Reading and highlighting

What I choose to write about on Beyond the Rhetoric has changed over the course of its ten year history. Some of my earlier blog posts were more personal in nature. I used to write a lot more about video games and I once promised to review every movie I watched. Since becoming a dad, I’ve blogged more about parenting and the struggles of work-life balance.

But every “hump day” for the past several years, I’ve scoured the Internet for some great blog posts to share with you, the Beyond the Rhetoric reader. The purpose of the “What’s Up Wednesdays” series of “speedlinks” has been to curate some good reading, but also to give back to the blogging community. It’s my way of paying it back and paying it forward.

Lately, I’ve come to question whether I should keep it up. Just as I’ve granted myself the permission to skip a blogging day here and there, I’ve also started to wonder what I should continue blogging about and what I should cut out. As mentioned, I don’t really review movies anymore, for example. The “What’s Up Wednesdays” series has been almost a project in meta-blogging, since I’m blogging about what other people are blogging about.

And as a freelance writer and professional blogger, I suppose it makes some sense that I would write about the business of blogging and how the industry continues to change and evolve. Back when I started the weekly speedlink, several other blogs were doing something similar. They may not cover each cited post quite as extensively, but the basic premise was the same: share the work of other bloggers.

It’s quite possible that the practice has diminished because Google may be “punishing” blogs who are giving out these “free” dofollow backlinks. They may appear to be “unnatural” paid links in the eyes of the search engine giant, even if they are perfectly organic and innocent. I’m not exactly an SEO expert, so I can’t say for sure.

At the end of the day, Beyond the Rhetoric needs to serve two purposes.

First, I want it to be a creative outlet where I can explore issues and ideas that I may not otherwise explore in the work I do with my freelance writing clients. I don’t really cover local events for other blogs, for instance, but I’ll gladly attend the different expos in and around Vancouver for this site.

Second, I want it to provide value to its readers. I want you to extract something from reading these words, whether that’s in the form of enjoyment, education, or anything in between. And so, we return back to the purpose of today’s blog post.

Do you think I should keep going with the weekly “What’s Up Wednesdays” speedlink? Is it of value to you as a reader? Or would you prefer if the spot in the editorial calendar were occupied by other original content, like Grammar 101 posts or another essay on parenthood? I’d really like to know.