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Old 14-04-2014, 19:09   #1
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What Makes You Want to Read a Blog?

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.
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Old 14-04-2014, 19:29   #2
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

A chance to give a Pardey insights? How the tables have turned!

1. What makes you choose to read and follow a particular blog
I look for sailing blogs that are both relatable and at the same time filled with a bit of fantasy. I've only found two that I like - the one by the Slapdash (sadly no longer updated) and sailpanache.com - both young people, like myself, a little constrained financially, cruising on boats available to most people.
I generally find it very hard to get into a blog, and like browsing a book at the bookstore, if I read a few lines and don't like it, I don't come back. The way the above two blogs are constructed is that each post tells the story of a passage, in generally well-written English, with a humorous side - usually not in great detail, but diving into particular highlights in great depth (with pictures!) and describing both the sailing, the repairs, and often the adventures had along the way. I'm not reading for how-to's, like, how to change a fuel injector, that's what CF is for! Rather, I'm living the highs and lows (but definitely not the mediums, that would be boring!) vicariously through them. If you've ever read any mid-1900s English travelogues, that's really what I'm after.

2. How often do you want to see a posting
I read the slapdash blog in its entirety in about a couple of weeks, as I started reading it after their circumnavigation was complete. SailPanache updates about once a month to once every two months. I'd love to read more often, but I'm not sure if the pace of that cruise merits more frequent postings. It's so hard to find a blog I can get into, that, if I've found a gem, I'd like to read it once a week.

3. Are you interested in the comments others post to the blog?
I have perused these, but never commented on one. Generally, they're pretty uninteresting to me, mostly for their content. Uniformly, the comments appear to be: 'Keep on trucking'. I suppose if someone related their own, similar, adventure briefly I would read it, but largely the comments do nothing for me.

4. Would you continue to read a blog if it did not have a comments button?
Certainly, but I don't find the comments very additive in general.

5. What would make you stop following a blog?
I can think of nothing that would make me stop once I'm invested in it. However, I'll list one turn-off that seems particularly prevalent among sailing blogs written by young people like myself: they're super self-centered/focused. Without naming names, often it's sort of like: "Look at me, I'm beautiful" and here's 300 photos of myself - without really any description of the adventure they're on.

Thanks for all you do!
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Old 14-04-2014, 19:30   #3
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

it might be better framing the question "why would you write a blog?"

I like to read autobiographies of notable people,but reading a blog is pure voyeurism.

another thing I hate about blogs is they all start at the end! ie the most recent first,

unless you want to wade through pages of drivel ,only to realise that you have just wasted hours of your life...........why would you read a blog??????
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Old 14-04-2014, 19:31   #4
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Useful information and experiences from someone who knows what they are talking about.
The bad as well as the good.
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Old 14-04-2014, 19:33   #5
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

This may not be at all helpful, but nothing would make me want to read a blog. I am seriously disinterested in the minutiae of other folks lives. I would not read their diaries and I do not do social networking. Sorry.

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Old 14-04-2014, 19:42   #6
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

I enjoy DIY how-to blogs and informational blogs. It doesn't even matter if the project is one that I would need as frequently the principles and procedures can likely be applied to other projects. I'll peruse a travel blog occasionally, but I can't stick with it.

I would like it updated at least weekly, but could live with bi-weekly.

I certainly enjoy comments, but it wouldn't be a deal killer if they weren't there. It's just more convenient to be able to have a q&a about the information or project.

I stop reading when I get bored of the subject matter.

A good blog that meets my criteria is John And Phyllis’ Attainable Adventure Cruising.
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Old 14-04-2014, 19:43   #7
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

I'm with atoll on this.

I also had a blog for a while in attempt to capture and share the creative process on one of my artistic skills for which I have a Masters. It wasn't a vanity site. It went well, but was a bear to maintain and keep interesting. I've since killed it.

The only blogs I read are related to technical articles that I might be researching through Google. Some blogs pop up when searching with technical keywords, and you can get answers from the solutions they provide. But I do not go to a series of blogs every week to get the latest updates. I've got better things to do.

I do go to one sailing blog weekly but only because I know the guy and its technically related to shipwrighting.

No - comments are usually kudos or uninteresting if they do have something to say.
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Old 14-04-2014, 19:45   #8
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coops View Post
This may not be at all helpful, but nothing would make me want to read a blog. I am seriously disinterested in the minutiae of other folks lives. I would not read their diaries and I do not do social networking. Sorry.

