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What would I do different if I had to start my blog over? – John Battelle, Robert Scoble and Mark Frauenfelder

Posted By Darren Rowse 14th of July 2006 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

200606222142-2The following are answers from Mark Frauenfelder from Boing Boing, Robert Scoble and John Battelle responding to my one question interview question of what he’d do differently if he had to start his blog over again. I put them together because they were short and both felt they wouldn’t change much.

John Battelle – I’d really not have done anything differently. It turned out really really well and I had no idea where it might go. I’m pleased as can be.

Robert Scoble – If I had to start my blog again I don’t know what I would have done differently. I don’t have any regrets, honestly. Yeah, I wish I had even more time to blog. I wish I could read even more people’s blogs. I wish I had more time to make more photos and share those. I wish I had more time to hang out with interesting people and share their thoughts. I wish I had invented Memeorandum.

Mark Frauenfelder – I don’t really have an answer for this. The great thing about being a blogger is that you can change the blog anytime you want. Boing Boing has evolved over the years and will continue to evolve as we figure out new ways to do things.

From Darren – While some might wonder whether they can learn anything from these responses I think they both give some insight into blogging and each speaks of my own journey. I don’t think many successful bloggers really know where they are headed with their blogs when they first start out – I know I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into on the day I started mine – but one of the key characteristics that I find many (if not all) top bloggers have is an ability to work hard but let things evolve.

I’ve got an metaphore brewing in my mind that is a little unformed (please forgive me) – it’s sort of like riding a horse in a race. I talked to a jockey about this once and he told me that good jockeys know when to drive the horse hard and when to let it go with the flow and do it’s thing. Drive it too hard and you can over do it – give it the reins at the right time and amazing things can happen.

Good bloggers have a knack at letting their blog take them where it will take them but also knowing when to kick the heels in and drive it forward under their own steam (mixed metaphors I know – but you get the picture – I hope).

Read the responses of other bloggers to this 1 Question Interview on what they’d do differently in their blogging

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Great take on this Darren, you did a fine job with the metaphor. My take on this is that bloggers are somewhat like the jockey and horse in this case. If you as the jockey drive yourself too hard, then you as the horse will get burnt out.

  2. Basically you need to find your own speed of populating your blog with newsworthy postings. Post too much firstand you will destroy your image once you are burned out for a while, post too litle , well then you know what happens :). Good image with the horse though…

  3. Why would you do anything differently if you were Scoble, Battelle, or involved with Boing, Boing? I wouldn’t do anything differently either, although I might find a good horse to take me away from it all occasionally.

  4. Beautiful response, Darren.

    I know that I would do a lot of things differently. For example, I wouldn’t do a lot of “things” – just one blog at a time, until it’s nurtured, then start another. But on some of my blogs, they’re evolving on their own and starting to do fine. Every once in a while, on these, I add some more solid content – not every day, though. Just a nudge.

  5. I would have less categories

  6. I think the blog should be watered like a seedling. Give it what it needs to grow, but don’t pull on it to try and make it grow faster.

    Here is how I started my recent personal blog:

    I believe blogs are organic living entities. One is started with a simple thought. This is your seed. Throw your ideas out there, watch them grow, and see what shape they want to take. Be cautious of defining a topic because you limit your growth potential. Let the website breathe.

    The blog seed

  7. With such successful blogs I don’t blame them for not really wanting to change anything they did during their startups.

  8. “I don’t really have an answer for this”

    Well, go ahead and at least make one up. :)

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