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Old 15-04-2014, 15:10   #31
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Blogs are an outdated social media / strata. Even Facebook, and twitter, which superseded the blog space with the invention of micro posts is waning to new delivery mechanisms in social content delivery.
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Old 15-04-2014, 15:13   #32
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

There are some great sailing blogs. Stories from a boat is one of my favorites.

What i like is being able to follow their evolving story and hearing about their wins, issues and learnings. Its got to be like actually being there.

The other draw for me is how tos and publishing of measured data of sailing equipnent. It has to be rigourous engineering and not just opinion or a rant.

Look forward to your findings.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 15-04-2014, 15:47   #33
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Thanks for some very useful comments. I will include a link to this discussion when I finish up the article. If anyone else has more thoughts, please add them.

Tropical depression moving in on us today, probably loose electricity here on the island where we live (30 miles north of Auckland New Zealand) so won't be able to check back in for a few days. And yes, all boats are secured, Taleisin on a mooring designed to hold a 30 tonner, Felicity and Jay Dee in the marina berths.
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Old 15-04-2014, 23:56   #34
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Here's my favourite blog. You work it out:

Boat Bits
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Old 16-04-2014, 12:14   #35
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

1. The character and expertise of the writer.
2. Daily
3. No.
4. Yes, I would prefer it.
5. The character of the writer.
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Old 16-04-2014, 16:21   #36
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Blogs are an outdated social media / strata. Even Facebook, and twitter, which superseded the blog space with the invention of micro posts is waning to new delivery mechanisms in social content delivery.
I disagree.

Blogs are still relevant but the early days when blogs would have huge followings are past. Still lots of them and new ones coming on line.

Facebook, twitter and the micro post stuff serves a different purpose.
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Old 16-04-2014, 19:30   #37
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haiqu View Post
Here's my favourite blog. You work it out:

Boat Bits
You got my curiosity up,
I looked.
Cannot stand it. The text colors alone caused a headache within minutes.
Each to his own I guess.
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Old 16-04-2014, 19:39   #38
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I disagree.

Blogs are still relevant but the early days when blogs would have huge followings are past. Still lots of them and new ones coming on line.

Facebook, twitter and the micro post stuff serves a different purpose.
Outdated. I stand by my statement.
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Old 16-04-2014, 23:31   #39
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lin Pardey View Post
I am currently working on an article about blogging. Want to make sure folks consider why they are blogging, remind them of the highly public nature and talk about what folks want to read. Appreciate some thoughts on the following:

1. What makes you choose to read and follow a particular blog
2. How often do you want to see a posting
3. Are you interested in the comments others post to the blog?
4. Would you continue to read a blog if it did not have a comments button?
5. What would make you stop following a blog?

Thanks for your help.
Hi Lin -

1. - I will read a blog if it is a friend's (I have two that I pay attention to). I will also read an individual blog post if it contains information relevant to where I am going to be, or details a boat modification or piece of gear I am considering - e.g., obtaining first hand information has value to me.

2. - I enjoy seeing a post when something of interest has happened. This is not time-related but rather content-related.

3. - I am not interested in comments made to a blog.

4. - Yes, as I am uninterested in comments, and do not leave comments on blogs.

5. - I stop reading a blog when it is poorly written, becomes a diary of thoughts or fears or personal issues (the dividing line between a diary and a log is sometimes fuzzy), and when it becomes a diatribe.

As regards my own log, I have a couple of 'rules' in mind when I generate posts:

1. I have a specific audience in mind (my parents, whom are interested in what I'm up to out on the water). I also know that some children read my posts, so I keep content family-friendly.

2. I limit content to cruising and boat-related events. For example, I do not blog about trips on airplanes to visit friends and relatives.

3. I avoid criticisms and derogatory remarks. If I have nothing good to say, then I tend to say nothing unless specifically asked.

4. I do not post private personal information; I am not writing a diary, I am writing a log about sailing my boat around to different places, and the adventures (or misadventures) I have.

