A Book About Blogging, or Maybe Stories About Blogging at the Huffington Post.
Despite never reading this blog until I picked up the book, I knew that the left-leaning Huffington Post (HuffPost) was well-known in the American political scene, but beyond that not too much. The blog itself has been around since 2005 and focuses on politics, business and entertainment, much like a newspaper with a humour section replacing the sports. The Guide has three parts: Nuts and Bolts, “A Blog is Born” and a resource section. The Nuts and Bolts section is what you’d expect: getting started, finding things to write about and getting people to read your blog. A Blog is Born is about the start of HuffPost and is probably for fans only- unless you have are already established and maybe know some venture capitalists, there’s not a whole lot here that applicable. Finally, the resources section is mostly a list of websites they link to (their blog roll) and other on-line resources. The resources and is probably the most interesting to people who have skipped the first two sections. The Nuts and Bolts section is light on technical details and more on how to find things to write about. Taking the approach that this is for non-technical people, it’s more useful than some more technical books to writers who don’t want to learn all the ins-and-outs of various blogging software.
What does it offer?
The things I liked about this book was: its layout (clean), it’s an easy read, and the information is presented in a conversational (blog-like?) way. What saves this book is the humour: while some of the jokes feel forced, overall, it’s a fun read.
“…and HuffPost Blogger”
In BlogWars, another book about political blogging, the author asks, if it even makes sense to write a book about blogging given their fast-moving nature. Some of the material dealing with then-current events, unfortunately, shows how quickly dated material becomes. This is not to say the posts are poorly written. Many of them are quite funny. But at times it seems like an endless collection of Blush/Cheney/Hilary posts that come across as dated as jokes about (early 1990’s Canadian PM) Brian Mulroney’s chin. While there many posts in this book about topics that have more longevity than the then-current crop of American politicians, I think the book could have trimmed them down. Or, given the number of times “and HuffPost Blogger” shows up, maybe they could have drawn on some more voices from other blogs, just to add a bit of variety. I realized I had missed the resource section as there are only a lot of HuffPost blog posts, almost to the point that the “Guide To” part seems to get lost in the sea of anti-George Bush blog posts. If they removed half of the postings, this book would be less than half its 220-odd pages.
There’s been a lot of books written about how to blog and some on blogging itself, and The Huffington Post is probably one of the better-known blogs. The book seems to try and be both a book about the HuffPost and how to blog; On the first count, it succeeds as readers will get a feel for what they can find on HuffPost. On the second, it’s less so. The bottom line is if you’re looking for a light introduction to blogging, you might pick this book up. If your a fan of the HuffPost, then you’ll probably find some good reads hear- the writers are generally quite funny or at least cleaver. Other readers looking for a more in-depth look at blogging might want to find another book.