Stumblers, readers, friends, and surfers, I beg your indulgence just this once. Permit me to take a break from providing you the high quality dorkage that you’ve come to take for granted and let off a major bitchy rant. If I don’t do this I’m going to blow a gasket! What’s causing my consternation? Rampant mediocrity! Basically I am fed up with sucky blogs. Why do we put up with sucky blogs? In theory free market Darwinism would cause them to wither away, so I can only venture a guess that there is still a need for education on just what constitutes a sucky blog. Perhaps you aren’t so confident a blog connoisseur. If not, please allow an experienced dork to educate you.
How do you know if your blog sucks? Some clues….
- Uninvited Music: You play your choice of music when the page loads without asking my permission. How do you know I’m not playing some other music or that my family isn’t fast asleep? Your music might be great but that’s not the point. When you inflict it on me without asking permission you have just demonstrated that you are a rude person and I will close your blog immediately and ban it.
- Bloatware: Your bloatware blog loads so….slow…. Forget it, I’m history. I don’t wait for blogs unless I already know they’re worth the wait. Put it on a diet for heaven’s sake!
- Trailer Trash: See Bloatware. These usually go together, but if you can manage to get a page with every widget you ever found to load fast enough, it looks like the the aftermath of a party weekend at a trailer park. Would I look for an unopened beer among such a mess? Am I going to look for your “good stuff” among all that brightly colored flashing mess?
- Nothing there: Your blog is content free. All you do is embed other people’s Youtube videos and/or randomly link to, paraphrase, or (worse) plagiarize blog articles. Digg and StumbleUpon are for flagging stuff you like. Blogs are supposed to be original.
- Hurdles: I have to dismiss a popup or some kind of whiz bang flash thingie before I can look at your blog. Or there’s those nasty little peel away thingies in the corner. Why are you creating barriers for me? I don’t feel welcome at all. Bye!
- Language: Your blog is not in any language I can read, and I do read several. If I can’t read yours I’m gone. Of course if you can find people who can, feel free to ignore me.
- Poor writing: OK, your blog seems to be in a language I know, but it looks like it was written from a cell phone by a fourth grader on crack. Learn proper grammar and spelling. and please restrict the 1337speak and the lolcatese to your text messages.
- No Focus: Your blog lacks focus. If I go to a blog called Growing Kumquats in Denmark I do NOT want to read about how your dog threw up last night. That’s not to say you can’t throw in a personal observation here and there, but please put the purely personal stuff in a personal blog.
- Hard sell: You are all about selling before you give me a reason for buying. I read blogs for information. I generally know what I want and where to buy it, but sometimes I look for opinions on books, programs, hardware or software. Occasionally I will buy something because some blogger whom I respect recommended it. I don’t respect anybody who just tells me to buy stuff. If you just put up a bunch of affiliate links and gush about how everything is so great, I’ll say “Pass.”
- Pay to post: This is related to Hard Sell, above. You were paid for the blog post. Your opinion CANNOT be unbiased if you’re being paid to post it. Those advertisers may let a negative post slip through once in a while to foster the appearance of unbiased reviewing, but do you think they’ll continue to offer you gigs if you don’t gush praise at least most of the time? Very different from choosing freely what to post about and linking to where to buy it. In the second scenario the blogger only gets something after they have given the reader a compelling reason to buy, and the difference in the quality of the information is night and day.
- Huge Header: Your blog has this huge header that takes up my whole screen. Don’t make me scroll!
These opinions are mine and mine alone. There may be people somewhere who like being surprised by Kazhakstan traditional polka music at two in the morning or who find themselves tingling with delicious anticipation while the little loading animation goes round and round. To each his own.