 or postaweek2011.

When I talk to people about blogging, there are typically three things that they identify as blockers.

  • I don’t have the time;
  • I don’t want people saying negative things about my thoughts;
  • I don’t have the ideas.

To that, I would respond…

  • Make the time if you want to be a blogger.  Once you get on a roll, it’s very easy.  Surprisingly, most people don’t want to read the great long blog post.  Instead, readers want something that quickly gets to the point.  So, get to the point and post it.  It takes less time than you think.
  • Ah, the fear of transparency.  I would argue that it would be a pretty boring world if everyone agreed with everything that you say.  And, if worse comes to worse, you can alway moderate any comment…
  • I don’t buy this one for a second.  Particularly in education, every day is a brand new day.  Whether it’s new observations, new software, new people, new connections or new learning, it happens fast and furious.  Imagine what would happen if all great educators blogged about that unique teaching success that made their day.  Stop hoarding; start sharing!

The only catch in all of this is getting satisfaction.  Are people reading your thoughts?  If that’s important to you, check your blog’s analytics.  You may be surprised by the numbers that are dropping by.  And, you’ll have the cred to visit the Blogger’s Cafe or Gathering at your next conference.

Even if you don’t have the legions of followers at first, if you’re regular and are interesting, people will start to follow and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve put your thoughts down and shared them.  A week, a month, or a year later, when you have some reflective time, it makes for some interesting introspection to re-visit your thoughts.

If you’re looking for a quality resolution, you can’t do much better than blogging for yourself (and others).

If you’re an Ontario Educator, I’d really like to add your content to the Ontario Educator LiveBinder.