Jaquandor, another upstate New Yorker, reads this blogger named Shamus who has rules about blogs. How dost I fare?
1. Informal, conversational style. I like when the author is blunt and honest. Website “articles”, written like a magazine product review, sound too clinical and leave me cold.
Well, you know, like I write, like, like a REAL HONEST-TO-GOODNESS PERSON!!! Like, don’t I? Or am I too erudite?
2. I like people who use their real names more than those who use pseudonyms, and I like pseudonyms better than pure anonymity. (The difference between the last two being mostly how long they’ve been using their pseudonym.) I’m unlikely to read something from a never-seen-before pseudonym. Nothing wrong with that. Some people are private. Just not for me.
Lessee, my name is really George Rowan and I’m a CIA operative. Nah, as hero Popeye has said several times, “I yam what I yam.”
3. No ads. Banner ads are better today than they were seven years ago. During the dot-com boom, the internet was lousy with blinking eyesores and faux-dialog box traps. Those are still around, but anyone serious about holding an audience usually goes with something a bit more subtle. Having said that, even diminutive Blogads bug me. So, I tend to gravitate towards the ad-free sites.
This Shamus fellow sounds like a Commie. No ads? Where is his sense of capitalism?
4. I prefer dark lettering on light backgrounds. This didn’t used to be a problem, but as I decay into toothless old codgerdom I find white-on-black harder and harder to read. When I look away I see the horizontal bars burned onto my vision for a while afterwards, and that just can’t be good.
Well, as much as I’d like my site to alternate between yellow on white and purple on black – VERY readable combinations, don’t you think? – I too have readability issues. In truth, there are very interesting blogs out there I just don’t read because it’s too much of a pain to SEE them.
5. I prefer to read what adults have to say, and I’m not talking about age here. I’ve found quite a few videogame blogs that are a wasteland of juvenile flames and trash talk. Yeah kid, your guild 0wnz me. Good for you. Be sure to put that on your resumé.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any time now, you KNOW I only talk about the latest videogames. Nothing else seems to interest me. Take THAT, Lefty!
6. I like one-author blogs better than group blogs, but only because I like to know who I’m reading. I’ve never seen it done, but I would actually enjoy a group blog if each author had a little icon or something at the top of the post, similar to what I do with categories. I really can’t stand blogs where I have to look to the end of a post to know who I’m reading, since that’s the first thing I want to know.
Joe Frank: Double eh.
Reynolds: What they said.
Actually, I think I’ve used an anonymous contribution once, and I have another available in case I ever need a fill-in issue. (Fill-in issue – how very comic book.) Once or twice out of 720 posts is a pretty good percentage, I think.
7. I like some info about the author. I don’t need an autobiography, but I at least like to have some idea of the age and gender of the author. I hate hunting around for clues like oblique references to their spouse and children (or absence thereof) and trying to extrapolate who the author is from that.
I am very mysterious. You wouldn’t know that I have a wife and a daughter or that I’m a librarian, a Christian, or black. Well, here’s something I really DON’T think I’ve ever told you: I’m 5’11 3/8″ tall, right-handed, and I hate anchovies.
So, I think I have pretty high Shamus Quotient, FWIW.