11.13.2006

Meta Commentary on Blogging and Blogs

Its all the rage these days, talking about blogs. So why not chime in with a few thoughts of my own? I'm a blogger, I've been doing it since most of these whipper snappers were in diapers.

A couple of thoughts.

A blog without comments isn't a blog, its non-interactive and interactivity is a key element of the blogging experience. A blog without comments is actually just a soapbox. It is also indicative of someone unwilling to be engaged in their arguments. Just like the bloggers who go into attack mode if you question any tiny aspect of their blog or opinion and go straight for personal threats and unrelated arguments rather than engaging someone on the topic being opined about. If you have a blog and you can't discuss your perspectives with a random or regular reader then disable comments altogether and quit calling it a blog, call it your web diary.

I dislike blogs that force me to register in order to comment. I understand the desire to cut down on comment spam, I hate the damned stuff as much as the next person. But its annoying to have to register at every rinky dink blog in order to say, "Sorry, you're 'facts' are wrong and here's why....." I am far more likely to move on and not bother. The captcha system works well for blocking comment spammers and doesn't require me to register.

Next issue or point, readability counts. I surfed around on Blog Explosion last night and the number of damned blogs with grey text just pissed me off to the point I closed the tab and did something else. There's something to be said for design and then there's alot more to be said about being able to actually read what is written on the blog. Maybe its an IE/FireFox rendering issue, maybe its just badly thought out design elements. And yes, I realize that I've got grey text in my sidebar. But its pretty easily readable against a white background. Try reading blue text on black backgrounds, or red on green. If you have a blog with really bad color schemes then don't wonder why no one reads your blog, try and making it easier to look at and read.

And the final point, content. The best blogs depend on content to draw readers in. Good content can trump damned near any of the above. If you are an expert at something or have great insights into something, write about it. Content was and remains king. This blog is not my main source of traffic, I get far more traffic on my WIPE blog because people are always looking for information about Wal-Mart. And that blog is focused, this one is as scattered and tangental as I am. I prefer it that way but that's how I am.

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