December 2, 2011
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Dan Frommer’s Ten Tips

Some years ago I wrote ten tips for weblog writers for A List Apart. It turned out to be one of their most popular articles, it's been translated a bunch, and it’s even found its way into a high school writing textbook.

  1. Write for a reason
  2. Write often
  3. Write tight
  4. Make good friends
  5. Choose good enemies
  6. Let the story unfold
  7. Stand up, speak out
  8. Be sexy
  9. Use your archives
  10. Relax

Dan Frommer has just written his own excellent ten steps to better blogging.

  1. Above all else, factual accuracy and attention to detail.
  2. Write the site that you want to read.
  3. Be more skeptical.
  4. Attribute well.
  5. Add context.
  6. Be critical, but don’t be unfair.
  7. Care about your writing.
  8. Care about your design.
  9. Don’t be the 10th person to write the same thing.
  10. Try new things.

These are all excellent. Why are the lists so different? Ten years ago, I thought fairness and honesty went without saying, that they were too obvious to belabor. Gawker and TechCrunch and the right-wing noise machine have changed all that.