5. And most importantly, I do not post anything I would not want to see published on the front page of the New York Times.

And on a fun note, pictures go a long way to making a log interesting to read. I try to select the most interesting pictures I might have that illustrate some detail of the post (nobody wants to wade through 40 pictures of a blue footed boobie, but selecting the best image and posting just that image can focus the reader on a specific element in the blog). I edit and manipulate images to make them as good as I can (e.g., adjust contrast, exposure, horizontal level, crop, resize, etc.). I write paragraph-long notes to accompany the images, primarily because I always like to read notes that add value to the image. For example, an image of an anchor is just an image of an anchor; the same image with text that explains why the anchor is important or interesting or relevant adds a lot of value to the image. Hal Roth was good at this.

- rob/beetle
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Old 18-04-2014, 12:18   #40
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haiqu View Post
Here's my favourite blog. You work it out:

Boat Bits

I'm with Newt...

I looked at that blog out of curiosity. Didn't read any content there because the formatting and style are not anything I would subject myself to. Right when the page opened up, my brain almost had a meltdown. It's unfortunate because there might actually be decent info on that blog.
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Old 19-04-2014, 19:56   #41
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Thanks Lin for asking this question!

As a blogger, I was thrilled to get this insight for my own blog. I plan on sailing around the world and writing a cookbook along the way starting in 2015. In the mean time I have been taking classes on engines, electrical systems, etc, primarily with the US Power Squadron, to prepare myself for the voyage.

I blog about my preparations through sharing what I learn, I also occasionally interview sailors, like Pam Wall for example, and I do add an occasional recipe for cooking on a boat.

I also had so many inquiries on what to wear sailing, I started a weekly post of outfits that my fellow sailing buddies modeled in at West Marine here in Chicago. Both West Marine and all my sailing buddies had a blast doing this.

While the fashion side of things was not exactly where I saw my blog going, it is what people had asked I write about. I was bored with there's a zipper on the left or two pockets in the bibs, so I started placing my friends in locations that I felt like their sailing/port appropriate outfit might be worn and that has made posting this actually fun. Plus I found out that their friends have been asking them about their "trips" as if they actually went to the location where I placed them. Funny.

Now to answer your question, I read blogs that help further my education on sailing, be that crossing the gulf stream or finding a clever way to secure your stored items.

I read several blogs frequently when I see a topic that peaks my interest. I can't possibly read them all all the time or I would never get anything else done.
I have found that comments on some topics are helpful. I agree that sometimes they are just a thanks for posting this kind of comment, but as a blogger I find those helpful for gauging topics that interest my readers.
I also have gotten some really good suggestions from readers in comments for me to look into a subject that they request.

One of my most recent comments actually mentioned you and your husband having written a similar thought on life rafts, which made my day. It was this post that I'm referring to: Life Raft Pros and Cons - Sailing - Sail Away Girl

Would I still read a blog if there were no comment button, yes.

I have not, fortunately, run into a situation that would stop me from reading a blog.

Again, thank you so much for asking this question,
Sail Away Girl
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Old 19-04-2014, 20:45   #42
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Don't read blogs, boring as sh!t.
Nuff said.
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Old 19-04-2014, 21:11   #43
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Lin,

Thanks for everything you and Larry have done for all of us over the years.

I find blogs very boring and particularly hate two things:

1. black background
2. reverse dates/reading backwards

I follow one or two friends and find these kind of forums much more interesting. In many cases, the drivel on blogs is annoying and also technically just plain wrong. They become a "here's what I did" whether on a summer vacation or misreading technical input. Comments generally are meaningless.

Tate & Dani have very good content on their blog about their Westsail 32, but is pretty hard to navigate around. A friend is sailing from FL to the Bahamas but has that a$$backwards formatting. Scoobert was just plain annoying. Eric & Charlotte's has been beaten to death, but I found some of his technical decisions (before they left) pretty questionable about electrical systems.

