On Tuesday I wrote about fake books i.e. books that spend more time wanking to themselves than providing you with useful information.
The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging doesn't resoundingly fall in that category but it definitely borrows from it.
For the young grasshopper blogger, the Guide does provide helpful tips on what to write about, what blog name to choose, what blogging program to use, copyright issues, site stats and how to get noticed and build a community. All good stuff to lay your groundwork.
In fact, the eight rules for great blogging may become my mantra:
1) Blog often
2) Perfect is the enemy of done
3) Write like you speak
4) Focus on specific details
5) Own your topic
6) Know your audience
7) Write short
8) Become part of the conversation with like-minded bloggers
Unfortunately, after the first couple of chapters the book becomes less Guide and more Yearbook/Hall of Fame for the HuffPo. Finally, Arianna, a chance to enshrine your blog in the immortality of the printed page!
This means lots of sample posts from HuffPo, side bars from old people saying "well I didn't know what a blog was before but look at me now!" and the history of the blog, especially concerning how HuffPo was integral to building the citizen journalist movement.
Bitch please! The HuffPo is nearly as establishment as the Washington Post. And it's not the only game in town - what about Gawker? And let's not forget the millions of ordinary people just writing posts, contributing to the global dialogue without HuffPo's framework.
Verdict: Decent guide. Skip the second half.
The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging/ The Editors of the Huffington Post / Simon & Schuster / OTPB, 2008