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Finding Your Online Voice

Presented at Northern Voice 2010 (Vancouver)

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Finding Your Online Voice

  1. 1. Finding Your Online Voice - Monica Hamburg Photo: CC BY-NC 2.0
  2. 2. How To Find Your Online Voice Step 1: Write Eventually: You’ll find your voice "Finding Your Online Voice" 2 Monica Hamburg
  3. 3. Sounds frighteningly like The Underpants Gnomes' business plan "Finding Your Online Voice" 3 Monica Hamburg
  4. 4. Still...the ticket is to: Write more So you can write better And: "Finding Your Online Voice" 4 Monica Hamburg
  5. 5. In order to sound more like you "Finding Your Online Voice" 5 Monica Hamburg BY-NC-ND CC 2.0
  6. 6. ____ "Finding Your Online Voice" Monica Hamburg CC BY 2.0
  7. 7. “One of the best ways to learn your blogging voice is to read a lot of other bloggers and ask yourself whether you're comfortable with their writing style, whether they seem to be a friend chatting with you or some self-important twit pontificating, and which you find most appealing. Then be inspired by that and try to create a writing persona that matches what you believe are the best practices.” - Dave Taylor, The Business Blog at "Finding Your Online Voice" 7 Monica Hamburg
  8. 8. What’s Your Focus • Figure out your blog’s focus • Put it on your blog (can be altered later) "Finding Your Online Voice" 8 Monica Hamburg
  9. 9. "Finding Your Online Voice" 9 Monica Hamburg
  10. 10. What is good blog writing? • Compelling • Correct grammar, spelling & sentence structure • Visually appealing • As concise as possible • And, very critically: "Finding Your Online Voice" 10 Monica Hamburg
  11. 11. “You know everything is not an anecdote. You have to discriminate. You choose things that are funny or mildly amusing or interesting. ... [Y]ou know, when you're telling these little stories? Here's a good idea - have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!” "Finding Your Online Voice" 11 Monica Hamburg
  12. 12. Why would anyone care? “Because I rock” No. "Finding Your Online Voice" 12 Monica Hamburg
  13. 13. Because of: • Content • Voice "Finding Your Online Voice" 13 Monica Hamburg
  14. 14. Basically: It’s a good read "Finding Your Online Voice" 14 Monica Hamburg
  15. 15. Benefits of Initial Obscurity • Allows you time to find your voice • Gives you the opportunity to experiment • Freedom to write without censoring yourself (lest you “lose your audience”) "Finding Your Online Voice" 15 Monica Hamburg
  16. 16. “There's nothing wrong with getting 20 million viewers, but I think there's something wrong with aiming at getting 20 million viewers, because then you have to take away all the things that will offend, and you'll end up with something so anodyne that it just washes over you for half an hour.” - Ricky Gervais "Finding Your Online Voice" 16 Monica Hamburg
  17. 17. Blogging shouldn’t suck • Be Honest with yourself: Write about what you like – and can commit to • Keep a log of ideas: Note down things you might like to write about as you come across them. E.g. via: – Evernote – Google Docs "Finding Your Online Voice" 17 Monica Hamburg
  18. 18. Except when it does • Too Many Ideas? Too many choices paralyze • Stuck? Get out of the house, talk a walk, exercise, meditate = allow yourself to think. • Focus sometimes means not focussing: best ideas can come when you expand your scope "Finding Your Online Voice" 18 Monica Hamburg
  19. 19. Relax? Really? “..when people are anxious they tend to narrow their thought processes, concentrating upon aspects directly related to the a problem [psychologist Alice] Isen’s results show that when people are relaxed and happy their thought processes expand, becoming more creative, more imaginative] ” - Donald A. Norman, “Emotional Design” "Finding Your Online Voice" 19 Monica Hamburg
  20. 20. “Tips for new bloggers? Be real. Start small. While you don't have to share as much as I do, you should share SOMETHING - a thought, an opinion, a story. Stick to the blogging rules: no one cares what you had for lunch. Don't force anything; let it come naturally. Did I mention being real? Please be real. Give people a chance to know YOU, not a false image.” - Kimli Welsh, Delicious Juice Dot Com "Finding Your Online Voice" 20 Monica Hamburg
  21. 21. Go with your instincts • What you reveal: – If you are uncomfortable with revealing aspects of your life or yourself: don’t. – Your privacy and boundaries are important – Understand that friends, parents, coworkers future employers, may read your blog "Finding Your Online Voice" 21 Monica Hamburg
  22. 22. Remember: it’s a process • Learn from your writing: Did a post feel particularly “right”/like you? • Analyze: Read other blogs. Figure out what you enjoy about certain blogs – and what you don’t. "Finding Your Online Voice" 22 Monica Hamburg
  23. 23. Remember: it’s a process Write. Write. Write. "Finding Your Online Voice" 23 Monica Hamburg
  24. 24. "Finding Your Online Voice" 24 Monica Hamburg
  25. 25. Further Resources: On & I also wrote a few posts on my blog in preparation for this talk: • • "Finding Your Online Voice" 25 Monica Hamburg
  26. 26. Presentation: "Finding Your Online Voice" 26 Monica Hamburg
  27. 27. • First Slide = Photo Credits: • Slide 3= “South Park” • Slide 5 = • Slide 6 = • Slide 8 = • Slide 9 =,, • Slide 11 = “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” • Slide 24 = • Powerpoint background = “Splatter” "Finding Your Online Voice" 27 Monica Hamburg
  28. 28. • Erica Lam Thank you • Kimli Welsh • Kim Werker • Miranda Lievers • Pete Mosley "Finding Your Online Voice" 28 Monica Hamburg
  29. 29. • Monique Trottier Thank you • Isabella Mori • Eagranie Yuh • Mark Dykeman • Beth Snow • Glenn Hilton • Jeremy Lim "Finding Your Online Voice" 29 Monica Hamburg
  30. 30. • Lyal Avery Thank you • Degan Beley & • Stephanie Scott "Finding Your Online Voice" 30 Monica Hamburg
  31. 31. & "Finding Your Online Voice" 31 Monica Hamburg