What I Look For

So I want to get back to regular blogging here, having been sidetracked into the land of video, and upgrades, and other niceties having nothing whatsoever to do with actual blogging.

So since I love introducing people to new blogs, I often get asked, “what do you look for in a new blog that gets you to refer it?”

<conscience attack>That’s a blatant lie, no one has asked me that, ever. A question like that would require something I like to call “readers.” Since I lack readers, I don’t get questions. And even if I had that mysterious thing called readers, I still wouldn’t get that question because to get questions from readers you have to be something I call “interesting.” Which I’m not. </conscience attack>

<beat conscience with a stick> </beating>
<haul conscience off blog> </hauling>
</trying to be as funny as VJ>

So I often get asked that question, and now I’m going to answer it.

I have to admit, when I first look at a blog, the first thing I really see is font size. Tiny is bad.

Then I look at the overall feel of the site. Is it self-hosted? Self-hosted sites aren’t necessarily better, but it shows that the person is a little more serious about blogging. That seriousness doesn’t always correlate to better blogging, but it’s something. Is the banner customized? These are all surface things, but I notice them right away, every time.

Then I read the top entry. You have about 20 seconds to get me interested. I don’t care for serious sites, really. I know there’s a place for sites about cancer, and divorce, and other parading horribles. I’m just not going to spend my time reading them. In the same way, I don’t particularly like “message” movies. If I wanted to get preached to, I’d just watch M*A*S*H on TV. I like movies that keep me entertained. If after the first entry I’m bored, I generally just move on. Maybe, if it’s a cool-looking site, I’ll scroll down a bit, and see if there are good pictures.

Meme=Immediate departure.

If I do leave the site, I’ll also check the blogroll to see if there are any sites with cool-sounding names. If so, I’ll click through. Sometimes, I just go to a site I like and click on the fifth link in the blogroll, then on that site the fourth link down, then the third, then the second, and see where it leads me. You’d be surprised how different things can get after the third link.

Anyway, gotta run.

UPDATE: Re-reading this, I realized that I come across as a bit of what I like to call “an asshole.”  I’m really not.  And I’m not stuck up when it comes to blogs.  But can we just all agree that life is short?  And I frankly don’t have time to spend reading blogs that have…well…bad writing.  Good writing keeps me coming back, that’s all I really meant this post to say.  That’s why I read you, KJ.  You can have all the memes you want.  Because you simply write things I want to read.


9 responses to “What I Look For

  1. Wow, I’m impressed that you referred me. I figure after 20 seconds people either leave or pass out from the boredom.

    And I’m also known to do a meme or two. Hopefully you’ll still keep reading!

  2. Turns out that you do have readers – I just found you while tag surfing, and I’ve only been on this site for a day or two.

    My blog is new, so it has hardly any content at all, so I doubt that there is anything really interesting to look at right now.

    But generally, if the subject interests me and I like the blogger’s method of writing after a few posts, I’ll keep reading.

    As my interest grows, then I may check out the other links on the blogroll.

  3. Hey, thanks for your comment at my blog! And I totally agree with you about the things that turn you off a blog – I have been collecting a list of ‘blogging annoyances’ (Because I AM a blog snob. And also an asshole, but let’s not go there…). So far my pet hate is people who write “prolly” instead of “probably”. This annoys me beyond all reason. Txt spk is another one. In fact, I think you may have just inspired another ranty post…

  4. Amber/Daydreamer

    LNU- I think I have to agree with you here. Most of what you state as a blog turn off is also a turn off for me. But considering that a newborn puppy has better grammer, punctuation, and spelling than I do and my writing is about as interesting as listening to that History teacher on “Ferris Buellers Day Off” I haven’t much room to talk. (And yet, I still do. Interesting.) My most quotable quote is: “It’s not that I’m stupid, it’s just that I’m lazy.” It pretty much sums me up.

  5. I’m a geek in so many ways, but the most visible is probably that I’m a grammar and punctuation geek. I have a favorite punctuation mark (the M-dash), and I recently went on a tirade against a teacher who sent home a test with a question that had truly horrible grammar.

    Why did George choose to Bob to bring the trophy to Susan and not Steve?

    That’s not the question, but it’s analogous. The problem is “and not Steve.” In the case of my question, the choice of who brought the trophy was between Bob and Steve. Steve wasn’t up for a trophy, he was a possible presenter.

    The question should have been, “why did George choose Bob, and not Steve, to bring the trophy to Susan?”

    I can tell what you’re thinking right now:


    I told you that I was. I was incensed by this sentence, for some reason. I figure, a teacher should be able to write a sentence, right?

  6. By the way, I think we all approach our blogs with what questions we assume our readers would have, even if they don’t take the time to actually ask them. And I have to admit, I have wondered that, and just never bothered to ask. So thank you, Fake-Reader-Who-Lives-In-Hank’s-Head.

  7. Amber/Daydreamer

    I actually heart smart geeks. I’m a geek too, just not in the cool way. I don’t mind others being into grammer as long as they know what to expect from me. HA!

  8. Interesting that you find your blogs same way I do. Which is how I found Daydreamer, (through VJ) and VJ (through baketown) and baketown through paperback writer etc…

  9. oh DUH and how I found you. Through VJ AND Daydreamer.

    Damn, now I’m too intimidated to leave comments. I feel like you are my 6th grade english teacher and you’re marking my comments with a big red marker.

    Pressure is on.

    I need a beer!

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