Archive for April, 2009


If your blog died today… what would it be remembered for?

Darren Rowse
Image by BenSpark via Flickr

Over at, Darren Rowse’s “31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge” starts today.  It has been extremely successful in the past couple of years he has done the Challenge which lasts 31 days and almost guarantees improvements in the creative content of your blog if you follow through with the Challenge.  It is so popular among bloggers not only because it apparently really helps bloggers to focus on and achieve their blog goals but because Darren has earned a reputation worldwide for being a bit of a “blog guru” — he has a knack for focusing on the problems that plague us all and presenting exercises that are at once challenging and gratifying (not to mention unique).

For example, one of his most popular blog exercises called “If your blog died today… what would it be remembered for?”  On the surface, it sounds horribly morose but he actually presents the following challenge that forces you to really ask yourself what you want out of your blog, how you’d like it to be perceived and the impact you think it will make versus the impact it is actually making in people’s lives.

In the post, he asks Bloggers to:

Project yourself forward 10 years, imagine that at that point you decide to end your blog having achieved everything that you want to achieve with it and write a short obituary about your blog as you’d like other people to have seen it to that point.  Keep in mind that your blog has been as successful as it can be and you’re ending it at the peak of its game.

The thought of that alone is a bit overwhelming but extremely thought-provoking.  It is also the tip of the iceberg as Darren presents a set of questions (a road map) to help us through the exercise:

  • What do you want people to say about your blog?
  • How do you hope it will have been perceived?
  • What will people miss about it the most?
  • What ground has it broken?
  • What has it achieved?
  • How has it helped people?

This is a timed exercise.  He gives us 10 minutes to answer the above questions and write our Blog Obituary.  It seems like a woefully inadequate amount of time but, then, if you can’t say what your blog is and how you want it to impact the world in ten minutes, then that would indicate a huge problem that needs to be worked through.

That was only the first part of the exercise.  The second part really brings the first part home:

Write an obituary for your blog as it stands TODAY.  Write an obituary for your blog as you think others see it now.

  • What would they say about it?
  • What would people miss about it?
  • What has it achieved?
  • How has it fulfilled a need or service in people’s lives.
  • What ground has it broken?

I have to admit that, for me personally, this exercise is not easy at all.  I read through many of the Comments to his post (77 total) and was not surprised to see others had struggled mightily as well.  It is so easy to open a blog account with a blogging service (as easy as it is to open a box of cereal) that I believe people very seldom put this much thought into what they really want to say with their blogs.  But if we did this work first, imagine how much better our blogs would be!

I’m going to do this exercise tonight.  You can read the original “Blog Obituary” post here.  Is this something that you think would help you?

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April 2009
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