The blogosphere is an entire world unto itself, with its own set of unspoken rules and regulations. A while back, Rickey weighed in on the matter with his own set of guidelines for blogging. But recently, exciting new developments have come to light, and several addendums to the list have therefore become necessary. And because Rickey likes to think of himself as sort of a cool uncle for all you aspiring bloggers out there (kind of like Tom Hanks on “Family Ties,” sans the drinking problem) Rickey has decided to post a few additions to the list. Newcomers, break these rules at your own risk. Behold, dear reader, Rickey’s brand spanking new:
1) Don’t blog about not blogging. If you’re not going to post today, don’t make a lengthy announcement about it, for it will bewilder, alienate, and ultimately drive away your audience. And believe us friend, when it comes to blogging, the last thing you want is confusion amongst the ranks. This is the mistake that Rickey made recently and in retrospect, it was a pretty goddamned dumb thing to do. If there’s a better way of single handedly sabotaging one’s blog, we have yet to see it. If you suspect that you won’t be blogging for sometime, mum’s the word, because having your audience wonder “Where is he? Where did he go? Is he living with raccoons in the wilderness?” is far more preferable to them not stopping by out of habit.
2) Blog your own time, child. It’s one thing to create a semi-fictional character, but don’t stray too far into the realm of the imaginary and create your own zany universe. Here at RwR, we dwell in the here and now, and strongly believe that the occasional post on today’s most topical items is necessary and unavoidable. You’ll find that this serves to ground your readers as well as reassure them that this blogging venture hasn’t rendered you completely batshit crazy and divorced from reality.
3) The lolcat is dead. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the loldog. A vast improvement over its feline predecessor, a picture of a loldog boosts your blog’s humor content by roughly 16%, and best of all, does it without being as unnervingly gay as the lolcat is. Go with the loldog, it’s a win-win situation people.
4) Pimp Yo Self. No, we’re not talking about popping up like some feral gopher on random people’s blogs and posting links to yours—no one cares for that sort of thing and it is the blogging equivalent of whipping out your junk on a first date in a crowded restaurant. No, when we say pimping, we’re talking about branding and catchy slogans. This is not Rollicking With Rickey, this is not Rolling With Rickey, nor is this Rampaging With Rickey. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Riding With Rickey and we’ve gone to great lengths to keep it that way and constantly remind you of that quintessential fact. We’ve even got our own little abbreviation, RwR, to go with it, a bevy of banners to pick from, as well as some fun randomly generating slogans at the top. Is this a little too heady for a site that’s web traffic is 93% accidental? Perhaps, but our over inflated ego is what keeps us toasty warm at night, and we’re all about sharing the warmth with our strange bedfellows here at Riding With Rickey.
5) Don’t be afraid to respond to your commenters. Nothing says “I care, you bastards” quite like climbing down from your ivory tower and getting down into the trenches with your readership to debate the merits of crossing the streams. A little healthy camaraderie goes a long way people. Over time, you’ll earn your audience's trust, and that trust will one day prove invaluable when you go off the deep end and start ranting about how "Carnal Lobster" is an anagram for Carlos Beltran's name.
6) Use Google to your advantage. Google’s unbridled dominance means that bloggers score high in Google searches, primarily because they relentlessly link to each other like trained chimps. This might seem incestuous, and it is. But honestly now, who are you to stand against the ebb and flow of the tide of internet trends when dreams of blogging grandeur are dancing about in your mind? Rest assured, over time you will develop a desperate, unshakable thirst for these links. Other than the incessant linking, another fantastically unscrupulous means of boosting Google hits is to anticipate possible future headlines (i.e., “Mets Win 2008 World Series,” “Undead Corpse of Ronald Reagan Wins GOP Primary,” “Entire Middle East on Fire,” etc.) and post them on your website.
7) Choose Your Friends Wisely. That christofascist jackass whose rantings remind you of Mel Gibson in "Conspiracy Theory"? Yeah, you’d better believe that he’s going to follow you back home to your blog. And from there, he’ll visit any blog that you have listed in your blogroll. And then everyone will wonder “who let the fuckwit in?” and blame you. So please, for everyone’s sake, Rickey recommends that you choose your blogging buddies wisely. (If you’re a regular here, have no fear, for you have chosen wisely and are already vouched safe for).
8) Do away with the word verification. Its 7pm on a weekday night and Rickey’s tired. You think Rickey’s keen on squinting at his laptop and correctly retyping “ulijwjwtubhdf” in a small box in order for his pithy and insightful thoughts to be heard? Think again cupcake.
9) Post things your readership actually can use. Generally, folks enjoy a good “how to” post. Amidst his wanton internet ramblings, Rickey sometimes likes to take a time out to recommend things that actually have practical real world applications. So Rickey occasionally posts recipes with the intention of buying his readership another two years before they have to learn how to cook for themselves. But you can tailor your own “how to” posts to whatever it is that you folks are proficient in. Be it model ship building, gardening, or home brewing, we don’t care what you choose. You’re the hero of this story, not us.
10) Blog Inebriated. Many great writers have found inspiration at the bottom of the bottle and in that regard, blogging is no different from legitimate penmanship. That lengthy post you were planning on writing about Governor David Patterson tossing out the opening pitch at Shea Stadium may have seemed insipid and tasteless to a sober mind, but two glasses of Jack Daniels later and your blogging delusions will deepen and presto!, you’re off and rolling, writing a piece of satire worthy of Jonathan Swift.
11) Don’t Pull Punches. Rickey hasn’t made it to where he is in the blogosphere (as per Sitemeter, 47K accidental site hits and counting) by giving a damn about the fragile sensibilities of others. Who’s to say that a post concerning your recent bowel movement in the third floor bathroom at work isn’t a transcendent missive on the human condition? Look, you may be the next Philip Larkin, but if you’re letting your own damned timidity get in the way of legitimately creative material, then you’re doing a huge disservice to yourself and your readership. So make with the poop jokes already people, time’s a wastin’.