I read a lot of blogs – I subscribe to 117 in Google Reader, and probably another 10 or 15 in the RSS reader I use for work-related blogs. I like them. I hear about cool stuff on blogs, I meet people (virtually) who write blogs, I learn things I didn’t know on blogs, I get recipes and pretty pictures and inspiration and information – it’s good stuff. And while I read a lot of blogs, there are people out there who read far, far more than I. I’m sure someone’s written something – or many things – about blogging best practices, but hey, I do this for a hobby and right now don’t care to do that kind of research on it. As a blog consumer, though, I can tell you what I like and don’t like that bloggers do. And, in fact, I’m going to do that now.
Let’s start with the negatives, so I can wrap up on a positive note.
- RSS feeds should contain the WHOLE POST. I absolutely abhor having to click through to your website to read the rest of your blog post. That is the entire reason I use an RSS reader, so I don’t have to click on 113 separate websites, and it annoys me to NO END when I have to click through anyway. It is a really easy way to make sure I don’t actually read what you write.
- Negatory on the multi-posting, compadre. I know some people run multiple blogs for different purposes, and that’s totally fine. It happens that sometimes I am interested in all of a person’s (or company’s) various blogs, so I have subscribed to them all. And therefore it is incredibly aggravating when I read a post, and then the exact same post appears in my reader after I’ve read it – because it’s been posted to the person’s OTHER blog, word for word, on the same day. Sometimes this is okay – like if you have a big announcement to make that you want both audiences to read. But for the folks who do it often, it is likely to get at least one of your blogs ditched from my reader, which is sad because sometimes you post original content to that blog that I can’t get in the other place – plus what’s the point of having two blogs if you just post the same thing in both places?!
- Blogger/Blogspot (operated by Google). There, I said it. I adore Google with all the Google-worship due from a GenX/Y hybrid techno-freak, but I purely hate Blogger. I tried it. My first blog was there. And it was very user friendly for the author in some ways, but I prefer WordPress (which preference I wrote about last summer). Now I even get annoyed when I visit Blogger blogs. They’re fine in the RSS reader, but when I want to leave a comment and have to go to the actual site, the commenting process is so cumbersome and doesn’t work half the time, so I have to REALLY think about whether or not I even want to leave a comment there. I really shouldn’t have to click “Submit” FOUR times in order to get a comment posted to your blog. Blah. Yuck.
- Speaking of comments, I’m anti blocking or over-moderating them. Blogs where the owner closes down comments completely are weird to me. What’s the point? Why do you even have a blog if you don’t want comments? Missing The Point, sir. Then there are the over-moderators, who moderate every. single. comment, even if you’ve posted a comment before and they’ve approved said comment, indicating that you are not, in fact, a troll or a spambot. For that one, though, it’s slightly annoying but tolerable – unless the blog author takes a thousand years to moderate comments, and that’s a really good way to make sure you never get any.
And now for the happy stuff – things I love about my favorite blogs:
- Regular updates (without going overboard – 10 times a day is a bit much). Once a day, once a week, in some cases even once a month is OK (but be sure to tell your audience that’s how often you plan to write). I like hearing from my favorite bloggers, and I miss them when they’re gone longer than I expect them to be.
- Pictures!! Pictures always make a blog fun and good and pretty and exciting. And personal pictures are always better than stock photos, though I use stock ones sometimes myself just to put add a little flava when I have nothing appropriate personally.
- Good writing. Obviously. You could probably spend 1,000 words telling me about a carrot and I’d love to read it if you write with purpose and humor. This is an area where I myself need to and hope to improve.
- Nerdiness. I’m a nerd. I love fellow nerds. Talk to me about nerdy things, baby, and I’m yours for life. I’m a nerd for books, food, animals (particularly dogs), tech, and funny-general-life-blah-blah stuff, with a dash of personal finance, health/fitness, and eco/enviro interest.
Now. I recently added a bunch of great blogs to my RSS reader, but they are not all on the Blogroll listed to your right. I’m kind of worried about that list just becoming endless and endless and endless. Should I be worried about that do you think? And while you’re commenting, what do you like/dislike about blogs generally speaking? Can I do anything better around here to make you like me even more? 🙂