To do great writing, read great writing. Here’s the great writing I’ve been reading this week:
How to build a loyal blog following – This story from Inc.com should be recommended reading for every writer and blogger in the 2010 WordCount Blogathon. Heck, it should be required reading for every blogger period. It doesn’t take doing just one thing to build a blog following, but a bunch of things, Peter Vanden Bos writes. He then lays out a not unfamiliar series of steps bloggers should take, including having something interesting to say, engaging with readers and using social media tools to promote your work. What makes this piece better than others I’ve read on the subject are the examples of successful bloggers he uses, including Penelope Trunk – who’s also on my list of top 10 blogs for writers – Seth Godin, Smitten Kitchen and Social Media Globetrotter.
The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook – Facebook has been in the news recently because of an initiative the social network launched that allows it to share member information with other websites. The change prompted outcries from politicians and privacy watchdog groups who want the company to make opting into the new feature the default setting rather than opting out, and to make its privacy guidelines clearer. Issues like this beg for a visual interpretation of the situation. Enter Matt McKeon, a developer with the Visual Communication Lab at IBM Research’s Center for Social Software. McKeon isn’t a journalist, but he thought like one when he created an interactive diagram that shows the changes in Facebook’s default privacy settings over time, providing in a way words could not duplicate how drastic the change has been.
Top 5 secrets to landing a book deal – This one might not qualify as great writing, but it’s definitely good writing about something else writers need to know. Writing on Forbes.com, Alan Rinzler, a long-time book editor and current executive editor at publisher Jossey-Bass, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, shares his well-seasoned perspective what publishers do and don’t want in book proposals. For starters, Rinzler says, writers should know that publishers are desperate for proposals. The problem is, the proposals they get are usually terrible: poorly planned, not well written and not packaged with enough explanation of why a writer is the writer for the project. Are you working on a book proposal? Read this before sending your manuscript anywhere.