“And the geek shall inherit the earth.”
I remember thinking that was pretty funny the first time I heard it. I couldn’t have been more that 16 years old at the time and was playing baseball with some neighborhood friends.
The clever remark was made at the expense of a skinny neighbor who wasn’t known to be a great hitter, but who unexpectedly slammed a line drive that near knocked the pitchers head off of his shoulders.
Though that line drive was forgotten within the week, the skinny kid continued to prove the saying true by being the first to master the internet and eventually get a job with a high class software company. (No, I’m not the skinny kid although I wouldn’t mind trading places with him, I hear his estate in California is lovely.)
The point of that (random) story was to illustrate the fact that knowing the in’s and out’s of the tech world, while not popular in the past, was and is a powerful thing.
The same holds true in the blogosphere. Technology blogs are among the most widely read next to blogs about kittens and blogs about low grade celebrities.
And these technology blogs, the popular ones anyways, all have something in common.
They aren’t boring.
It’s not the easiest thing to make an inherently boring subject interesting, even exciting to read about, and those that can do it should count themselves lucky. If you want to try your hand at technology writing, here are a few things I’d suggest to keep in mind.
Tone down the tech
The first thing that I notice about technology blogs that I enjoy reading is that they avoid being overly, well, techie. The best tech blogs are written in a way that everyone can enjoy. Of course there are technical details in the post or article or what have you, but the meat of the article has to do with real world application instead of pixel size or intel chips.
Add a personal touch
The best way, I think, to get this “real world/everyman” style of writing tech blogs down is to make the blog post in some way personal. Not so much personal to you, but to the person who will be reading it.
Your goal as a tech writer is to give your fellow techies all the information they need while also telling the layman how this new smart phone, operating system or tablet will make their lives a bit easier.
While most tech blogs can be very word heavy in a dry, boring kind of way, it doesn’t take much effort to make your blog more approachable. The easiest way to make your blog more everyman friendly is to mix up the types of content that you post.
Whenever you review a new product, add a short video that highlights the products’ best features, or perhaps take some video of someone giving their first impressions of a new product.
It’s all about story
When you boil it down, it seems to me that the best way to make a technology blog approachable is to concentrate on story. What is the product, not in technical terms, but to the consumer? How will it make their lives easier? How does it compare to similar products?
By all means, cover the specs and the RAM and the bits and bites, but don’t leave out the human side.
Daniel Cassady is an experienced blogger living in New York city, specializing in tech, online marketing, social media, and free email marketing tactics.