So, for various reasons, we've been pretty obsessively refreshing Valleywag, "Silicon Valley's tech gossip rag." We have to admit that we've felt a more-than-miniscule frisson of joy as we've watched that site's guest editor struggle and scrape in an attempt to make the mandated 12-a-day post count. But we're better people than that; we know how difficult it is to produce content on a tight schedule while contending with occasionally undermedicated commenters and the vagaries of a news cycle that sometimes produces nothing worthy of discussing. And while we lack certain advantages that our colleague over there possesses (it's a lot easier to get your e-mails returned when you're an evil billionaire Internet mogul with a lengthy track record of providing journalists as much prosecco as they can slam down until the third bottle runs out), we'd like to offer a few pointers in an attempt to aid the transition. After the jump, our advice.
- Photoshop and other graphical tricks can often disguise the fact that your posts have little or no information in them.
- Short, agendaless items pulled directly from the tip line will often provide you with that air of insideriness that's so vital for a successful post. Particularly if they involve big names from the industry.
- "This thing looks like that thing" never gets old. Ask Kurt Andersen!
- Be generous. It's not enough to talk about a reporter; you should also talk about that reporter's physical appearance, pointing out her pulchritude in the most effusive manner possible. It speaks well of your site, and it's the kind of thing people want to hear.
- Engage the commenters. Sure, some of them can be truculent or deliberately obtuse, but the involvement of a comment community can really make any post - no matter how vapid or desperate - appear to be a riot of activity.
- Don't be afraid to be hypocritical. Worried about castigating someone for committing the exact same practices in which you usually engage? Don't give it a second thought! Who remembers? And if someone does, and e-mails you an angry response, hey, free post!
- Naked chicks amp up clickthroughs. Rock 'em.
- Master the art of the filler post. Linkdumps and bullets are your friend.
- When all else fails, never underestimate the power of a screengrab to masquerade as actual content. It's quick, it's easy, and requires little effort on your part.
So good luck, Valleywag guy. Follow these simple rules and you'll be blogging like the pros in no time. And remember: There's no one you can't afford to piss off. You're the boss.
Earlier: New Face at Valleywag