The weekend calls for relaxation, so no hard-hitting, critical post today.
Let’s have a look at WordPress first.
Those of us who have persistently complained about the rather stupid introduction of a default email notification whenever you comment on another blog post seem to have made a small point.
In case no-one understands what I am talking about, instead of ticking the box to say you want an email when every boring person under the sun comments on the post that you just did, you had to untick it. Not too difficult, just a pain.
A few days ago, on some official wordpress blog (I lose track of their many entities), some important person was
boasting claiming that their latest innovation was amazingly popular. Yesterday, that blog post was updated saying they had changed it back because people didn’t like it.
In which case, I want to know why the really caring thinking listening wordpress chiefs haven’t reverted to the previous way of displaying topics in magazine format instead of the reader scroll-down. If they can back down on one stupid change, they can do it on another.
And the relevance of that to the rest of this post is…..
1) An easy way to look for new blogs was to look for interesting ones under the wordpress ‘topics’ section. It is no longer easy.
2) But there are other ways. I have found a few interesting, and some favourite blogs, by reading their comments on Daily Post or on wordpress forums.
If someone writes a witty, incisive, thoughtful comment, it’s worth checking out their blog. Sadly, you may find that witty, incisive, thoughtful person is a religious zealot, anti-abortion, gun-toting American Republican, so in my case we are going to have little in common and there is no new beautiful relationship about to dawn.
I use this example as it happened recently. This person had, like many of us, more than one site. A tame site (a bit like roughseas I guess), a ministry site (I don’t have one of those), and a rather more ranty political type site (definitely not like Clouds). I looked at them all, being a broad-minded sort of person as I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the
dark other side.
When I got to the ‘political’ site, I left a comment. It’s still in moderation so I guess said blog author has been busy ministering the word of God or supporting anti-abortion groups or whatever.
Why did I leave a comment? Well because there was a very brief post supporting gun-toting right-to-bear-arms-Americans saying that otherwise they wouldn’t have kicked out the British. That’s fair enough, I don’t have any probs with decolonisation. I do have a problem with Americans endlessly griping about it when they are busy invading everyone else’s piece of land though.
Next up, apparently the right to bear arms and no longer being British subjects was why England’s sorry little arse was saved in WW2. I had a problem with that one. Now I can quote figures of how many people died in WW2 (because I wrote about it on this blog post about Armistice Day) and America was not top of the list. India, on the other hand was in the millions. What about all those Canadians, New Zealanders, Australians who fought in a war that wasn’t theirs?
As far as I know, America finally joined WW2 because there was a bit of a problem at Pearl Harbour. Otherwise they had sat on the fence. Just like they did with the Falklands War. Some special relationship. Not. I await corrections on that. Oh, and I thought the Russian winter was what won the war. It usually does. Or lost it, depending on how you look at it.
After I had made my – unpublished comment – I found the T&Cs. Apparently all comments had to be something God would like (or some such similar wording). Er, how on earth am I supposed to know what s/he likes? Uh?
Anyway, the point of that tale is to say that you can find good blogs via forums and Daily Post and you can find non-starters. Oh, and to also ask if anyone else learned that the American cavalry saved Britain in WW2?
3) The other way to find interesting blogs is via comments on other people’s blogs, which a lot of you do anyway. But oddly, those you would think have similar interests and lifestyle often aren’t interested in you. I have no explanation for that one, so chasing up comments is a hit and miss affair.
4) You need to decide whether you want the blog of a 1000 hits or decent comments. There is a huge difference. My biggest hits and comments were initially on the dog blog. But once I started a Land Rover blog, it quickly won the race for hits gaining google searches from all over the world. Few comments, but loads of hits.
I’m more interested in receiving interesting comments, additional information relevant to the original post (or not), and some humour. I still write on the LR blog because if I can write something helpful for someone that’s fine by me. They don’t need to comment. I think the most comments were on my post about importing a vehicle into Gib.
5) I did value the feedback I received from the poll I conducted on roughseas, especially those who took time to comment. One comment was – add something personal, but not too personal. What an excellent tip. So that’s a no to the graphic details of sex with your partner last night, but yes to a personal perspective on something.
6) Which brings me to reblogging and reposting. Blogs made up of other people’s posts are ghastly – with the exception of Stop Animal Abuse, but that’s a different issue. That one has a message to impart, but photoblogs with other people’s photos, or musical blogs just rehashing stuff are utterly boring.
If you want to rehash/repost something, then it needs to have a personal perspective added.
I do use excerpts from elsewhere, but invariably to support what I want to say and/or provide factual information, and always credit the source.
I have reblogged a couple of times, but I think a link back plus excerpt is often better. Whether people read the link back is another matter.
7) Intro, intro, intro. To me it is more important than the title. You can have the cleverest title in the world but if that first sentence or two are boring and mundane, no-one will read any further.
8) Length. All the advice is to write short posts. That is misleading. I have had more hits and comments on longer posts than shorter ones. My longest was nearly 2000 words although that is exceptional, my posts are normally around 1000.
But content is what matters. And paragraphs. Break them up. This isn’t a university essay, this is a blog. Use crossheads/sub-titles, photos whatever, but do NOT write boring long paragraphs.
9) There is only one thing worse than long paragraphs and that is a loud background with too much interference, videos, photos, audios, links etc. Apart from the long loading time, which busy people do NOT like, it is visually disruptive.
10) The wordpress photogallery feature is horrible. Unlike the slideshow. But posting 100 tiny photos on your blog is another total switch off. Don’t.