Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things I've Learned in the Blogosphere

While bloghopping, I come across sites from all over the world. I see some trends, some similarities, and I also learn about new things. Here's what I've discovered:
  • Etsy Store: I'd never heard of this before, but kept seeing it on blogs. I googled it and found out that it's an online store that allows individuals to post handmade items for sale. Great idea, and what a terrific place to find special gifts for people. Many bloggers show the items they're working on that are for sale at Etsy.
  • Family & Friends Update: many people use a blog to keep family and friends updated about their life, the growing kids (or new ones!), new marriage, new house, etc. It's a terrific way to let people know what's going on and to see the related pictures. People also use these update sites when they've moved to a new place, and want to let the family back home know what life is like in, say, Alaska (some of my favorite blogs show life in this interesting part of the US).
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: photographers and writers use the blogosphere to practice their writing, practice their photography skills, and learn the concepts of posting effectively to a blog, find their "theme," try layouts and templates, etc. This is where I fit in.

Overall, here are blogging words of wisdom from my point of view:

  • Short posts are best, because they don't seem too daunting to read.
  • Bullets or numbered lists are nice because they break up the text and allow for quick browsing of content.
  • Photos are especially appealing because they give us a window into a world different from our own. Interestingly, a blog with just photos and no text isn't quite as much fun because we don't get to learn about the writer or the subject of the photos.
  • Updating photos on a fairly regular basis is good so the look of the site doesn't get stale.
  • Conversely, blogs with just text with no photos aren't quite as enticing to read, no matter how great the writing (and there are some VERY clever writers out there!).
  • It's nice when the blogger leaves the Navbar in the layout, so we can easily get to the next blog.
  • The interaction of getting a comment from someone, someone voting on my poll, or having a blog follower is part of the fun of blogging.
  • Advertising blogs are just so wrong.

Well, I'll keep practicing my blogging, bloghopping to see how others do it, and tweaking my site as I learn from all of the experts out there!

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