Rules.

Some rules for blogging:

Write only about things in which you have a personal stake.

In applying the above rule, always ask yourself: are you really invested in what you think you’re invested in? Here’s a trick: if you can take yourself completely out of the piece, removing your byline and putting the words under someone else’s name on someone else’s website, without in any way compromising the meaning or integrity of the piece, burn it to fucking ashes.

Don’t write about technology. Seriously, don’t. Write instead about technology’s effects, consequences, antecedents. Write about the world technology has created. Would you write about a new genus of apple (the fruit)? Doing so makes about as much sense as writing about a new Apple device, unless that device raises new questions or opens up new avenues of exploration. Reporting on the existence of a thing can be safely left to others.

Don’t recommend products. Or do, but in doing so, tell a story about how the product has improved your life, if only by doing its job in a delightful way. Don’t criticize products, or do, but tell a story about how they’ve harmed you. In these cases, remember always that the absence of delight is not harm.

Don’t write about how without also talking about why.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your obsessions, but try not to assume your readers share them. At the same time, remember your readers are not stupid. They can follow hyperlinks. They can use Google. It’s okay—better, in fact—to start in media res. (It worked for Kurosawa.)

Really, try to remember that your readers are other people, and that’s what’s so great about blogging.

Treat received wisdom like a chain letter, or better yet, an exquisite corpse. Passing it on is fine—hell, even encouraged—provided you’ve added your own lines to the bottom for the next person.

Think more and say less. Try to say only the things which only you could say.

Following these rules may mean you post less, or not at all. That’s fine; try to be okay with it. Try also to be okay with feeling frustrated you’re not posting more.

Lastly, pictures of your baby are always okay, and fuck anyone who says otherwise.

Yours,
- DD