Saturday, December 4

So what draws you into a blog?

Due to inactivity in the garden and on the plot I am deviating from my usual topics.

Weather has trapped me indoors so I've been visiting quite a few blogs recently and have been trying to analyse why particular blogs appeal to me. It's strange that I can often tell almost as soon as I open a blog if I am likely to become a regular visitor.

Even before I read any of the posts I am making a subconscious judgement so what is it that draws me in?

The first thing is the overall look of the blog. Do I feel comfortable with the colour scheme and the size and style of the font? I don’t want to have to squint to be able to read the posts. Sometimes the choice of background and font colour makes the text hard to read. It's not so much a matter of do I like the colours - it's more do they annoy me enough to make me not want to read the blog?

Then I like a balance of text and images? I don't tend to be drawn to huge blocks of text or postings with no images at all - I guess that I am a picture person. I'm the same with non-fiction books I like them to be well illustrated. On the other hand I don’t tend to be drawn to blogs that are just photographs even if they are really beautiful photographs. I get a bit bored just browsing a whole host of photos – a bit like having to look at loads and loads of someone’s holiday photo. I am also attracted by larger photos rather than tiny ones that seem to get lost in the text.

If a post is quite long then the way that it is written will determine whether I stay to read to the end or not. Personal commentary often adds to the interest as it makes me feel that I am getting to know the author a little - they become real people unlike when reading a book or website which is just intended to give information. A touch of humour helps too – it’s good to know that people don’t take themselves too seriously and get some fun from what they do.
Then there is the content – I guess like everyone else I enjoy reading posts that strike a chord with me personally - things that echo my outlook on gardening. I’m not a specialist gardener so don’t tend to be drawn to specialist blogs that concentrate on one particular type of plant.

We all make personal choices when visiting blogs - nothing to do with the quality of the blog – some very highly acclaimed blogs may not appeal to me personally whereas often there is a little known gem just waiting to be stumbled on which will become a firm favourite. If you have a blog that I haven't found and think I would like then please let me know about it.

So what is it that draws and keeps your attention blogwise? Do you use those sites that promote blogs to find a new blog to follow - if so which are the best?

By the way I've probably broken all my own preferences in this post but then I don't have to read it do I?

23 comments:

  1. Martyn is exemplary.

    Here's to the man with a Max Min thermometer both inside and outside his greenhouse. That's science in action.

    Sir, I salute you!

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  2. Good Post GL, does give a pause for thought. What is important to me as a allotment blogger, and a reader of other associated blogs is how active particular blogs are. I would consider myself a very loyal reader of the blogs which I do read and contribute to, and those blogs tend to be blogs which are very active, like yours for example. I guess the greater the activity, the greater chance a particular post will draw my attention and perhaps a contribution of some kind. Next would be keeping it personal, i'm not particularly looking for facts all the time but just an individual plotters perspective, everyone is unique and we can all inspire one another through being individual and sharing our finds.
    Hmm, what else.. keeping it balanced. I think the subject of allotments can be quite a broad subject in it's own right, as my plot develops, I hope to cover a wide array of subjects from growing my own, wildlife, food/drink demonstration, inspiration, and general life on the plot and outside the plot, my blog doesn't have a niche and I do appreciate other blogs which have a good balance too. Above all, bloggers should just be thereself.

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  3. I like blogs where you get to know the person behind it. I enjoy reading personal experiences, successes and failures. It's like being on a journey of discovery together. I don't particularly like those blogs which give loads of facts and preach about the right way to do things, afterall, there's more than one way to skin a cat and it's more enjoyable to read people's different takes on things.

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  4. I agree with previous comments, it's got to be fairly active so you have a good mix of posts, photos and text, personal experiences etc. If the themes are similar variety makes a great blog. Length of post is also key I find myself skimming through if they're too long.

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  5. Hi Mal - Ah but the reason for this is that he bought one weather station and wasn't satisfied with it and bought another. Who siad women were expensive to keep?

    I agree with the comment on activity Craig - I think the regularity of posts means that you have a chance to 'get to know' people. Also I agree allotment life is a varied topic - I started my blog just about our allotment and then added stuff about the garden.

    Jo and Craig - I don't really want facts either or preaching. I think books and websites are the place for that sort of thing and I can go there if I need particular information. As you say Jo what works for one person often doesn't for another and I don't think there is a definitive way to do anything associated with gardening!

    I can be made to skim too Damo but often it is the style of the post rather than the length - if the text is broken up by spaces and photos and the post is interesting I will stick with a longer post.

    Another thing I just thought of to add is sometimes when I make a comment on a post and it doesn't draw any response from the blogger I wonder if maybe comments just aren't really read and I may visit the blog again but not comment. I think commenting is about interaction and if there is no interaction from the author there isn't much point in commenting really is there?

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  6. I agree that you want to know the person behind the blog. I also like to know what makes them tick - what they get enthusiastic about. I like to read something and think "I never thought of that!" or "That's a good idea."

    I like to be motivated by someone else's experiences and to go out and do likewise!

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  7. Hi VH, I agree that finding new ideas from what other people have done is great and also it often is a sort of reminder to do something isn't it? Someone else is planting their garlic so I'd better do mine etc.

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  8. Well I like your blog!!...I think form reading what you like you are reasonably happy to visit mine.

    I think I am like you in as much as I like a nice balance of picture and text....sometimes I go off this a little and have more pictures if there is just so much to show. I also like there to be a point to the post no matter what that is and I have to be interested in the content. I don't like anything to busy which is distracting and i don't like anything to dark. When designing and writing for my blog i always try and keep what i like in mind and hope that it will draw readers in to read my blog and come back!!

