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QuickPress: the Double-Edged Sword

Posted by on February 18, 2011

One of the key advantages of blogging is the ability to quickly publish and distribute content to a broad audience. We have seen the real-world effects of “quickpress” in the blogger-fueled protests in the Arab world. No longer are writers confined to the slow time-tables of print publishers, editors, and review panels. This post itself was published within hours of its conception. It is truly a freedom that writers of all stripes joyously embrace.

But with this freedom of immediate publishing comes the danger of unfiltered thought. In a world where instant gratification has become the norm, we more often than not succumb to the temptation of favoring speed over studied contemplation. Countless bloggers have realized the consequences of speed-publishing, blasting out ill-conceived compositions that they later regret.

This is the double-edged sword of blogging. We must realize that while the technology and format allow us to by-pass publishing barriers, this does not mean that we should not take the time to fully develop our thoughts and revise our compositions.

According to BlogPulse , there are now over 156 million blogs on World Wide Web, with approximately 57 blogs being created per minute. How does YOUR blog rise to the top? How can you stand out?

The first step is to create well-developed, error-free, finely tuned posts. Your first thought is rarely your best. Prewrite. Outline. Draft. Revise. Revise again.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t instantly compose a thought that has popped into your head. In fact, as the composition scholar Peter Elbow points out, this exercise of “freewriting” helps you discover “your natural way of producing words,” the sound, texture, and rhythm that leads to voice, “which is the main source of power in your writing.” Finding this voice is key to creating authentic content that your blogging audience will connect with. So spew forth everything in your head; get it all on paper. Just don’t post it immediately.

The writing process is still relevant; hell, it’s even MORE relevant now. Embrace the freedom of instant press, but beware the dangers of unfiltered thought.

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