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Sonya Sorich: Lessons from the blogosphere

I wanted to dominate your dinner conversations.

At least that was the fantasy when I started blogging nearly six years ago. I expected an eager audience of fans turning on their computers Monday morning, dismissing all breaking news headlines before catching up with what I did Saturday night.

Now, I realize I am not that interesting. And in the rare moments when I am, I don't necessarily want you to know about it.

Last week, I was a guest on Sit And Talk, a podcast by Stand And Stretch. Columbus-based Stand And Stretch bridges clients' needs "from traditional media to new media using the latest Web technologies."

The podcast focuses on blogging and is available online now. It's especially helpful for businesses that are thinking about entering the blogosphere.

A 30-minute discussion about blogging wasn't an entirely daunting task. I've maintained two blogs since starting my career at the Ledger: an "American Idol" blog and a relationship/dating blog.

Like many journalists, I arrived a little late to the blogosphere party. It wasn't long before blogging's tide changed from full disclosure to somewhat of a backlash against too much information.

The so-called "mommy bloggers" took heat for using their kids as writing inspiration. Relationship bloggers -- the same women who once savored tell-all digital anecdotes about their dates -- wrote posts about how no-holds-barred blogging left them dateless and desperate. And I was somewhere in the middle.

It seems like blog debuts used to generate intrigue and unusually high expectations.

Now, most announcements about new blogs generally come with two cynical expectations from readers. One: At some point in your blogging career, you will have an extended lapse between updates, followed by a post with this headline: "Where have I been?"

And two: At some point in your blogging career, regardless of your blog's central focus, you will succumb to an urge to post cute pet photos.

Not all blogs suffer this fate. Many writers are still easily classified as professional bloggers, writing rapid-fire, detailed posts on a daily -- sometimes hourly -- basis. But especially for lifestyle writers, the blogging climate is distinctly different from a time when shock value alone ensured a fan base.

If you want a spot at the dinner table, you better write something worth discussing.

Sonya Sorich can be reached at ssorich@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8516. Visit ledger-enquirer.com/sonya to read her work.

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