Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Merlin Mann | Mar 25 2009
SxSW ’09 - Gruber & Mann - HOWTO: 149 Surprising Ways to Turbocharge Your Blog With Credibility! (audio mp3, free on iTunes)
My pal, John Gruber (from daringfireball.net), and I presented a talk at South by Southwest Interactive on Saturday, March 14th. We talked about building a blog you can be proud of, trying to improve the quality of your work, reaching the people you admire, and maybe even making a buck (in a way that doesn’t blow your deal). Here’s what we had to say:read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 25 2008
While this article about The Wire deliberately contains as few actual spoilers about the show as possible, it does contain numerous links to pages with information that will tell you critical spoiler information about the stories and fates of the show's characters. The article also contains language and links that are very much not safe for work. Please proceed with caution on all fronts.
In the time since I gallantly announced what makes a good blog, I’ve had time to think more about the qualities of work that endures.
Not thinking just of personal blogs here, or solely in terms of the ways that we can improve online publishing and social media —although clearly these are areas that could stand some improvement. I’m talking about the extent to which some of those qualities that I mentioned in that article relate to broader ideas around all creative work and the process behind how it gets made well and consistently by an auteur who’s only incidentally a merchant.
And it’s especially got me thinking about how any thing we choose to make today can contribute to, for lack of a better phrase, an arc.
So, naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot about The Wire.read more »
Merlin Mann | Aug 26 2008
As duplicitous and sad as "fake following" sounds -- and let's be honest: the whole idea's pathetic on a number of levels -- for a certain kind of user, I can see why there's a desire for this functionality. Especially on a site like FriendFeed, which has quickly become the platform of choice for the web's least interesting narcissists -- and the slow-witted woodland creatures who enjoy grooming their fur -- this is a major breakthrough in the makebelieve friendship space. Yes, primate culture may be primitive, but it is not without its evolving needs.
Thing is, "fake following" is also not so far off from a more wholesome feature that I've been begging for on social networks for years now:
Any application that lets you "friend," "follow," or otherwise observe another user should include a prominent (and silent) "PAUSE" button.read more »
Merlin Mann | Aug 19 2008
My friends at Six Apart recently asked me to make a list of blogs that I enjoy. I think they're planning to use it for their new Blogs.com project. Unfortunately, I'm late getting it to them (typical), but if it's still useful, I'll post it here in a day or four.
As I think about the blogs I've returned to over the years -- and the increasingly few new ones that really grab my attention -- I want to start with, ironically enough, a list. Here's what I think helps make for a good blog.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 21 2008
My favorite bloggers are great at articulating something I feel in my gut -- but they regularly present it better, more clearly, and (on days like today), more succinctly than I ever could. Such is the case with Jack Shedd's post, "Tacky," a razor-sharp polemic on the industry of cheese-food manufacturing that "pro blogging" has turned into.
For myself, I think there's nothing wrong with having a blog and wanting to make money with it. Obviously. But I also hold an increasingly old-fashioned view that you ought to start with something you're passionate about sharing with people -- something besides how to make easy money with a blog -- and try to build an audience of people you respect based on producing work you're happy with or even proud of.read more »
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