    Activity is key too...too little activity stops people coming and also that stamp of personality and feeling your slowly getting to know the writer is good.

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  9. Hi Tanya,
    I do like your blog and those of all the people that I keep going back to or are on my bloglists. I think we all sometimes don't stick to our own 'rules' or preferences - I struggled to think of some images for this post but HAD to have some especially as I mentioned this in the post!

    By dark do you mean design wise or content wise - Must admit I find dark backgrounds make reading the text quite hard.

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  10. This raised some very good questions about my own blog. Thanks! I'm guilty of not replying to comments even though I love receiving them. And my posting is sporadic, especially if I'm very busy but also if nothing is happening. I would probably have more readers if I stayed with one theme, but my blog reflects my life.

    As for what draws me, Tanya's blog is just right for content (pictures/text) and frequency. This is just a general rule though; I have one favorite who only posts allotment pics and another who only has text (but is such an amazing writer I have to read them).

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  11. I agree with all that is already said in comments. It has to be personal, good balance of photos and text, colors of background and font... But for me the most important is to read about things that I am interested in at that specific time.
    Usually I will be more interested in reading not so good post from a blog that I visit regularly than a good post from a new blog. I think it is because that I have a feeling I am getting to know the author and that is why I am interested in reading every post.

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  12. Hi TPals Remember that the points I have made is just about what draws me in and not what makes a good or bad blog. We all like different things.

    I know just what you mean vrtlarica every blog has what we may think of as uninteresting post (a bad hair day) but we forgive that if it is a blog we like to visit regularly.

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  13. For me, it always comes back to the people. I like the blog to introduce me to the blogger, and then continue the story so I can get to know them a bit.

    Presentation counts for a lot. I like a nice balance of text and pictures and a story well & briefly told, with some humour. Regular posting helps, although if the blog is good I'll forgive long absences. Good grammar is important and short paras. I can't abide turgid slabs of text or self-important tosh.

    I like people who love what they are doing and aren't afraid to poke fun at themselves, before the rest of us get around to it. I'm sure I used to a have a Round Tuit somewhere but never got around to doing anything with it.

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  14. Hiya Woody,
    You had me there - I looked up Round Tuit and then felt stupid!! Just for anyone else as stupid as me here is the poem I found -

    A Tuit
    This is a Tuit
    and Tuits are rare,
    especially the round ones,
    so guard it with care!

    How many times have you heard someone say,
    or said it yourself at least 6 times a day. . .
    "One of these days I really will do it. . .
    I'll do it as soon as I get a round Tuit!"

    Well, here's your round Tuit,
    And good luck to you.
    Now there's no limit (or excuses)
    to what you can do!

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  15. I started a blog this spring as an easy way of keeping a record of my garden for a year. I am becoming rather decrepit and the garden will probably deteriorate a little along with me! I had no idea of the interests and friendships that a blog would create - now I feel as though I know people from around the world really well!
    I'm a visual person and too much text, however well written, does not hold my interest. I like to have a sense of the person behind the blog and simply love the way we can share what we care about with like minded people.

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  16. I mean dark back grounds...i have a problem with my eyes since having measles when I was younger and reading text on darker backgrounds is quite hard....dark content is up to the individual I suppose....i don't really mind what people choose to blog about...there is an audience out there for everyone!!

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  17. This is a great post! It really made me think, and gave me good tips for improving my blog too. Thank you Sue.

    I must agree with you in pretty much everything. I do feel attracted first by the main layout of the blog, if it feels right. I also don't like text only or photos only, good balance there is always very appealing. Then I always get hooked by the personal side they convey in their posts. I don't want to read encyclopedia style post. Is always nice to get to know the person.

    One more thing. I prefer bloggers that have a open and sharing attitude. Things like giving the full post on RSS, or letting copy and paste from their blog. I understand the desire to protect your work, I do it myself with watermarks on my photos, but some times is taken a bit too far. I guess it has a lot to do with me being a beginner bloger, I ran into some people who helped me out and others that not so much.

    I like the "give away and you will receive back" ideology. So people who is open to communication, sharing and helping others are my favorite blogers.

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  18. I understand what you are saying about sharing full posts in rss but have to admit that I don't do this. The reason is that I want people to come and view the blog as effort is put in to the design and I change header photos etc. Also I can get a better idea of how many visitors I am getting and what interests them even if they don't comment. It's not so much a desire to protect things. Although I don't like it when people just copy things without asking. If asked I will always say yes but appreciate an accreditation. That's why I thought everyone who posted in your carnival should have acknowledged you!

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  19. haha, is funny, because I dont go into your blog by rss (it is on the front page of my browser), I didn't know you don't post full in rss, now i am bitting my tongue. I am bit shy and sorry now.

    I understand about wanting to have people come and see the blog. Also to not have people copypaste everything I say without asking, I completely agree there, and I always ask if I copy :). It would have been great to have all the other blogs link to me, tho that time I didn't mind as much because I was trying to give some back. I think next time I would mind a bit more I guess.

    I also have to thank you. You have been one of the most helpful and engaging bloger I have meet from the beginning. This past weeks that I wasnt able to post as much or comment as much I got to notice a lot of people who support my blog the most. I always enjoy reading and getting very helpful comments from you. Thank you!

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  20. No need to bite your tongue Fer - you should feel free to say what you think - I didn't mind at all.

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  21. Awesome, that’s exactly what I was scanning for! You just spared me alot of searching around

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  22. Its awesome all of the time to view how folks can compose wonderful stuff about people topics! Thank you and I ve bookmarked you

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