October 11, 2008

Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire): Dave Cuzner and his blog Grain Edit


The Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire) is a new Design Feast initiative that exclusively focuses on those taking on the medium of the blog, why they do it, and what tools they use. The debut is with Dave Cuzner, a graphic designer, whose preferred work tool is sticky notes. He created Grain Edit, a blog focused on “classic design work from the 1950s–1970s and contemporary designers that draw inspiration from that time period.” Enjoy what he shares about blogs and blogging to help with your entrance into the blogosphere or further inform your current work in it:

Why did you create a Website of regular entries?
I love design work from the 1950s–1970s. When I created grain edit, I wanted a place where I could share design from that period that inspires me, plus have a place to dialog with other people interested in the same things. The only problem is that when you first start out blogging, no one knows you exist. You have to be consistent and post frequently, if you want to build up a readership. With increased readership, hopefully, comes conversations.

What Web-based solution did you select and why?

Wordpress—because its free, you can use your own domain name, easy to modify, plenty of plug-ins and has a very active community.

What is your definition of a good blog?
The blogs I like offer content that is unique, authoritative, consistent and focused. Also, that the writers are passionate about their subjects.

How do you create content for your blog?
Right now it’s pretty loose. We have a general list of designers, events and books that we want to cover. However, in the future we plan to have a more structured editorial calendar.

How do you stay organized and motivated
to contribute to your blog?

To organize my lists of possible posts I use a few tools: Delicious bookmarks and FeedDemon’s RSS reader. To organize my tasks, I use David Allen’s plug-in for Outlook Express and 37signals’ Basecamp.

Staying motivated to write posts almost everyday can be challenging. There are definitely days when I don’t feel like writing anything. In times like these, I think about my readers. I know we have people that look forward to what we post each day and that gets me excited and motivated.

For those aspiring to make a Website composed 
of regular thoughts and/or images, what is your advice?
I think it really depends on what the intended use of the site will be. If it’s a personal journal, pick a blog engine that’s easy to update and have fun. If you’re looking to build a community for your site, be willing to make a commitment to post on a consistent basis.

What is your quest in design?
To learn from as many people as I can and share with that many more.

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Photograph courtesy of Dave Cuzner.

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Read more of the Design Feast series Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire).