2009 / Levac Publishing House
Review by Kathy Parsons
When Stephane Grenier asked me to review his book (no compensation other than a copy of the book), I found the concept intriguing: interviews with 40 top bloggers who “share their secrets to creating a high-profile, high-traffic, and high profit blog” (the quotes are around the subtitle of the book). I don’t have a blog myself, but I do have my own website, so I thought I could pick up some pointers, which I did. Grenier gave forty successful bloggers a list of the same twenty-four questions and then compiled their answers into a book with each blogger’s “interview” standing as a separate chapter. Asking everyone the same questions levels the playing field and gives many opportunities to compare one blogger’s answers with another’s, but there were many times when a follow-up question or two would have been far more satisfying. For most of the chapters, the questions and answers were plenty of information, but several of the dialogs that left me wanting more.
The variety of bloggers is good, although there is an emphasis on software and financial blogs. There is also Jennifer Perry (101 Reasons I Hate Being Fat), Manolo Blahnik (Manolo’s Shoe Blog), and Asha Dornfest (Parent Hacks), making the points of view well-rounded. I also appreciated the introductions to each blogger, giving background information for each of them and explaining what they do. Many of the answers to the list of questions were very similar, but others were intriguing in their variety. My favorite was “If you knew what you know now when you first started, what’s the biggest tip you’d give yourself today?”
I was a bit surprised that the book has so many typos and grammatical errors when virtually all of the bloggers stressed good writing and attention to detail. One small but significant example is in the Epilogue: “Although blogging is still a newer medium it’s exploding at a phenomenal rate. With 1.4 blogs being created each day according to Technorati.com, blogging is definitely a hot topic today. 120,000 new blogs are created each day, the population of a small city.” So, which is it? 1.4 new blogs a day (phenomenal???) or 120,000? Someone should have caught that and quite a few other errors.
Obviously, the target audience for Blog Blazers is other bloggers, but there are a lot of good tips on writing in general (for print or internet) and some interesting and inspiring stories. It is not a “how to” book per se, but gives advice on how to improve a blog and tips for things to do and not do. I found it very interesting!
February 11, 2009