Sunday, October 14, 2012

G's Top 7 blog annoyances

In an effort for me to improve my blog, I try to regularly seek out and read the blogs of others.  In doing this, I find many great blogs.  Unfortunately, I also stumble on many common annoyances and vent my annoyances below.

1.  A blocking dialogue window which requires action before reading.  This is my top annoyance; I hate it when I am lured to a blog only to encounter a dialogue window that forces me to click something before proceeding.  This could be an advertisement, a subscription to the blog, an invitation to create a user account, yada yada...  Let me help you out - NO, I don't want it and if I do want it, I will look for it in a reasonable location like in the right, left or bottom regions of your page.  Don't sign me up for ANYTHING, thank you very much!    Moreover, I am concerned about the potential for malicious code so unless I am really desperate to read the content in your blog, I will close the page and go elsewhere.

2.  Too many ads.  I fully understand the need for advertising to support a blog.  Often much time and effort goes into producing and maintaining a quality blog.  I also appreciate that more popular blogs can support (their customers will tolerate) a larger volume of advertisements.  In some instances, the blog appears to pander to fit their advertisers which results in me doubting the veracity of the content.  While I don't know that there is a "hard" number when it comes to ratio of content to advertisement (outside of common sense, which often is not so common), when I encounter a blog that is around 50% or more advertisement, I am quickly gone from that site.

3.  Too much other crap on the page.  If I come to your blog, I'm interested in reading the topic you advertised.  Pictures that contribute to the story are always nice, but I don't need to see the weather.  I also appreciate reasonable navigation offerings so that if I enjoy a particular post, I can look at your other posts that may interest me.

4.  Too much moving crap on the page.  Maybe it's a flare up of my Old Fart Syndrome (OFS), but I hate rotating banners and/or movement on a page that I don't generate.  (E.g. I click then something happens; if something moves without me clicking, I don't like it). I find it annoying when a site rotates the pictures to capture your interest.  I find that they tend to capture my interest at about the time that they change the picture to something else that I could care less about and then you're left for it to rotate through again or search for the magic button to try to get what interested you.

5.  Misleading blogs:  These are the blogs that lure you to their site with the promise of covering a topic of interest only to find that you've been hoodwinked.

6.  Regurgitated blogs:  I think we've all experienced these type of blogs; these are blogs that report the same useless information that has been better reported thousands of times previously on the internet.  While it can be very interesting to read a fresh perspective or a writer who presents a topic with a bit of wit, many of these fail to deliver any compelling difference from what has already been published.

7.  Blogs requiring you to click beyond a second page.  I appreciate blogs that format their posts with a "Read more..." link so that you can skim multiple posts and then read the rest of the post that interests you.  I get annoyed with those posts where this "tease" goes beyond clicking to the full posting.  If a blog advertises "7 Top Blog Annoyances," I don't want to have to click 7 times to read that number the #7 annoyance is having to click 7 times to see all 7.

So what do I like in a blog?  

Here are three basic and simple requirements that I have for blogs that I subscribe to:

1.  Good writing - regardless of the topic, it needs to be written well with a splash of personality.

2.  Sensible layout and navigation - Helpful groupings by subject and / or key words in a prominent location - upper left or right margins are always appreciated   I don't want to have to hunt for this or scroll all the way to the bottom of a sprawling post.

3.  Consistently published new material - Some posts will be more inspired than others and some posts will appeal to one person, but not to another.  Regardless, of whether an individual post is your cup of tea, consistent fresh posts are necessary to maintain the vitality of a blog.  Blogging is hard work - if you choose to do it, I encourage you to commit to a publishing routine that you can consistently maintain.  If you are interested in getting started in blogging, you may wish to take a peak at my first blog detailing the start of

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