Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My First Blogiversary

An Englishman Abroad is one year old today. There have been highs and there have been lows, but most of all, there have been in-betweens.

My first blog entry was on February 17th, 2009 and, for those of you who missed it (that would be just about everybody) here it is:

One of the things I've noticed about blogs, including mine, is that they are all trying, desperately or halfheartedly, to grab people's attention. It really doesn't matter what people: sexual deviants preferably as they form the largest group of male internet users or fat women interested in new diets and pleasurable liposuction, as they form the largest group of not necessarily male users. See what I did there?

So here are my Top 10 tips for ruling the Blogosphere:

1/ LINK as much as you can. Tell people that if they post a link to your blog, they will get thousands of new hits every day. Don't tell them that those people will click for one second only and none of them will ever read anything you write. They were only there looking for a way to promote their own blogs anyway.

2/ DON'T WRITE. The average surfer's attention span is about 10 seconds. A couple of sentences about your night out with Boy George will suffice; a whole page about what you were thinking the morning after will not.

3/ HIGH DEFINITION PHOTOS. There are a million people out there with an even more expensive digital camera than yours. Beware: people want to pick out the individual hairs on that weird animal.

4/ UPDATE as much as is humanly possible: every ten seconds preferably. RSS and GOOGLE READER will positively adore you!

5/ BE CONTROVERSIAL. If Barack Obama or Osama Bin Ladin had an affair with you wife, or, better still, husband, congratulations, your blog is going to be a winner!

6/ BE QUIRKY. Blog surfers love photos of alien corpses after their autopsies.

7/ MAKE A MUSICAL CONNECTION. Link to Rap, Punk and Heavy Metal videos like crazy, especially to anything by Sly and the Family Stone.

8/ KEEP IT PLAIN AND SIMPLE. The best blogs communicate clearly, not with scrawly writing obscured by a sea of falling pink hearts and black skulls. Write your paragraph, post your picture. That's it.

9/ WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE. Shrinking violets will always be, well, shrinking. Shout, shout, let it all out!

10/ DON'T, WHATEVER YOU DO, DO WHAT I DO, because nobody, and I mean nobody, except for the one sexual deviant who keeps coming back every hour (I know who you are) reads this blog.

Pssst. Here's the real secret: Top 10 blogs in the world; Top 100 blogs in the world; best blog in the world; Top 10 web sites in the world; most popular web site in the world; most popular blog in the world; No 1 blog; nude photos of Victoria Beckham and Beyonce. Well that's my 10 hits for the day guaranteed then ;)

Since the first blogs appeared in the 1990s, just about eveybody with internet access seems to have started one, and there are currently around 200 million of them. You may wonder who wrote the first blog; well, you may not, but I did, so I'm going to tell you anyway. Justin Hall, who began blogging when he was a student in 1994, was probably the first, while the longest running blog is Dave Winer's Scripting News.


  1. right. as per usual, I read all these tips far too late. I should have obviously read them a year ago and I'd be onto world blogmination, together with you now :)

    (my first post was a badly lit video of a mother-board-xmas-tree, so there you go.)

  2. Happy blog anniversary Ian ! I remember this post ! I read it last year... and found you were right ! I hope you'll become an "old" blogger... for our great pleasure !

    read you soon !

  3. i remember that post! i didn´t know it was your first! happy one year! here´s to many more!

  4. Happy blogiversary, Ian! And love your last CV: you are right, we live in a world where nobody follows the lessons of the elder like Ghandi and others.

  5. well, congrats on the one year, and :) thanks for the hints...though i think i missed the mark on most of those..oh well... i just write like nobody is reading :)

  6. Happy Blog Anniversary. Great tips from a year ago - I wasn't blogging then. Looking forward to the next year from your side of the world.

  7. I loved reading your rules of blogging, although I think that you broke rule number 2, along with several other rules. Your photos are always wonderful! Happy blogiversary!

  8. Happy blog anniversary Ian! Wishing you many more. xo

  9. Happy blogiversary! I've just finished reading a book of Eric Weiner - The Geography of Bliss(One Gump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World). Now I'll start reading your blog.

  10. Happy blog anniversary! I believe I read that first post too. It's fun to read it now.
    All the best in year 2, and many more...

  11. my one year blogoversary is just round the corner. congrats to you!

    and thanks so much for your kind words on my post last week.

    sorry i took so long getting back to you.

    i love your two ambitions - and i share your second.

  12. LOL
    very interesting ;)
    there's nothing more full-filling and "richer" (don't take that litterally, it's only due to my too basic english) than to explore the world... be sure i'll keep an eye on your blog and we'll meet sometimes @corner view...
    ps : (belated) blog anniversary