What’s a good blog?

What’s a good blog?

For me personally, it’s very hard to tell. I know it when I see it.

Sudan(?) Monkey riding a rhino
A blogger is a friendly person who is telling me a few things in a way I can trust (Photo credit: George Eastman House)

But what am I looking for?

One thing I know for sure–when I’m browsing a blog, I’m also looking for a good experience. I’m looking for a friendly person who is telling me a few things in a way I can trust, someone who is not talking down to me or making his/her ego come in the way of writing.

I’m trusting this person not necessarily because he is the authority on the subject but because he helps me analyze the authoritarian points of view on the subject from the point of view of a person at my level, on my side.

Do I look for information?

If I need new information, I usually like to go to the source (the book, the author’s web page, the published lists of  organizations etc. )

What I’m looking for in a blog post is new treatment of  old information or some kind of analysis.

Soaring
Discovering things together! (Photo credit: Sam Howzit)

Am I looking for a person? 

Yes!

The blogger’s character as it comes across in the blog influences my choice to read. 

The voice, the tone, the eye (photographs or word-pictures), strange quirks–all make me remember and want to come back. I’m looking for a human being that I can slowly get to know over a period of time and trust.

I’m also looking for versatility. Real people don’t change drastically but they don’t remain the same all the time or only drone on about the same thing over and over again.

If they do, I don’t want to know them.

Who wants to get bored to death?

Do I, the reader,  want to be treated as a human being?

Of course!

I like bloggers who interact with me, not necessarily only by responding to comments or writing comments but by reacting to and acknowledging readers by responding to constructive criticism.

Otherwise, I might as well read a printed book where, preferably, the author has been dead at least a century and been vetoed by a few generations of readers before reaching me. Them I can trust even if they are no longer around to change. (Seriously, I do love reading classics.)

How do I react to an agenda?

There are those in the blogosphere who are here just to express themselves. There are others who find a direction after a while. There are many who are here from the beginning with a purpose.

Selling Oranges at the Local Market Ban Kruat ...
We all have things someone else needs! (Photo credit: Captain Kimo)

They have a book to promote, a class to teach, a website to push or something to sell.

I, for one, fully support such efforts.

No matter what the general public might think, people who write might often need to eat, or pay their bills, feel useful in a practical way or simply want to get paid for their labour or gain recognition like other mortals.

But how direct is too direct?

I like agendas on the sidebars, at the end of the posts or maybe even as complete posts a few times a month.

But if it gets more than that I start thinking of the blog I used to like before as just another commercial.

Then, I run.

How much effort do I want to spend navigating a site?

Not much. This is not my research effort. Nor am I getting paid for reading the blog!

I like a blog that’s very easy to navigate. I’d like that even if I was a fan and I was thinking of a particular blogger’s words day and night.

If a blogger has clustered their posts based on some theme, I love it. If they want to be witty, fine. But if they’re so witty (or abstruse) that they’ve inserted disappearing sidebars or links where I can only see one title at a time, I  click away and they slip my mind.

LITTLE MONSTERS
The little monsters (Photo credit: Daniel Ferenčak)

What feelings do I like on a blog?

Wit is good. Funny is good. Passion, emotion–all good.

But anger (unless artistically put with some distancing) and nastiness spoil my reading experience. This is an absolute put off for me.

What do you like or dislike in a blog?

©bottledworder, 2013. https://bottledworder.wordpress.com
Share to show you care but with attribution only for non-commercial purposes. No derivative works.

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107 thoughts on “What’s a good blog?”

  1. Even if you have daily blog posts you need to accept that not every single post will appeal equally to all of your readers, as a blog reader it’s the same. Not all the posts of every blog appeal equally.

    The trick is finding the blog where you enjoy a large percentage of the posts and can build a rapport with the writer.. there are plenty of blogs out there it’s just finding ones that suit you 🙂

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  2. Fantastic analysis. I have to agree with most all of what you have so beautifully expressed here. Blogging is an art in and of itself in many ways. There is a personal element that I’ve realized is a different sort of creativity – not seen in other creative mediums. Perhaps because it is so interactive and evolutionary. A wonderful piece! Thank you so much ~ Robyn 🙂

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  3. Hi Bottledworder! This is a great piece and congratulations on successfully navigating through the blog world. I think its a great idea to cluster posts in themes. I would do it too if I knew how. This is on my list for something new to learn. Take care and I hope you stop in for another visit.

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  4. I totally agree with your comment about an agenda. I am far more open to their agenda if I can enjoy the blog without constantly feeling like they’re shoving their message or product down my throat. Great blog. Will keep your points in mind for my own 🙂

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  5. I’m pretty new at this and still finding my way around the blogosphere. As a new writer I want to connect with people who may share similar experiences/frustrations, but I am getting so much more out of this than I thought I would. Blogs like yours are thought provoking and your readers’ comments are very interesting. I’m also fascinated by the variety of people that are responding in my blog and all the others. It makes me feel connected in a way that I haven’t before. Sharing thoughts and insights with people outside my immediate circle of family and friends is an unexpected but liberating experience.

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  6. Great humour, great photos, original thoughts! Not a big fan of reblogging although I understand it helps the blogging world go round. Got to grab my attention within 3 paragraphs – sometimes the title does that immediately. Too much side-bar action detracts from the blog. Nice to meet you.

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  7. Another brand-new blogger here. I’m glad to read that shorter blog posts are better. That’s reassuring, since my first three seem to have come out on their own, with no thought from me, at about 500 words. Sounds like I shouldn’t try to change that.

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