What inspired you to start blogging and how did you get started?
James: I started blogging early on when I realized that it provided the perfect platform to write about the subjects I am passionate about. I was already contributing for online web sites and print publications and blogging was a logical extension of that writing passion that was all my own.
Kevin: I found that I was talking all the time about mobile technology to anyone who would listen about eight years ago. I was a forum admin on a Pocket PC community website in 2004, not long after blogging began to take off. Putting my passion, need to share information and blogging together seemed like a perfect fit and I got my foot in the door with Weblogs, Inc. in 2005.
How do you stay motivated to post?
James: Staying motivated to post on the blog is simple for me as I am very passionate about the subject matter that is covered. I live and breathe about the latest gadgets and I love to write about them.
Kevin: That's easy: the readers! Most folks think that blogging is a one-way conversation where you simply write a post and then move on. Luckily for us, our readership is equally as passionate as we are and we continue our conversations long after hitting the "Publish" button. We've published a tad over 8,000 posts in four years but the comment count is near 32,000! The conversation is the most important aspect to me personally and that keeps the motivation levels high.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog?
James: I often get asked this question and my advice is always the same: write about what you are passionate about, write like you would talk to a friend about the subject at hand, always be totally honest with yourself and your audience, and post often. The audience will come on its own if you do those things.
Kevin: First and foremost: pick a topic or theme that you're sincerely passionate about. You don't need to be an "expert" on a topic, but you have to be honest with your readers and you have to be passionate about your subject matter. If you aren't, on either count, your readers will call you on it. Once you've decided what to blog about, try to write something every day. You don't have to write 20 posts a day, but writing something daily is a good exercise and it gives readers a reason to come back on a daily basis.
When did you realize that JK on the Run was a success?
James: I realized that jkOnTheRun was a success when the audience kept growing and growing over time. I was fortunate to be discovered by well-known technology sites such as engadget and Slashdot early in the blog’s life and that put jkOTR on the fast track to success. Early awards such as the C/NET Top 100 Blog designation cemented the realization that we were going to be successful, even in the very crowded technology field.
What's the most satisfying thing about blogging? Least satisfying?
James: The most satisfying thing about blogging for me are those times when I touch someone with things I write about. For example, I have heard from quadriplegics who use things I have written about to make their lives better and it doesn’t get any better than that. The least satisfying thing is definitely when derogatory comments are made to something that I’ve written. The anonymity of the web makes it easy for trolls to come out of the woodwork sometimes.
Kevin: The most satisfying thing to me are the relationships that are built. I have more "friends" now working out of my home than I ever did in total after 15 years of enterprise I.T. work! It's an amazingly humble feeling knowing that tens of thousands of people all over the world read what we write on a daily basis. The least satisfying? I'd have to say the lack of respect that bloggers sometimes get. This is slowly changing for the better, but many venues still offer more "first looks" and "breaking news" to mainstream media people, while bloggers are looked upon as a bad investment of time.
What's your favorite mobile gadget right now?
James: Trying to narrow down my favorite gadget to just one is very hard and not really fair but it would have to be the HTC Advantage Windows Mobile PDA.
Kevin: I'm partial to my Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium UMPC right now. I take this two-pound computer with me everywhere I go so I can be productive at any time. The device runs for 10-12 hours on the two batteries I have and I use a cellular modem card with it, so I have Internet connectivity all the time as well. I even took it to a wedding this past weekend, which turned out great. The church actually had free WiFi, so as I was taking pictures before and during the ceremony, I used my UMPC to upload pictures to Flickr before the service was even over!
How has blogging changed your life?
James: The many people I have met through blogging have made a big change in my life without a doubt. The minor celebrity I have achieved through blogging has led to experiences I would never have had otherwise. I have met Bill Gates, been interviewed by the Associated Press and had Fox News at my home office as a direct result of the status that blogging has given me.
Kevin: The worldwide friendships I have today are due to blogging and my life will be changed forever. It's not uncommon for me to get a kind note from the U.K. or reader feedback from Australia. And it doesn't stop there. When I got engaged last year, readers all over the world shared in the great news and sent warm wishes. Blogging has removed barriers around the world for me and I'm thankful for it.
What's your guilty pleasure?
James: Showing off cool new mobile gadgets that others haven’t seen before. It’s good to be me in that regard.
Kevin: No secret as our readers know that I occasionally take a day off to enjoy a round of golf. Of course, since I have my mobile devices with me, I usually end up blogging something after the round.