There are as many different types of celebrity blogs as there are celebrities: We have blogs from celebrities who have fallen out of the spotlight and who want back in, at least in some marginal way (Rosie O’Donnell); blogs from celebrities who are too big to need blogs but who still maintain them, at least in some cursory faction, to maintain the illusion of intimacy with their fans ( Gwen Stefani ); blogs from celebrities who actually seem to enjoy recording their thoughts about mundane day-to-day activities and manage to do it in a conversational, entertaining way ( Moby ); blogs from celebrities who feel strangely compelled to lecture us on the meaning of the universe ( Fred Durst ); blogs from celebrities who feel strongly about politics ( Barbra Streisand ); and, most fascinating — and most readable — of all, a blog from an actor whom few of us have thought much about in recent years but who has become a kind of touchstone for many people in the readersphere who are simply attempting to do what they want to do with their lives and finding it more difficult than they ever imagined ( Wil Wheaton, who appeared in “Stand by Me” as a child actor and in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” as a teenager, and then seemingly dropped off the Earth’s surface).
My rules for blogging have long been (not that I follow them), update frequently, write what you know (a.k.a. have a niche, or as Susan Mernit says, a POV), and write with a personal voice. Wheaton nails the personal voice/POV part of it.
One of the problems I find with many journalists who enter blogging without first fully absorbing the culture is that they don’t get the personal POV part, the need to be personal. For anybody steeped in a journalistic sense of media (whether they’ve ever actually been a journalist), I think it’s very hard for them to get personal and too highly value the veneer of objectivity. They won’t write about their cats or their car break downs or their night out at a great restaurant. They focus too much on the facts, on the reporting, and not enough on themselves. Hell, I probably write less about myself than I should. One of the strengths of blogs is the chance to get to know another human being, which is one reason I’ve never been a big fan of group blogs. When you know somebody — not just his views, but all of the personal detritus that goes along with living in a tumultuous world — it gives the things he has to say on issues of importance a seeming greater credibility. Or so I think. That’s my experience, at least. If you’re going to blog, you need to learn how to loosen the tie and open a vein.