I’ve been writing my weblog for about a year and a half, and reading weblogs for about two days longer than I’ve been writing one. I jumped right in when I learned about them. Now, after eighteen months, I have probably read a couple of hundred weblogs. I still read a dozen or so regularly; well, more than that. And I have developed opinions about what makes a weblog worth reading and keeps me from unsubscribing from it:
It has an RSS feed.
RSS feeds are the best: you can use software like NewNewsWire (I use the free “Lite” version”), which will tell you when a weblog has been updated. That way, you don’t have to check repeatedly for new content. It’s also possible to preview entries, so you can decide which ones are worth clicking to. David says he rarely clicks through to a whole entry in the weblogs he monitors.
It has a focus of some kind.
Many of the weblogs I read aren’t personal, but are the weblogs of people who find and comment on news on a specific topic. I follow weblogs on education, standardized testing, books, and religion, among others. Even personal weblogs are, in my opinion, stronger if they focus on one aspect of a person’s life, whether it’s infertility, religious practice, or status as a former celebrity. Weblogs that descirbe themselves as “my random musings” are usually not worth looking at, or at least, not worth sticking with.
It should be updated regularly.
At least twice a week is nice.
Except for the RSS feed part, I’ve mostly failed at creating a weblog that meets my own standards. But that’s OK—I consider this a rough draft, a first attempt, and a learning experience. I look forward to writing a better weblog.
Which you may or may not be able to read. You see, I’ve come to see the advantages of creating an anonymous weblog. I want to be able to say what I really think about my mother, I want to complain about my job where my boss can never see it, I want to express un-Quakerly thoughts without wondering whether my friend Weaver from my Friends meeting is going to decide she doesn’t like me anymore, I want to work out some political issues I’m having without friends piling on me because I’m having some doubts about some of the things we used to all believe…you get it. So I’m closing Genius Toiling in Obscurity for now, and opening up an anonmymous weblog somewhere on the World Wide Web. It’s a little scary to leave behind my small but devoted readership, but it’s exciting to think I can talk freely about some things I’m been mulling over but haven’t wanted to be public with.
So, so long for now. And thanks bunches.Posted by Su Penn at June 28, 2004 05:29 PM | TrackBack