I contribute a lot of technical information and have chosen to contribute/record a lot of material to our Catalina 34 website and forum & wiki and to link folks to it for relevant information on many different forums instead of retyping the same answers to the same questions that if skippers did a little homework of their own, they'd find plenty of answers. Beth & Evans' are among the best and simplest to use.

We toured both islands a few years ago for a month (Queenstown up to Paihia), and spent a week or so in Paihia, lovely.

Thanks again,

Stu
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Old 19-04-2014, 21:51   #44
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lin Pardey View Post
I am currently working on an article about blogging. Want to make sure folks consider why they are blogging, remind them of the highly public nature and talk about what folks want to read. Appreciate some thoughts on the following:

1. What makes you choose to read and follow a particular blog
2. How often do you want to see a posting
3. Are you interested in the comments others post to the blog?
4. Would you continue to read a blog if it did not have a comments button?
5. What would make you stop following a blog?

Thanks for your help.
1. It really depends on the information I am interested. I recently have completed reading a few blogs that started over four years ago. This took a couple of hours a night over a week or two. Most of the blogs have been about boat building or people's buying and traveling in a specific boat design that I have an interest. I have read blogs that are about traveling in areas that are of interest as well.

2. To drive traffic and maintain interest, I would think at least weekly posting would be required if not daily.

3. Comments are problematic.

I don't like having to sign in or use credentials from other sites like Google+, Facebook, etc. Comments can lead to good discussions about a topic but the blog owner has to approve each comment. I have seen some blogs where people are just posting to get other's to click on links to other websites with who knows what results. I have a website that allows comments and most of the comments have been spam like which means I have to take a few moments to delete so they are not posted.

Flip side, comment's can be disruptive, harsh, and mean spirited. A blog owner really needs to consider if what they are writing will be criticized, and if so, decided if they want to allow comments. One would need a very thick skin to deal with comments from a large audience of readers. It simply might not be worth the time and effort to maintain the comments and it certainly could be very frustrating.

4. I would read a blog if comments were not allowed.

5. The blog has to keep my interest obviously. If the blog was about "boating" and suddenly started talking about painting, I think I will loose interest. The blog needs to have a focus and not diverge from that focus. If the blog is about boating for goodness sake stay away from politics and other controversial issues. If I want to read that nonsense, I can go to other places.

Later,
Dan
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Old 20-04-2014, 00:09   #45
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lin Pardey View Post
I am currently working on an article about blogging. Want to make sure folks consider why they are blogging, remind them of the highly public nature and talk about what folks want to read. Appreciate some thoughts on the following:

1. What makes you choose to read and follow a particular blog

We're most inclined to read blogs to learn about places explored, what others enjoyed. We love to read about places we haven't seen. Second, we read to learn what to expect on various trips, the challenges, how they're faced and overcome. Third, we'd like to get to know the people involved a bit, find out who we're riding along with. That's true even when it reveals aspects of them we don't care for. We like the honesty.
2. How often do you want to see a posting

Simplifying it to say when they have something to say. When new places are explored, every few days if there have been new experiences. When crossing between ports generally we find if they post the story of several days at one time (still by day) then it's enough to enjoy as opposed to a short paragraph daily. Also sometimes that gives both issue and resolution.
3. Are you interested in the comments others post to the blog?

Not at all. I look at blogs somewhat like books as stories I want to hear. Now if we were talking about a "how to" site or "DIY" site or one on products or methods that would be different, but those aren't what we generally read and typically aren't blogs. 4. Would you continue to read a blog if it did not have a comments button?
Yes, we would.
5. What would make you stop following a blog?
Blog breaking out into a comment war. Blog not being updated. Blog being just a repetition of sail from point A to point B and took this much time to cover this many miles and not talking about the destination or the new experiences. Want to know what they saw or experienced new, not just what they ate for each meal.

Thanks for your help.
We would also read blogs of those we knew personally and wanted to keep up with them and their travels. I think of those as blogs for friends as opposed to public blogs for clicks and visitors and we would read those even if they didn't meet the requirements above. Would far rather read someone's blog than try to wade through all the facebook stuff to keep up with them.
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