Coops.
Coops -
To a certain extent we read about the details of other lives when we read the posts on this forum. I do agree with you in general though. I don't think most people would be interested in reading a blog by myself, and I'm not interested in reading a blog by others, or at least the ones I've sampled so far. I'd rather go sailing.
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Old 14-04-2014, 19:46   #9
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
another thing I hate about blogs is they all start at the end! ie the most recent first,

unless you want to wade through pages of drivel ,only to realise that you have just wasted hours of your life...........why would you read a blog??????
Have you not learned to read them backward yet??? I expected more of you!
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Old 14-04-2014, 19:47   #10
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Coops -
To a certain extent we read about the details of other lives when we read the posts on this forum. I do agree with you in general though. I don't think most people would be interested in reading a blog by myself, and I'm not interested in reading a blog by others, or at least the ones I've sampled so far. I'd rather go sailing.
Of course we do, and that is by far enough for me.

Coops.
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Old 14-04-2014, 19:56   #11
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
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Have you not learned to read them backward yet??? I expected more of you!
I learned to read forms and documents backwards many years ago,generally from being on the other side of a customs or immigration desk,checking in

I still cant work out how the arabs manage to read my passport upside down and from back to front
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Old 14-04-2014, 20:05   #12
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
I still cant work out how the arabs manage to read my passport upside down and from back to front
They don't. They see the upside down picture as being an accurate likeness of the ugly across their desk and pass you through.
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Old 14-04-2014, 20:06   #13
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Some interesting comments thus far.

The most common reason I will read a blog is because a google search directs me to some specific information I am seeking (some insights on a boat project for instance).

Once in a while for either informational or simple entertainment purposes I will find myself reading someone's blog end to end (unlike Atoll I figured that one out ). For instance when I was hunting for a boat I got this crazy idea to "go small and go now" (imagine!) and I read adventuresoftinybubbles.com end-to-end. I didn't just want to know about their boat but also their cruising style and whether they were like me (would make the kinds of choices I would). For me, that is rare.

I don't read any blogs regularly like periodicals, but there are a few that I will check in on from time to time -- particularly if they are a credible source of info. For instance, I probably look at something on the Morgan's Cloud site as well as Beth and Evan's and a couple times a year. I rarely comment on blogs and often am uninterested in other's comments. There are a few exceptions where the comments are substantive and often authoritative in their own right (think Morgan's cloud or NYT articles).

Since I am not really attached to reading certain blogs regularly, I don't really "stop reading them" but the same sorts of things which tend to lead you away from or past other things in life apply to blogs. Overt politics (I unless I happen to like both the substance and manner of relating them), self-indulgence; a topic which is no longer applicable to my life will all lead me away. Similarly, the things which bring you back to personal experiences help: humor, substance, depth a connection to the reader. . ..

Good luck with whatever you are up to!

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Old 14-04-2014, 20:21   #14
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

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

I read blogs, and watch videoblogs, when I'm in learning mode. I'm new to sailing and cruising, so I'm perusing quite a few now, and visiting this forum. Blogs are a great way to glean information on particular topics fairly quickly. If they are interesting I can get drawn further in and read about things that are tangental to my original quest. Blogs need to be well written and have some humour, and certainly not just a 'watch me' story. Sailing destination blogs are great to get a different persons perspective about a place at a certain point in time. They sometimes pick up things that I would certainly have missed.
2. How often do you want to see a posting

I have rarely followed serial blogs as they happen, but when I do, I only want to see a posting when something interesting happens. The problem is people vary greatly in what they find interesting.

3. Are you interested in the comments others post to the blog? I've read some, but the comments are usually not useful. The only useful comments I have found pointed to additional resources for information.

4. Would you continue to read a blog if it did not have a comments button? Yes
5. What would make you stop following a blog?
If it got boring, or I collected enough information to move on to a different level. I certainly stop reading immediately if the blogger starts posting opinions as fact, especially those that are outside of their area of expertise. Also comments of a religious or political nature are a turn off.

As to reading a blog being voyeuristic- well I don't think so. But to write a blog you certainly need an exhibitionist streak or at least be very much an extrovert.

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Originally Posted by Lin Pardey View Post
Thanks for your help.
No problem!
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Old 14-04-2014, 20:30   #15
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Re: What makes you want to read a blog?

Have to concur with most of the other answers. To me a blog about the day to day what we did, where we went, what we ate, what Iwerepaired/painted/replaced, and how the we felt about the whole thing holds no interest at all for me. However as I think about it there are exceptions to that. Very rarely a blog that shows some introspection or describes cruising or passage making or some aspect of boating in and interesting or innovative way can hold my attention. A blog written along the lines of Steve Callahan's book would hold my attention.

Otherwise, informational blogs. A blog giving details on cruising to some location like: the charts don't show the shoaling on the south side of the channel, the customs office is only open half a day on Saturdays, the best place to anchor is on the other side of the harbor, the hardware store on Main St sell stainless screws, this would be interesting.

Also blogs, if one would call this kind of information a blog, on how a certain boat job was accomplished, lists of what broke and what worked on a passage, how the poster liked a particular bit of boat gear, good service from a supplier.

Comments are completely secondary to the content.
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