The effect of blogging on people’s writing ability

This is a blog post that originated from when I wrote for The Teen Geek, a website that has now been discontinued. I then cross posted it onto my Tumblr, before I gave up on that service.

This is my first blog post here, and effectively my first ever, so I thought it would be fitting to write a blog about blogging. Or, specifically, the effects that blogging can have on your ability to write.

Probably the most obvious effect it’s going to have is on your grammar—especially with regards to diction and punctuation. It stands to reason that if you are practicing using all those skills that you learnt in primary school, you’re going to get better at using them. If a writer is treating their blog in a formal or semi-formal manner, and doing their best to use correct grammar, then they will gradually, with the help of constructive feedback from their readers, improve in their writing skills.

Writing a blog may also help you with your ability to research and cite information. Another great tool for this purpose is Wikipedia. (I myself write for Wikipedia from time-to-time, and have even created a whole article.)

However, it is possible for blog writing to have a negative effect. This is particularly true if they rely too heavily on spell-check, and the ever-more accurate grammar-checks that modern word processors (such as Microsoft Office Word) have.

I think that it’s important for people to always treat their writing with pride, and no matter what they’re doing, they should try to produce a work of the best quality possible. The only exceptions I see for this are microblogs, where people need to keep the text as short as possible. If people follow this relatively simple rule, they can expect not only to see their writing abilities improve, but also they will likely get more positive reviews, and they will begin to see more traffic.

On the other side of the coin, reading other peoples’ blogs can also help to improve your writing ability in much the same way as listening to a wide variety of music will help a composer, or looking at a lot of artwork from various artists will prove beneficial to an artist.

As blogger and freelance writer Michael Kwan says in one of his blogs, about how to improve your writing:

If all you do is restrain yourself to your own little mental world, you probably won’t improve your writing. In addition to all the writing I do each day, I also do a fair bit of reading. I check out dozens of other blogs on the Internet, I read plenty of tech news through the usual sources, and I check up on the local paper to see what’s happening in the world beyond the blogosphere. Just through pure osmosis, you will start to collect certain ideas and styles that you can integrate into your own writing. This is particularly useful for people who have English as a second language, because it exposes you to the little nuances that they may not teach you in formal English training.

And he is absolutely right. Your writing will improve dramatically if you read other peoples’ blogs—and other forms of writing—because you will take some ideas from the writing of each different person. Gradually you will build up your own writing voice.

As a final point, blogging often will also build your own confidence; if you are getting some good feedback; and this can help you in all areas of life, from your future blogs, to getting a job, to asking a girl out.

Remember to listen to any feedback you get, positive feedback will boost your confidence, while negative (but constructive) feedback will help you improve your writing, so you can do a better job next time.

As this is my first blog, I’m going to request feedback from anyone who reads this. I really do need to know how this is. Any sort of feedback would be much appreciated. The same will apply to any later posts I leave.

I’m still, by the way, interested in any feedback you have on this.

A review of three blogging websites, or, I’ve moved: again

So, I’ve moved my blog again. I decided to move my blog from WordPress, at https://zagorath.wordpress.com to Google’s Blogger, at http://zagorath.blogspot.com. The reasons for this are simple: WordPress is not. I found WordPress to be far too complicated for my uses. It was way too complicated for me.

When I was using Tumblr, I loved how easy it was to customise and edit the design. It was, however, lacking some very noticeable things. There was absolutely no in-built comment system, and no clear method for RSS. The problem with Tumblr is that it’s not really a conventional blog system. It’s not open enough. Tumblr is made to be used by people in Tumblr — it’s a closed system, more of a social networking site than a blogging site. And because of that, I couldn’t really use it for my blog.
So then I switched to WordPress. WordPress is an incredibly powerful blogging tool, and it is also amazingly customisable. But that’s the problem. It’s far too powerful, and too confusing for me. With WordPress, you pretty much have the option of using an in-built theme, or going all-out and creating your own. It’s very difficult to make many small changes. Most themes don’t even allow you to have a custom background. While I’m sure WordPress would be far superior for a serious blogger, or a web developer or something, for me, it’s just far too complicated.
So that brings me to my current situation. I’m currently using Blogger. I already have a Google account, so it was really easy to set up. I’ve now got the advantage of being able to more easily customise my blog. For me, one disadvantage is that there are no “categories”, only labels, which do the same thing as tags. Another problem is that it seems much more complicated to get Blogger to automatically Tweet with a new blog post. It has the added advantage, however, of allowing readers to comment using a variety of logins, including their WordPress accounts, should they chose to use them.
As always, I encourage any feedback on this that you may have. What have been your experiences with any of these three blogging tools, or any others you may have come across?