What Makes a Post Freshly Press-able: Before _______ , We Had ______.
Every day, a handful of WordPress.com bloggers are featured in Freshly Pressed. And every day, many more wonder, “What do I have to do to get Freshly Pressed?”
Well, it’s time to reveal what the folks who push the launch button are thinking. Each week, we’ll take a close look at one post and why we thought it was Press-worthy. We hope we can provide insight into the process and give you tips and tools to make your blog the best it can be.
When most people hear “blog post,” they think “writing.” But your blog is a blank canvas for your self-expression. For some bloggers, that takes the form of photos, drawing, or painting.
Tim of Get Second Lunch uses his corner of the internet to showcase illustration. Each post features a series of colorful, graphic drawings on everything from Pollen: Public Enemy No. 1 to a collection of Girl Scout-style badges for impressive workplace accomplishments (personal favorite: the Awkward Turtle Badge, earned for making three comments in a single work week that directly result in an awkward silence or an abrupt subject change).
His latest post, Before ______, We Had ______. takes a look at how far technology has come since the early 1990s, poking gentle fun at the young whippersnappers who can’t imagine how people got around before the advent of GPS. Here are a few reasons we loved it:
It was out of the ordinary.
There are a growing number of blogs focused on the visual, from street photography to fine art, but there aren’t yet that many illustration blogs. That instantly sets Get Second Lunch apart from the pack before you even take a look at Tim’s work.
It also gives him the opportunity to put a new spin on a common topic. We’ve seen lots of “the world before cellphones” posts, but the illustration angle is a fresh one–and that’s a great takeaway. You don’t have to turn your blog inside out to create something utterly one-of-a-kind, but you should strive to make your own point of view clear in whatever you choose to blog about. It’s your voice that makes a post out of the ordinary.
We could relate.
Almost any reader can relate to at least one of the post’s examples. Maybe you’re too young to have played with a Viewfinder (so sad!), but you’ve probably given someone pen-and-paper directions or had to gauge the temperature of a beer can without a visual aid.
Since the illustrations resonate with readers, it creates a space for them to share their own stories and examples in the comments, which is the kind of engagement we all hope for as bloggers.
Which leads to our last point…
It made us stop and think.
On a surface level, Tim made us stop and think about what other examples we might have to share, like having to physically walk over to the television set to change the channel (the horror!).
On a deeper level, he made us think about whether technology is living up to its promise to make our lives simpler and easier, or whether it’s just adding another layer of things to worry about and monitor. After all, in the wake of Apple Maps, some of us are probably reconsidering whether asking actual people for written directions is really such a bad idea after all.
As a follow-up after finding out he’d been Freshly Pressed, Tim posted Freshly Pressed: To My Fellow WordPressers, which reiterates many of the points made here and emphasizes the most important one at of all: blog because you love what you’re blogging about, not to be Freshly Pressed. Blogging is about creating something you love and engaging with a community who wants to share that with you, not about your stats.
What do you think of Get Second Lunch—will you stick around for more?