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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Mena Trott on Blogging

Mena Trott wrote a Bloggie-nominated essay on blogging. She is the co-founder and president of the company that develops Moveable Type and TypePad, two of the most popular blogging tools on the web.

She speaks of three different categories of bloggers: pundits, diarists, and egoists. Pundits are the technology whizzes and political know-it-alls that write about the things they know. Diarists are "online exhibitionists people who didn't have any qualms about writing about intimate details of their love life, co-workers they hate or their cats and the cheese sandwiches they ate for lunch." Next are the egoists, people who write for attention and maybe even fame. Mena says she was as an egoist at first because she knew she could never be famous in the real world "but, with a bit of creativity and humor, I could be pseudo-famous in the online world."

After a bad incident where she received unwarranted commentary from strangers in response to a post in which she diclosed personal information, Mena started to change gears. It took her a couple of years to realize that she didn't want to write and reach tens of thousands. "I wanted to reach 10 or 20 people, my close friends and family and a handful of webloggers I communicated with in real life (also known as friends)."

"The personal weblog is content-driven, not audience-driven; it's not about trying to write content that pleases a mass audience — it's about finding an audience that wants to read what you write."

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