Monday, July 14, 2008

A Blogger Challenge!

Brent from Ominous Comma was smart kind enough to include me in his latest blog challenge...

"Write a funny post that includes an actual and helpful technical blogging tip or educational material helpful to new bloggers."

And somehow, he was clever enough to disguise this as a "challenge" and not as a meme. He even says so right in his post: "Please note that this is not a meme."

How can you argue with that?

And because I'm naive enough to be flattered by my inclusion in this challenge, I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Therefore, here is my contribution of:

5 Helpful Tips for New Humor Bloggers

1. Don't take yourself too seriously

Self-deprecation sells. People love to read about how much of an idiot you are. It makes them feel normal.

Take Kathy for example - she has self-deprecation down to a science. Here's one of my favorite posts, where she somehow manages to get herself lost in her own neighborhood. And this post, where her nurse used her butt as a table. And even her latest post where she shuts herself in her husband's hot car while she tries to figure out how to start it. These are funny stories!

Now don't get me wrong... I'm not saying Kathy is an idiot, I'm just saying that she's really good at exposing her human side (or fleshy side in the case of her butt post) for the sake of a laugh. You gotta love her for that.

2. Know your limitations

You often hear bloggers say, "Write what you know about." But the flip side of that is true too. Don't write what you don't know about. I know it sounds like the same thing but there is a difference.

For example, I once thought about writing a strictly potato blog. That's right, a blog about all things potato. But then I quickly realized I was no competition for the other high profile potato bloggers already out there:

P. Head
Ida the Ho
(the late) Tim Russert

Another example of knowing my limitations was knowing I could never come up with more than 5 items for this post.

3. Hang around with a lot of unfunny people

The same way that hanging out with stupid people, or preschoolers makes you look really smart. I'm not saying this is what I do, but it is a proven strategy that you can employ.

4. Give away a lot of free crap

Ok, this doesn't have anything to do with writing a successful humor blog, but DAMN - it sure attracts a lot of visitors!

5. Don't abuse the privilege!

As a blogger, you have a responsibility to publish good material. The biggest mistake some new bloggers make is thinking they're "just another blog" and that simply throwing some mundane crap out there will be good enough. They couldn't be farther from the truth. Read this post to learn why bloggers are now being looked at as the newest social heroes. It'll change the way you look at yourself.

So there you have it... 5 tips for new bloggers.

If you're interested in participating in this meme challenge, here's all you have to do - according to Brent:
  1. Write a funny post that includes an actual and helpful technical blogging tip or educational material helpful to new bloggers.
  2. Challenge five other experienced bloggers of funniness.
  3. Post it. (You thought I would overlook that little technicality, didn’t you?)
  4. Link and badge up if you so desire.
And so, because I am a man of my word, I will challenge 5 very funny bloggers whose opinions I think we could all benefit from:

Kathy from The Junk Drawer
JD from I Do Things
VE from VE's Fantastical Nonsense
Marie from Memarie Lane
Maureen from I'd Rather Be Blogging

And because Brent said it so well himself, I will simply restate how he ended his post:

As always you don’t have to be handpicked by myself to answer this challenge, every blogger I know is always on the lookout for new ideas to write about and here I have provided one for you free of charge.

Will you rise to the challenge or grovel on the couch of…not-rising-ness?

The choice is yours.

Remember, even though it comes with a badge and backlinks, and is foisted upon you like a highschool chemistry lab partner, that doesn’t make it a meme.

It’s a challenge.

* * * * *

I challenge you to stop by this humor blog!


cathouse teri said...

I think I'll spend the day not taking myself too seriously. :)

Ed said...

Some thoughts on your tips:

1. Let’s see now. Anyone that would post from their teenage diary isn’t take themselves too seriously!

2. Fortunately you aren’t as limited as me and I’ll be taking advantage of your audio capabilities in the near future.

3. Yeah, this makes all us fellow humor bloggers feel good…

4. Landfills are standing by…

5. No kidding. I mentioned an obscure song from the70s last week and the guy that wrote and performed it commented on my blog post. I thought I was so much more obscure than that…

Thanks for the tag. Since this is not a meme, I will post my tips on Wednesday. You are highly unwise to have somebody as foolish as me suggesting tips for bloggers! You HAVE NO IDEA what I might come up with!

Avitable said...

I surround myself with unfunny ugly fat people, so that way I'm all kinds of awesome.

PG said...

#1 is me. Even when I am not trying to be I am showing people how much of an idiot I am!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

teri - Sounds like an excellent plan!

ve - That's pretty cool that Alan O'day commented on your blog. He also wrote Angie Baby that Helen Reddy recorded and the infamous Rock n' Roll Heaven sung by the Righteous Bros. So exactly... PEOPLE ARE WATCHING!

avitable - Works great, doesn't it?

pg - And that's why you're the highest ranked dad at!

