The rather sensationalist title would normally be a reason to not want to read this book. But since this book came out in 2010, the author E.J. Pfauth has become known for more than just this book. He is the co-founder of the Correspondent (a journalism platform), has written other books and he hosts a rather entertaining podcast. So I thought it would be fun to see where his head was some 10 years ago.
The book is part boyish bold blogging adventures i.e. travelling the world and meeting blog celebrities. All while trying to push the medium of blogging to new meaning. And the other part is a between-the-lines advice of how to exactly do this yourself. It’s not a specific how-to, but more ‘this is how I went about it’ (his second book explores this topic in more detail).
A couple of things stood out. First: the upbeat and ambitious belief that blogging could change the world. And second, while reading this in 2019 the notion that yes, the world has indeed changed. But, not necessarily by blogging. Case and point: the main two blogs from the author himself have vanished from the internet. And some of the mentioned blog celebrities have retreated into obscurity. And of course there’s Facebook and other monoliths that have eaten into the blogosphere and the independent self-publishing spirit it stands for.
Proof is in the pudding
But what stood out most throughout the entire book was the relentless tenacity of the author. His eagerness got him all around the world. Fortune favors the bold indeed! He was young and ambitious and would try everything and anything to get readers.
I have been blogging since 2005 myself, but I do it mainly because I enjoy it. So I have a different view of what blogging is about than the author. But of course, blogging can be many things. None of which is wrong. So in the spirit of this book I deliberately set out to blog something that would attract more readers. And it worked.
Originally published at Jan van den Berg.