Malta — 13 September 2012
6 Lessons for Maltese bloggers

Bla bla blog, the Maltese blogosphere, as much as I hate that word, is alive and well and kicking. Of course the actual quality of the blogs themselves is another thing completely. Every day I come across some new blog, and again, whether or not I can take 2 minutes of reading through it is another matter. With that in mind, here are 6 lessons which Maltese bloggers should learn.

And for those of you out there who feel offended, ask yourselves, ‘Am I doing a good job blogging? Is this absolutely the best I can do?’ If you can’t answer that, then you’re not, and even the lessons below will be worth less to you than camel shit is worth to an Arab.

 

1. Stop it with Alexa

You think you sound all so professional, knowledgeable and internet savvy when you put Alexa in the mix. Fact of the matter is, you don’t. You see, there are real experts out there, experts who actually live and work on the internet, and they’ve used Alexa professionally, not just to massage their jaded, fragile egos.

Whatever Alexa says about your site and others’, you’re reading into it too much. Like, way too much. Why? Well, because Alexa isn’t the be and end all of internet metrics. In fact, Alexa is really quite 1998. You see, its calculations are based on what sites people who use the Alexa toolbar visit, and given that it’s 2012, who the fuck still uses toolbars?

2. Stop code switching

You do not appear more erudite or communicative when you use two different, separate languages in a single sentence. You don’t even manage to appear cute, unless you’re taking the piss out of Sliema Girls. No, in fact, this practice makes you like you’re abysmally stupid and can’t even get one tongue right, let alone two.

Stop it, ok? I give less than shits if that’s the way you talk; you don’t write that way without getting scoffed at by me and anyone who knows anything about writing.

3. Stop it with ‘surely’

Surely such a Maltese plague. Surely this and surely that and surely government would know, and surely we expected.

You know, whether this is a correct usage of the word is up for debate, but the fact that it’s overused is not. Stop it. You sound just like an 8 year old who uses nice in every damn sentence of their ten line essay.

There’s a million and one other ways to construct a sentence, and most of them will give you a result that doesn’t sound like it was put together in the bowels of hell by a retard with a two digit IQ and a tenuous grasp of the English language.

4. Images

Use them, place them. Don’t just put images anywhere for the fuck of it. I know you don’t really get the internet and you’re only doing it because you couldn’t get into print, but just like print, images need to make sense within the story, not just copied from Google Image Search and left on site to die a slow, irrelevant death.

Oh and Daphne, if your caption is as long as an article, consider writing another article instead. It will improve your SEO standing, and god knows we need more of your pieces anyway.

5. A comment is not a blog

I know that some of you still think this is the Stone Age, but unfortunately for you, this is the day of the expert, not the dolt. The geek shall inherit the earth and more weak jokes like that.To that effect, let me dole out some instruction to the people who think that their half baked, halfwit responses on the Times Of Malta constitute a blog; it don’t, aight?

A blog is a blog is a blog, a comment is just a comment. A serial commenter is statistically likely to be a dick. That’s it really, I wish there were more explaining to do, but there isn’t, and you seem to have missed the lesson from the get-go. The bloggers on the Times are called Alison and Ramona. The others don’t count; one’s a bigot and another makes less sense than a freaked out hippie on acid, lost in the woods after Glastonbury, while the rest are quite simply irrelevant. MaltaToday, don’t get me started on your blogs. Just thank fuck you have James and Raphael.

Oh, and writing Facebook notes is not a fuckin’ blog either. Deal with it.

6. Sounding smart

Now I know the way you think. Your viewpoint is that the more complex terms and words you use in your blog post, the better you will be regarded as a writer. Oh look how smart this guy is, he used supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in his blog post, he must know wtf he’s talking about.

Well, sorry, but you are gravely mistaken. You see, the point of writing is to get something across to the reader, and that something is not how smart you think you are, rather, it’s the message behind your writing. This is truly textbook stuff y’know. That’s why so many people read this blog, because they actually understand what the hell I’m on about, which is not to say they agree with it. Of course, this is a national malady, and we use it to cover up the gross uselessness of what we’re writing. Government uses big words to describe contemptible, pishy little things all the time, as do marketing people, and Maltese bloggers (or at least some of them), do exactly the same.

Much like some species of animal, they swell up and show a bunch of colours, sadly revealing that beyond the hues there’s very little by way of succulent flesh. If you have nothing to say, just shut up for a few weeks, all right?

Addendum

Want quality blogs? Check out the list below, organised in no particular order. I might have missed a couple of the good local blogs, if so, forgive me and leave a comment with the link below.

www.wayneflask.com

www.markcamilleri.org

www.carolinemuscat.com

www.akkuza.com

www.bisserjeta.com

www.robertcallus.wordpress.com

www.carmelcacopardo.wordpress.com

www.andrew-sciberras.blogspot.com

Update -

www.melahart.com (Sorry I forgot you in the first round, don’t know how that happened.)

And if you’re looking for a health blog, check out drdietright.com

 

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About Author

My name is Mark and I'm a hyperactive child of the internet, a professional copywriter based in Malta, a great fan of entropy and a Grammar Nazi. I'm online for far more hours than is healthy. This blog is about stuff that interests or irritates me. Contact me here

(13) Readers Comments

  1. Sooooo +1!

  2. Would I sound smarter if I wrote a post about Ghandi and described him as a super callous fragile mystic hexed with halitosis? Surely I would sound smarter.

  3. My only issue with this otherwise worthwhile post:

    You start off Point 5 by properly explaining the difference between a comment and a blog. Which is of course correct. However, you then go off on a tangent by attempting to further define a blogger by the quality of the blogger’s writing (re quote below):

    “The bloggers on the Times are called Alison and Ramona. The others don’t count; one’s a bigot and another makes less sense than a freaked out hippie on acid, lost in the woods after Glastonbury, while the rest are quite simply irrelevant. ”

    I’d counter by saying that a blogger is a blogger irrelevant of whether you agree with what they say or not, or whether you think it is relevant or not.

    A blog is a blog not because it achieves a threshold of relevance or ‘quality’ but because it functions as a website containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc.,

    • You’re quite right and I thought of that myself. Perhaps I should add a point #7, saying that if your ‘thing’ is to present orderly, numbered arguments, you should at least stick to it.

    • You’re right on all counts, Nestor. Mark’s argument should have criticised TOM’s gatekeepers instead. Those blogs wouldn’t be out of place on LiveJournal, Blogger, WordPress.com or wherever, but they’re certainly not fit for publication on TOM.com

  4. Weggajtli qalbi xadin -- ma nidhirx in the list -- surely you didn’t do this on purpose :)

  5. Amen!! :)

    However, possibly including the definition of blog as being an abbreviation of “web log” would have been useful too! :)

    Also, I has a blog! It’s a food blog, so nothing too highbrow, but if you like to use local seasonal produce or enjoy making pretty cakes, I think it’s useful :)

    http://oliveoilandheart.blogspot.com

    • do u have the recipe for a ……..fruitcake?!!!

  6. No worries, actually very honoured I got mentioned at all.

  7. Point number 3 reminded me of Leslie Nielsen in “Airplane!”

    - Surely you can’t be serious!
    - I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley

  8. Thank you thank you thank you for mentioning point no. 5! I also agree with the rest, except Alexa?! What’s that?

    PS -- all the blogs you mentioned seem to be about politics or current affairs. There are others, like mine, that are more personal and deal with parenting issues. Not everyone’s cup of tea but neither are politics.

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