Monday, December 03, 2007

Brand New Kind of Blog

Nail in the Ground

Not too long ago, I developed a brand new kind of blog. After all, I wanted to provide an avenue for feedback on my book, without significantly impacting the nature of my existing blogs. I also realized that I didn't want to spend a lot of time managing yet another blog, as important as a book blog might be from a promotional standpoint.

I've seen promotional blogs before and I knew they weren't for me, for a host of reasons. Still, I wanted to give my book and its readers their own special place on the web. What to do?

I decided to create a hybrid. Not exactly a website. Not exactly a blog. Let's call it a "wog". Because the post content will stay mostly the same, like a website. But the established posts will be open to comments, like a blog. Additionally, I'll be putting blog links in the sidebar, based on reader activities. (Check out the top post there to see what I mean.)

In March, I'll be teaching blog workshops* at Mount Hermon, and I promise to talk about the "wog". I might even give your opinions, if that's okay. So that together we can discuss with the world a brand new kind of blog. A wog.

* Yours truly is going to help present too, which I'm pleased about.


Marcus' A Wog by Any Other Name Would be as Sweet

Photo by J Barkat. Used by permission. Seedlings Invitation: If you write a post related to this post and Link It Back Here, let me know and I'll link to yours.

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Blogger Lara said...

Teaching a blog workshop at Mt. Hermon? You go, girl! Wish I could be there.

I like that hybrid idea. It will be interesting to see how it works. I often think of blogs as drawing readership through constantly providing new material, but really my own statistics show otherwise. Probably 75% of my traffic is to older posts found through search engines. Go figure.

Can't wait to see your book promotion efforts (and of course, your book).

6:48 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

What great endorsements. Especially from Scot McKnight comparing your writing to that of Eugene Peterson! But I know there's something very special about your writing and creative gift from God.

I look forward much to slowly reading your upcoming book and growing much through that.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Llama Momma said...

I love your WOG and the glimpses of your book that are there. I've had a taste and want more! :-)

Really good stuff, LL.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Lynet said...

That's an awesome idea, LL. I bet your readers will enjoy being able to interact with other readers and the author, and that 'wog' looks like an excellent space for it.

12:40 AM  
Blogger christianne said...

When I read the title for this post, I thought, "This girl really IS addicted to blogs!" But of course, I knew you were going to be sharing about your book blog -- er, wog (I love that you coined this term!) -- and so I was excited for you. :)

Love you, girl. Continuing congratulations to you and the road you're walking.

It would be amazing if "wog" became a mainstream term at some point.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Every Square Inch said...


Great idea - blending fixed content with the open interactivity of blogs.

Are you planning to interact through the comment section?

I think there is some content that fit this model..."rich enduring content" like books or perhaps a memorial or tribute might work in the same way.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's awesome you will be at Mount Hermon. It is my "happy place" where I have been attending conferences and retreats for the last 25 years. I also worked there for a time. MH holds fond memories for me. I am sure your time there will be memorable when you are able to steal away a few glimpses of the serenity there.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been peaking in on your wog for a few days now, watching as it develops, wondering at its newness. Oh, how rich this new little place will be. I can't wait to preorder copies for everyone!

1:18 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

A Musing... yes, that would have been nice to see you there. As for the wog, I'm also very interested in seeing how it works (or doesn't). Your 75% statistic is interesting information that goes against much of the "gotta do it this way" (frequent posts) advice about blogging.

Ted... I was also quite touched by Scot's endorsement. What a blessing!

Llama... thanks!

Lynet... kind of like a cyber-book club!

Christianne... you make me smile. And I do plan to talk about "wogs" at MH, because I needed a term to describe this thing. Necessity is the mother of invention. (And, besides, we have a tradition of word coinage here, don't we?:)

Every Square... I definitely think the wog has a special purpose. But that's exactly what I needed. Author blogs that spend time talking about related topics or just talking up "where I'll be speaking this week" seem to be a lot of work without really getting at what readers and the author are ultimately interested in... interaction around a work they now have in common. And, yes, I will interact on a limited basis in the comments, because I'm assuming people will have questions about things. Also, I'll want to honor people's presence there.

Anonymous... hi there. Welcome. And feel free to leave your name so we can share in community with you. Yes, MH is a serene place if ever there was one!

Charity... nice to have you there at the window. :) Now, someday you must return me the favor, and write a book I can pre-order.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I would be honored. Great job.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

Why is no one asking the important question regarding that photograph? Ahem. There is a nail in the grass. Do explain, s'il vous plaît.

3:48 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Matthew... hey there. Thanks.

Craver... Now, that is a perplexing question. Apparently it was just there. And you know how that goes. Climb a mountain because it's there. Take a picture because... Well, is it every day you see a nail in the ground?

7:00 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

I love the idea of having a hybrid kind of space, of taking something that is often done one way and morphing it to suit your purposes. Calling it a "wog". How fun is that?

In all honesty, I look forward to seeing & hearing what comes out of this space, what doors & windows it might open.

Waiting with baited breath...

11:35 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Thank you for continuing to bless your readers with your poignant posts. As an early Christmas gift (lol) and a big thank you, I happily tag you with the "Roar" award. Come to my blog to retrieve it.
- Jo

11:51 AM  
Blogger Marcus Goodyear said...

Thanks for the link, L.L., and the invitation to join you on your panel.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Marcus Goodyear said...

Oops! I didn't mean to post that yet. I was going to say that I have a trouble with the word "blog" at times like this.

I mean, we're stuck with the word, so there's no debating that.

But what is a blog exactly? It's just a website, usually run by one person, that operates on one of several "blogging" platforms like Blogger, Wordpress, and Typepad.

So your book blog isn't really a blog at all in the sense that most people understand the term. (Someone on our advisory council for thinks of blogs as the public journals of narcissitic hack writers.) Sadly, we've got more than a few dozen million of those.

But that's not what you do here. And it is certainly not what you are doing over at I'd say that site is a basic promotional tool designed to encourage feedback from readers--without burdening you with a large web design and construction expense.

Bottom line: the platform of blogs--the code that makes blogs work--is beginning to be useful in surprising ways. Kudos to you for thinking outside of the box and not being afraid to let blogger reduce the cost of development for you!

2:32 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Kirsten... yes, I love morphing things. And coining words. And hearing from people in small spaces. Thanks for your encouragements.

Jo... thanks for the compliment. I'll get to it soon.

Mark... oh, now, let me have my word. Wog. Because the user doesn't really care so much about the underpinnings, the invisible technology... he cares about nomenclature that can help him understand what's going on. And what's going on over there will be a combo of what's commonly understood as a website and commonly understood as a blog. A wog. (Did I say that already?) Anyway, I'm glad you'll be with me at MH too. I need a foil. (Is that like saying you're a character?)

5:48 PM  
Blogger Martin Stickland said...

Hello my friend!

Are you almost ready for Christmas now you have got over thanks giving?

I hope the book is going well, clever old you!

6:16 PM  
Blogger Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Love the idea of a "wog." And I really love that you'll be teaching at Mt. Hermon. That's awesome! Going to Mt. Hermon is one of my "someday" goals/plans, and I regularly order CDs of the sessions every spring. I'll be watching for the CD of your session!

2:35 PM  

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