I am not a blogging expert and am really very new at this whole blogging thing. One thing I have learned is that blogging and following blogs can be all time-consuming. I am learning that I cannot possibly follow each blog that catches my eye. I have to make decisions about which ones to follow. It comes down to time management. There are so many super blogs that really speak to me. Those are the ones on which I will concentrate.
For this week’s list, I am listing blog characteristics that will keep me from following a blog, or cause me to stop following a blog that I previously followed. This is my personal criteria. I am not trying to impose my criteria on anyone else. I am simply stating those things that I will not follow. Restricting my blogs may cause me to miss some really great information, but realistically I cannot follow everything.
I will not follow blogs if:
- The blog’s focus does not interest me. I have many interests and in blogs that include a random set of topics I always find something of interest. However, if the blog has a single focus on a topic that does not appeal to me, I won’t follow it. This is just common sense. I am not suggesting anyone should change their focus because we write about what is meaningful to us. We just choose not to read things that are not appealing. Admittedly, I am following blogs with topics that I had no idea would appeal to me, but if it doesn’t grab me during the first visit I won’t be back.
- The layout and/or style is difficult to read. With my aging eyes if a blog has white letters of small font on a black background, I cannot read it easily. I will not willingly struggle to read text and cause eye strain. Some people have a lot of busy stuff going on in their blogs, which may perfectly match their personality, but I probably won’t return if I have a hard time with the visuals.
- The text is filled with profanity. I am not a prude and am not really offended by vulgar language, but if someone can only express themselves with vulgarity, I see it as either a reflection of their personality or of a limited vocabulary. I am not likely to respect them or what they have to say. That may be terribly un-cool, and it may indicate my age, but so be it. An occasional bad word is not an issue for me – sometimes a select word may best relay a message, but I see no purpose in repetitive cussing.
- The writing style is not straight forward. Sometimes the author seems to adopt an extremely intellectual approach. Or perhaps the author wanders around a topic without ever saying what is meant. These blogs come off to me as contrived and insincere. The message gets lost in phraseology and blather. I won’t work hard to get a message from a difficult read when so many blogs are written in an easy-to-read style.
- The text is filled with spelling errors and bad grammar. I am not the grammar police. And I am not talking about a rare or occasional error. Heavens knows I make my share of mistakes. Almost every time that I look at one of my posts after publishing no matter how many times I have previewed and proof read, I see at least one error. I also am not bothered when it is clear that English is not the author’s first language. Posts written by non-native English speakers actually interest me because I like seeing how differences in their language’s form and structure affect the translation into English. Other than that when I see writing that is full of errors I have a hard time getting past those errors. I can’t get out my teacher’s red pencil and mark all the errors on the computer screen. The message gets distorted because all I see are the errors.
- The author lacks open-mindedness. I have definite opinions as do most people. I find reading points of views other than my own to be very informative and educational. Sometimes I am annoyed or aggravated but hearing other points of view is part of growing. However, when an author takes a heavy-handed approach that their opinion is always correct and nothing else is even worthy of being considered, I lose interest. If the blog is extremely intolerant of other points of views I will not return.
- Blogs that are blatantly bigoted and prejudicial, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. I will not honor those attitudes by visiting the blogs. Enough said.
- Blogs that are constantly and consistently negative. I have dealt with enough negativity and complaining in my life and in my career. At this point I choose to do everything in my power to separate from that. This doesn’t refer to people who are going through a rough patch in their lives or are having a bad day – I have an inordinate amount of empathy and compassion for those situations. But when all I read is what is wrong with everyone and everything else, and why issues are always someone else’s fault, and how life sucks, and there is no inkling of anything positive, I choose to not deal with it.
- Poetry blogs that are so esoteric that I cannot interpret the meaning. I hate to admit this one. I love poetry. I appreciate it a great deal. The imagery, the symbolism, the flow of words are things I find intriguing. But I am no longer in college literature classes where I had to interpret poetry. I now want to appreciate poetry without having to work at it. I apologize to poets who write in this style. I do hope they have a great audience. I just won’t be part of that audience.
- Blogs that I just don’t get. This is a catch-all item. Sometimes it’s humor that comes off as inside jokes, but I was never inside. Or a blog that I can’t figure out how to navigate. Or an author’s repeated habit of jumping into the middle of a topic assuming that everyone has the background to understand what is being discussed. This may well be a portrayal of my own ignorance rather than any weakness on the part of the blog, but I prefer what I read to not constantly remind me of my own inadequacies.
It is probably a very good thing that I have finished with item 10 out of 10, because this post may sound incredibly negative, critical, uninteresting,close-minded and difficult, all things I hope to avoid.
I am sincerely interested: what are turn-offs for you as you visit different blogs? And do you find any of those turn-offs prevalent in my blog?
Trying to time manage my blogging, just another thread of my life.