Monday, June 23, 2008

Drifting through blogland...


Yesterday, while I was lounging around bleary-eyed and sniffly, I went to the Etsy forums looking for a distraction. I started a thread with a promise to read every blog posted within it. I admit that I didn't expect to get eight pages of response! I swear I read every single one though.

While visiting over one hundred blogs, I started to try and view them critically and figure out what I liked and didn't like so that I could improve my own blog. So, being an avid listmaker, I made a list of my turn ons and turnoffs that I encountered in my blog travels. These are just my opinions as one reader. I'm speak in generalities and, of course, there are always exceptions.

My turn ons are...

- at least one (preferably large) photo with every post. Liz of Hobbledehoy's blog is full of gorgeousness and bunny love. I put a photo with my posts whether they relate or not. Maybe that is a bad thing but I think it helps organize the space.

- a friendly conversational tone. Personality is important to me. Marmeecraft's girlish sweetness is what keeps me frequenting her blog.

- medium-length posts. I usually don't have the attention span for more than four paragraphs about a stranger's personal life but one sentence usually makes me want more. I suspect that only the truly ferocious readers will get through this whole posting of mine!

- profiles with smiling faces. Look at how cute and welcoming Michelle from Cicada Studio is!

- spacious design, upbeat writing and a little humor.

- a healthy variety of topics. Elephantine has a really enjoyable blog that reflects her varied interests. It's also beautiful and chatty.

- handy information like resources and tutorials. These things are so nice to come across because they make me feel less like I'm wasting time playing on the internet. Nature Manipulated compiled a whole bunch of tips for sellers on her blog that I'm sure is of great use to many. Sara from GirlsCanTell is also such a treasure trove of helpfulness.

- A good handful of links to other bloggers. If I enjoy your blog I'll certainly go fishing through your link list.

My turn offs are...

- music that automatically turns on. I was using many different tabs while reading and songs made me have to search frantically to stop them. I usually have music playing already so another song at the same time can be very jarring.

- black backgrounds. I feel like they can be hard on the eyes sometimes...probably a stylistic must for goth types though! Scott Bulger really made it work though since he has so many black and white photos.

- tons of animated doodads and sidebar information. The pages are often slow to load and take me too long to figure out what is going on. Paper Girl Productions has a very busy blog but it's orderly and suits her giddy aesthetic.

- gloominess or angst. A little here and there is just natural but too much gets depressing.


This exercise helped me see a few things that needed changing in my own blog. I especially realized that I could be more helpful and informative instead of just talking about myself and my makings (that is why I made this post. I hope it's helpful rather than hurtful). I also plan to change my blog's appearance a bit by incorporating more white and adding a profile picture. I updated my "admirable bloggers" link list too to include some new favorites.

I truly enjoyed spending an obscene amount of time reading these blogs. Etsians are certainly an entertaining bunch!

26 comments:

Shell Mitchell said...

Wow... 100 blogs... that's a lot of reading!

TWO BEES IN A POD said...

enjoyed reading this! thanks!

liz aka hobbledehoy said...

wow! That *is* a lotta reading! I made it through some of them, but then got sucked into some real life cat drama.

*my bunny waves hello!*

Kim Bagwill said...

Hey - thanks for the nudge to update my blog (I had the dark, moody white on black text).

bethontheweb said...

100 is a lot. I don't think I could ever have the attention span for reading that much. I was able to get through your post though.

*note to self: post more pictures in my blog*

Livy said...

Kudos to you for getting through so many! I'm usually such a distracted blog reader.

Bluebirdcrafts said...

100 you go! Hope you feel better :)!!!

Brooke (gemmafactrix) said...

*off to check out the blogs you mentioned...*

Scott Bulger Photography said...

Nice way to spend an afternoon. I hope your sniffles are better.

Stick Nymph said...

Just in time for my much needed renovation of my poor neglected blog!
P.S. I heart those shoes, I have them in silver.

Zizi said...

Very useful post and great blog!

Cicada Studio said...

Aw, thanks for the nod! :)

I pretty much agree to your lists- good insightfulness and I admire your perseverance (dang it took me a while to spell that correctly! for getting thru all those blogs). Hope you're feeling better!

Waterrose said...

Thanks for compiling the lists. It's always nice to know others perspectives. I especially agree with the don't music and black background. The black is certainly terrible on older eyes.

Victoria said...

I applaud your dedication, and agree with your list.
Well done!

Paper Girl Productions said...

hihi! Thanks for visiting my blog and mentioning my orderly busy blog! I totally agree with the music. There's been a many a times that I went to visit a blog and suddenly bolt out of my chair because music is suddenly blasting!

Momo said...

100 blogs, what a feat! And what you have gleaned is very useful too.

Thanks for sharing.

Momo said...

100 blogs, what a feat! And what you have gleaned is very useful too.

Thanks for sharing.

Crystal said...

The music thing is one of my biggest turn offs too.

Interesting read. :) I can't imagine reading 100 blogs in one day!

rachel said...

thanks much for your kind words & for adding me to your blog :) I look forward to reading through yours more. Have a great lovely night!

Sara said...

I also dislike music and black backgrounds. Nice post!

JammerSage said...

I agree, the MUSIC and black backgrounds are really distracting. I think mine is doing ok! I did take your advice and added a photo of my smiling face... lol :)

Thanks!

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

the very first comment on my blog was by a woman who wrote about cutting and her trips in + out of the psych ward, but posted photos of her 10-ish year old son. I pretty much thought that blogging would not be for me.

Yellow text is a pet peeve of mine. I wonder if those people proof their posts.

Christine said...

I love, love, love this picture :o)

Grooveycrafts said...

I did a similar posts myself but I ended up with 4 pages which I absoultely loved reading each and everyone of them and was happy to have them in my side bar (one of course included you).

I loved your good points of blogs, I didn't even realise those big photo's fitted into that small space or else I would have done that myself...

My turn off is also black backgrounds as I find them extremely depressing and music too...why would you do that? Once I also visited a blog that had a box that popped up and you had to press ok to get rid of it which was a pain and set up by the person who owned the blog...

Hopefully you made some wonderful friends though that thread :)... I know I am set for every weekend or when I get time to read blogs now.

Nature Manipulated said...

Thank you for including my blog in your post. I'm heading off to check out the other blogs you mention.

Patrizia said...

Wow, lots of reading. I love checking out blogs too though.

I am glad you made this post, it is so helpful!

May I add your blog to mine?