Okay, I wanted to use the word “Veteran” in the title, but I decided against it, no doubt somebody would complain. Anyway, today – you lucky, lucky people – are going to get a ranty post. As a Veteran Blogger, I have seen hundreds of gimmicks and ideas that have come and failed. Some have come and stayed, particularly as we move into a time where now big businesses are willing to throw money at blogs. Nevertheless, I feel that – whilst my designs have changed – I have kept my blog core and ethos the same. But here are 5 things that piss me off more than anything on blogs. Anybody who ever thinks about doing a link exchange with me would do well to heed this list.
1. Irrelevant Sponsored Posts
All bloggers would like to make money from blogging. Fact. Where we differ is the length we go to make money. I am – for one – a link, referral scheme and adsense whore. I plaster my google ads anywhere, love Text Link Ads, and AuctionAds have also been good to me. However, one thing I will never do is Sponsored Posts. However, I have no qualms with people that do.
However, one thing I despise is irrelevant sponsored posts. You’re a 37 year old Overweight Male Bank Manager from Wigan. What in gods name makes me think that I want to read about “Wedding Dresses” on your site? If you are to do sponsored posts, and the lure of easy money is too much, do what Paddy and Han do. Sign upto Blogtoprofit (I’d appreciate rhys at gospelrhys dot co dot uk in the “referral email” box), wait for a week, then fit in simple links into your posts. It encourages you to blog, and blog creatively.
2. Snap Windows
Three years ago, pre Myspace, when web design was a discipline because not every man and his dog could do it, this wouldn’t be around. Now, with the obsession of “Widgeting” everything, these horrible intrusive Snap Shots – the preview of the window you will be looking at should you click on the link – have become all the rage, and I don’t like it. If Satan had a site, this would be on it. Web sites and web design should be simple, uncluttered and with no moving elements outside of flash movies. This user of valuable resources is pointless, and should be removed from your sites.
3. No RSS Feeds
I’ll be honest, I haven’t been using RSS feeds for long. Six months or so when Han showed me Google Reader. Since that fateful day in Canterbury, I’ve been hooked, going through my list and adding RSS links to all my favourite blogs. The amount of blogs I read has increased, but the amount of time spent reading them has decreased. The blogs which I previously read religiously are now no longer on my list, due to their sheer ineptness of providing an RSS Feed.
4. “Tween” Bloggers
This is a controversial one, as a few people I read could be construed as “Tween”. However, the tiny unreadable text on a dark background, huge header graphics and large areas of blank space have me reaching for the big red x on more than one occasion, before I even get to there pseudo-uber-emotional explosive ramblings about Linkin Park or whoever the devil is popular these days.
5. Link Exchanges
Ooh, another controversial one, as just last week I had to shut down my Toplist and turn it into a link exchange. But I don’t go out soliciting for links generally, it was a means to an end, to give something back to a community that has built up around it and made it rather successful. Now again link exchanges can be a good thing, but only if it’s done correctly, and kept in the spirit of blogging. If you like a blog, link to it, then comment about it, eventually unless the target of your affections is a selfish or forgetful SOB (such as myself), you’ll get a comment back.
Of course, you could do other ways to build links, write a script, post hints and tips, things like that? If you’re a rubbish writer (such as myself), link bait, either in the title of the post, or in the post slug – which is what this post does. Incidentally, although John Chow is evil, he never did eat my gerbil.
5 (and a half). Not Reading The Whole Blog Before Responding
This one I am guilty of. This entry is for Problogger’s “Top 5 Group Writing Project”. The prize is around Â£500 for a lucky (note: not “good”) winner. I spent today writing one for Retro Garden: “Top 5 Ways Gamers Get Misty Eyed”, and then reread the submission form. Only one entry per blogger. Shit. Nevermind, if you could visit both, please. It’d make me a happy chappy.
So why does it piss me off? Simple. A few months ago I got a comment off one of my semi readers advertising a competition he was running. Now, any other post it would’ve been fine, but the fact that he had simply clicked on the top post on the time (which was the one I wrote about me and Han splitting) and copy and pasted a comment he wrote, changed the name, just really irked me. I deleted the comment, deleted his RSS feed, and haven’t been to visit the blog again. Yes, I combat bad things happening to me by locking it in and probably going on a murderous rage when I’m 40, divorced and have Â£100,000 debt.
What pisses you off about other blogging and other bloggers?