January 26, 2011 by Renee
What draws you to a blog? Is it the content, the blogger, or the layout? Is it all of that and more? I’m curious because I’m finding that my blog list has expanded and I try to keep up with all of them, but lately I’m wondering why I follow certain ones that haven’t posted anything interesting in months. (interesting to me, I mean) I think this is the first post I’ve ever done about blogging and reading/following blogs. I don’t recall writing one anyway.
I’ve started examining why I have this blog and what my ultimate goals are in writing it. First, it’s an outlet. Anyone who has visited the Edge knows I tend to rant now and then. This is an excellent place to do that and to also gain perspective. Not long ago I ranted about the whole agent situation and received feedback that made me realize I’d been looking at it all wrong and had no reason to be upset. Sometimes it’s good to know you’ve overreacted. The other major reason is platform. I don’t have a website, and I have to have some kind of platform other than the nonfiction writing that I do as a “day job”. So this is part of that. I also enjoy connecting with other people in the writing/publishing industry I’d never have known otherwise.
My goals? This was tough to answer. Ultimately, my goal is for the Edge to be informative, entertaining, somewhat professional and it has to feel like “Me”. I want my writing style and voice to come through, but I also want everyone to have a good feel for me as an individual too. The design plays a big part in that. I love dark. I love simple. Oddly enough, I also love eye candy. So I hope that the Edge is all of those things…is that possible? Don’t know.
When I follow other blogs I do so for several reasons too. Sometimes I find one that is packed full of information. Agent blogs are in this category. Others I follow because I love the voice of the blogger. Maria Zannini, Vegetarian Cannibal, and The Backwoods Betty are examples of some of the blogs I’ve followed because I love the style and voice of the blog writers. I have several that I follow because they’re friends. Now, I still find them interesting, but I didn’t go through the same process of discovery as I did for the previous examples. I knew they had a blog, I followed it, and I lucked out. I have interesting friends.
Last are blogs that I am a little ashamed to say I followed because they followed me. I’m all for supporting others, and I do read these blogs. Most of them are great, but some of these are the ones I’m wondering about. For example, there is one blog that I’ve followed for a short time now and I’ve dutifully read every single post. I like this particular blogger, who is a nice person and a decent writer. But then I commented on a post that discussed the pros of self publishing and why one would opt for this route. My comment was nice, intelligent and I asked questions that I was really curious to know the answer to because the post made some pretty strong statements about agents and the publishing industry. Now, some might have felt defensive at my questions, but that’s not my problem. You want to go around boasting about a certain thing being the best and making negative comments about another thing you know little or nothing about, well you’re gonna get some feedback. Anyway, the blogger deleted my post. Now, my finger hovers over the button to ‘unfollow’ this blog. Why? I don’t like being censored, especially when I take care to be unoffensive and friendly. These things aren’t easy for me, folks. So when I try to be nonconfrontational and open minded, someone better damn well appreciate it.
This brings me to what I don’t like and don’t plan to do with my blog. I don’t like censoring comments that are legitimate and relating to the blog posts. I do, however delete ads. If you’re selling, the Edge ain’t buying and I sure as hell won’t clutter my comments with such nonsense. I don’t like blogs that post daily. I cannot keep up. I couldn’t do that if I wanted to anyway. I don’t like whiny ranty blogs that basically just bitch and moan about life and all of life’s jokes. Come on, be happy now and then. Jeeze. I try not to do that. Do I whine? Tell me if I whine.
I don’t like blogs that have nothing to say. If I’ve followed a blog for a few months and cannot figure out what the heck it’s about, then I’m through with it. I like the idea of a link exchange, but I hate blogs that have the rule that you have to follow back or contests where you have to follow this blog, that blog, post on a million sites, and then stand on your head and drink a milkshake while tapping out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with your toes on a piano just to win a stinking book. Sorry, not doing it. Oh, and I’m not fond of reading blog novels or whatever they’re called. Why? I don’t really know exactly. I don’t mind reading writing samples, actually I like that. But these blogs that post chapters of novels week after week, eventually posting the whole thing, they just bug me. Honestly, I’m not sure why. Just one of the many things that annoy Renee. Like the McDonald’s kissy sound commercial. Ugh.
Wow, long post. What do I like? Humor, information, fun, writing, and I want to feel as though I’m getting the ‘real’ person behind the blog, not some personality they’ve created. If it feels fake, it’s not as fun to read. Maybe that’s just another ‘annoys Renee but no one else’ thing. Probably half my blog list has me completely fooled. Maria is probably a 45 year old German transvestite who huffs paint to pass the time, and Michael is probably that stalker chick that I banned from my home, so she created an identity online in order to be close to my awesomeness. Creepy “Michael”….very creepy.
So tell me, what makes you love or hate a blog? Why do you keep coming to the Edge? What do you wish I’d stop doing? Don’t worry, I can take it, be honest.