Spinning Girl said...

Yours is my new favorite blog! (Hopped here from Ajooja). I will definitely be coming by again!!!

Alice said...

Good tips. But where's my free crap now?

Ed (zoesdad) said...

I deprecate myself often. It can get messy.

Roger Miller said...

I AM an unfunny fat person, where can I go for help?

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

spinning girl - You are my new favorite reader! Thanks for stopping by :-)

alice - Ironically, I'll be giving away some free crap next week. Hey, what kind of hypocrite would I be if I didn't follow my own advice?

ed - Yeah, but with all those little ones, is it really that noticeable?

mylhibug - That's not true... this comment was very funny.

Anonymous said...

How to piss off other bloggers:

Add a music player to your sidebar that does a loop of We Built This City, Up Up and Away, Tom's Diner, Hotel California, and Lucky Star and have it play automatically. Bury it down at the bottom so readers can't find it to make it stop.

JD at I Do Things said...

I refuse to grovel on the couch of not-rising-ness, so I will rise to this challenge and fulfill my duty. And I will do it on Thursday, the day my blog will be a year old.

Great tips, Jeff, but I'm with April: Where's my free crap?

JD at I Do Things

Kathy said...

Jeff -- I knew my butt table would be useful somehow. Some way! I'm honored you would use me as an example of how self-deprecation can do wonders for a humor blogger. If I didn't get to write about what a moron I am every other day, I wouldn't blog at all because I wouldn't have any material. Seriously. Excellent post!

Sarah said...

Nothing to do with blogging but infamous no-show got her book today and can't wait to read it.

Elizabeth said...

Good tips, but I also have to remember to actually post once and a while. I tend to go in spurts with long periods no blogging in between. I need to work on that!

Heather said...

So THAT'S why you come by my blog.

MYM said...

Now that there is some good advice :)

#3 is a must.

And you're right about Kathy ... she's the best :)

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

marie - Hmmm, don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel about this.

jd - I'm impressed. Especially considering that the couch of not-rising-ness is SOOOO comfortable.

kathy - Thank you AND your butt for providing such excellent material!!! :-)

sarah - Whew! You have no idea how close your book came to being the next infamous "no-show!"

elizabeth - I agree. I'd love to hear more about how things are going way up Nort there. BTW, I love how you renamed your blog ;b

heather - Exactly. I love free crap too.

drowsey - We can all learn from Kathy. I really need to start writing more about the dumb things I do on a regular basis.

Maureen said...

Aw, crap...

I mean "Whoo Hoo!"

I doubt anyone would learn anything from me, unless they don't already know how to embarass themselves enough.

Thanks for the tag.... er "challenge".

kapgar said...

These tips do me no good because we all know I'm not funny so there's just no hope. ;-)

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

maureen - Three things...
1. If you read the fine print it says to write a funny post that contains "an" actual blogging tip. As in 1, singular. So, that's not many.
2. You were only challenged, not tagged, so I don't think that carries as much authority.
3. Or, you could just grab a big comfy blanket and snuggle down on the couch of non-rising-ness. No pressure.

Kapgar - Well, there's always the free crap thing.

Maureen said...

No pressure at all!



Oh, yeah, I roole...

Now I gotta get back to real work.

Brent Diggs said...

I just came over to congratulate you on rising to The Challenge but if you've got free crap I'm camping out until I get mine.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

maureen - Nice job! Your post is hysterical... which I knew would be... which is exactly why I challenged you. :-)

brent - Stop by next week. Free crap-a-comin!

cathouse teri said...

Omigod! Take a few days off for continuous sex and fall down to number 7 on comment list! I gotta get back to work! :)

Doozie said...

If I took myself seriously I'd have clonked my OWN SELF with a shovel

Sandy said...

Okay, now I'm paranoid. I knew there had to be a reason you hang around had to be number 3.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

teri - Well, at least you have your priorities in the right order ;-)

doozie - You're the queen of not taking yourself seriously. Seriously.

sandy - Listen to you. Heather said the same thing. Not only are you guys funny, but you're also my oldest blog friends since day one. I'll be hanging around your places forever. :-)

yellojkt said...

My advice is: Write about YOUR opinions and experiences. Don't just repost stuff you found elsewhere.

Corrina said...

I have a responsibility to publish good material?? Crap!

April said...

I nominate myself as the unfunny blogger others can visit to feel better about themselves :) Hey, I'm playing my part!