Thursday, November 08, 2007

What Makes Good Blog?

How do you decide what blogs you follow?

I have about a gazillion in my bloglines, and then another few hundred in a standalone reader at work.

So, the other day I was trying to tidy things up by deleting some blogs from my readers (my FEED readers, not my people readers!) so that my life didn't feel so completely and utterly out-of-control. Seeing a loooong list of bolded blogs in bloglines that you just know you will never ever read is dispiriting. But I couldn't do it. It felt like a betrayal. Nevermind that I barely know what some of these blogs are about.

I started thinking about which blogs I like and why. And then I thought about NaBloPoMo. And then I thought, hey, this will make a good post!

So, here are some of my criteria for what makes me love a blog (I purposely left out blog names to protect the innocent):

1. Friends. If I know you, either in real life or virtually, I'll be a reader. Unless you are the absolute worst writer on earth. Or extensively use constructions like, "WOULD OF," instead of, "WOULD HAVE." (Am I the only person driven insane by this??)

2. Make me laugh. I don't care if I barely understand what is being discussed—say, for instance, incomprehensible bike crap (you know who you are) if you make me laugh, I'm all yours.

3. Clever. I love cleverly written blogs. Those written in a voice, or with attitude, or style. I also aspire to be

4. Inspired. Though I will say, because I am shallow, I usually go for funny over inspirational. A good inspirational post every now and then is good for the soul.

5. If you're a worse runner than I am, though I am loathe to PUBLICLY HUMILIATE MYSELF BY ADMITTING THIS, I'll probably read both of you.

6. If you are a kick-ass, take-no-names runner, and you are STILL nice and encouraging to me, I'm also all yours, no questions asked.

7. You write about stuff I care about. Obvi.

8. You post more than once every six months. (Although I'm seriously considering revising this one. Every six months might be juuuust fine.)

9. Are you from another country? Yep, shallow-meter kicks in.

10. You give good comment? I'm reading you!

11. You have great stories, and tell them well. Preferably illustrated.

Now I fall waaaay short of my own list. Heck, I don't even live in another country! So I realize this is a potentially snobby exercise.

Still. We all must have some set of rules to read by.

So, what are YOURS? Why do you read who you read? How do you decide when to take someone off your list?

(You people participating in NaBloWmeIcantposteverydayMO will thank me for this post.)


Anonymous said...

This is a great post, and certainly something to stop and think about. I've never really considered why I read the blogs I read. Now, I'm going to have to stop and figure out what it is I love about all my favs.

21stCenturyMom said...

Those are all great posts. I like blogs that are topical, personal, revealing and I also like them if they are funny. Informative is good, too.

And no - you are not the only one that has grammar issues. We all have our grammar pet peeves - at least I'm pretty sure we all do. Most of us, anyhow.

21stCenturyMom said...

Jebus! I mean 'those are all good observations or reasons or some word like that - not those are all good posts. I really hate the way my fingers have developed a life of their own. I feel like I need to send them to obedience school.

LBTEPA said...

If I read and I think I'd like the person if I met her then it stays.

IHateToast said...

humour. that's key. then pwiddy stuff. i like to look at pwiddy stuff.

some guy running for MP for Ryan (? out west of my house) sent out a political advertisement with 'Australa' and 'conjestion'.

when i took my nap at the end of the semester, there were over 700 unreads. that's too scary. if you get behind, you wonder what's happening. someone like jeanne could be playing tonsil hockey with a spin instructor.

IHateToast said...

forgot to mention my peeve that pets.

the ellipsobang. what? aint never herdivvit?

i saw a letter to the minister of mines and energy with many ellipsobangs.

Why do I need the government's permission to drill...!

i pause, then i growl. i lead to you expect more, then i slap you.

he also used the 'hellooooo...!' nothing gets a minister's attention like a little sarcastic sitcom vocab with an ellipsobang added on.


Curly Su said...

nice reasons...i too have trouble with the bad grammar (my pet peeve is 'anyways' instead of 'anyway'). but because i'm not perfect (gasp, i know), i excuse it sometimes. :) i'll be thinking about why i read the people i read... (!) hahaha.

Nancy Toby said...

When a blogger writes "shoot" for "chute" I'm reaching for the mouse to click unsubscribe.

I would of even done that for yours.


peter said...

I take someone off my mental list when they enable Comment Moderation. I dislike censorship in any form, and there is something unsettling about someone putting a point of view out there, then controlling all discussion about it. Sorta like that press conference at FEMA the other week. (What is an ellipsobang? It's not in

Marie said...

I don't recall how I came upon your blog - I think I was searching for something to do with running and bunions. But, I continue to read your blog because it's amusing, and fun to read. Maybe someday I'll be a runner too!

Jesse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jesse said...

Hello from a fellow NaBloPoMo and fairly-newbie-marathoner-in-training!

You've got a good list on what makes me read a blog. I try and stray away from looong winded blog posts that take 20 or more clicks to scroll down- especially if they're not formatted correctly.

I enjoy reading your blog.

Happy running!

a.maria said...

i only read pretty people's blogs.

does that make me shallow?!

Neese said...

short and sweet is tops on my list. I just don't have the time to read several long blogs. Unfortunately they get put off until later and I never get to them.

jazzyjo said...

If the blog reads like a 16-year-old girl's text message inbox, I can't handle it.

And this is probably because I have two writing degrees and have taught writing, but I'm more likely to read a blog if it's well written and capitalizes the first words of sentences and proper nouns.

m said...

You crack me up and are inspiring. Even if you think you are a lousy runner. You could kick me butt in distance any day of the week.

I'm all over the board with blogs. Environmental, running, tri's, daily life and my new one is unclutterer. It's my monthly obsession right now.

Susan said...

I like blogs in which the posts are not too long! HA - what can I say - no matter how much I enjoy someone, my attention only lasts so long!

Just12Finish said...

Pics rule!

Laurie said...

Yay! I qualify to have my blog read :)

Vickie said...

Some of the blogs I read--actually a lot--are written by women in my age group. All of different levels of athleticism. I guess I favor those. But then there are some of the newbies that I guess I have connected with and lately have come across a lot of people in my state I didn't know were out there, so those have been added too. And like you, I hate the would of and could of.

Vickie said...

I guess I should add a P.S. I stop reading blogs of those who refuse to acknowledge me. Its not that I have a complex or anything, and try not to take offense, but I have to wonder what the reason is. Maybe I take it personally when it isn't, but who knows?

Deirdre said...

I can't believe you said "Obvi" you might be getting to the cool status!

Danny said...

great post!

Allison said...

I laughed out loud at #5 - "Both of You".