10 Annoying Aspects Of Tech Blogs
Good old Rarst posted another interesting article today about 10 things that make tech blogs unreadable. He has become quite the little ranter over at his Rarst stronghold but I have to admit that he has a point.
His post got me thinking about aspects of tech blogs that I dislike and I came up with enough stuff to make my own /diggworthy/ list. Interestingly enough that is also number one on my list..
1. Writing For Digg or Other Social Networks
The 10, Top 20, The Best.. Many articles that are written to make the Digg crowd digg the article. They seem to love top lists. And yes, I'm very well aware of the irony that this post is one.. Many people love those posts but I have to say that I avoid them at all costs unless they are special. Consider that before writing about the Top 10 Firefox extensions everyone should use or the Top 50 iPhone applications for iPhone owners.
2. It is English
My English is not perfect and I get bashed regularly in the comments because of mistakes I make. But, there are some blogs out there that are really hard to understand because of the sentence structure and choice of words. If I read something and have to guess what the author means because of the grammar used or the choice of words, then it is game over for that blog. Unless it is really unique.
Seeing articles about the same news story that originated from one source on dozens of tech blogs is something that makes me click the Delete button in rapid succession. I do not want to read about it if all that you are doing is repeat what the source already wrote. Adding information or opinion is required to keep my fingers from itching.
4. Not Linking To The Source
There are actually two aspects that annoy me here. The first is when a blog is not linking to the source it got the news from. One rule of journalism and scientific writing is to always mention the source. If you do not mention it you land in the trashcan. Yes, many respected online magazines do not like to link to (or only sparsely) other websites.
Some sites on the other hand link directly to a file that they reviewed instead of the developers homepage. That's a no-no.
5. Blogs That Are Not offering Full Feeds
Offering only partial feeds might be a way to get a little bit of traffic from visitors who read the first paragraph of an article in their feed reader. It will on the other hand annoy many tech savvy users who do not have the time to visit hundreds of websites each day to read all the articles that they could not in their feed reader. If an article is interesting enough the readers will come because they might be interested in the comments as well.
6. Advertising Instead Of Reviewing
Some companies like to buy reviews to get backlinks and exposure on the Internet. This would not be a problem if the author of the article would disclose that fact. Sometimes they do not. If it is to obvious the blog will be deleted from the feed reader.
7. Writing Unrelated Articles
Stick with the tech stuff if you run a tech blog. I'm usually not interesting in reading stories about stuff that is not tech related. If it happens occasionally that's fine but if it's a regular thing I'm gone.
8. Internal Linking
Linking internally can be a great way to provide readers with additional information about a certain aspect of an article. Some websites overdo it on the other hand and always link certain keywords to certain pages on their website even if the information is not related at all.
9. Dividing articles on pages
Dividing a top 10 list on ten pages might increase the pageviews tremendously. It will however annoy the hell out of many readers who have to use the print feature to read the full article on one page. It gets complicated if these sites do not offer full feeds or a print option.
10. Filling a Top List To Make It Look Better
People digg top 10 lists but they might not like your fabulous top 17 list. That's why you have decided to fill it with three not so fabulous entries to be able to post a top 20 list. And yes, this is another excellent example of a filler..
Your turn. Got anything to add? Let us know in the comments.Advertisement
I am always willing to rant, just keeping myself restrained most of the time. :) Just sorting through my RSS feeds (switching reader gave me more stats) and amazed how many tech blogs had turned from something I considered worth subscribing into something I can’t imagine reading.
Good points, linked to it from my post under “chain reaction”, lol.
Comparing our lists leading issue is content that is not original or interesting but copied or written by formula instead. I guess we can live when form is lacking a bit but what is worse than no good content?..
Rarst I really do not mind that much about form as long as I can grab a link from the post that is leading to a page that is hopefully written in English or another language that I understand.
btw I’m position one on Google for Rarst Stronghold, hrhr
Yeah u got a point but the most annoying thing is that theres only 1 source but around other 10 websites publish the same article, and dont even talk about digg, it sucks…
>btw Iâ€™m position one on Google for Rarst Stronghold, hrhr
Hardly competitive keyword. :) It’s strange you are not ranking for Rarst very high with your generous and abundant mentions.
You made top5 traffic sources in my 3-months milestone, I wonder how it will be on 6-months mark in January. Samer of Freeware Genius may beat your surges again with more steady blogroll link. ;)
That’s because I do not get links in for the term Rarst ;)
Lots of stuff that doesn’t somehow ranks high… :)
I love hate stuff so much :D I mean not the bad kind, but stuff like this. i swear I’ll start a blog on dark rantings I can be so cynical at times, perhaps people will be interested :) Rarst, Martin, anyone want to join? :)
The first thing which will make me run away from a site is the problem covered by No 4.
I just cannot stand a site that doesn’t bother providing a link to the develloper’s site. I’d go a wee step further & say that I dislike blogs that contain articles that do not contain the develloper’s link in the summary & force one to hit ‘read more’. I find it annoying & off-putting. A site that contains the link in the summary will cause me to actually hit ‘read more’ as obviously the blog owner doesn’t need to create false boosting to get their articles read.
Sounds like a nice theme for a blog. :)
Hi Martin, Your blog is number one on my list and many other blogs link back to yours as source so you must be doing a good job. As for blogs that complain about others and do not really add anything worthwhile, well they are what they are, not worth reading.
Heh, my first comment here… I just love the “top 10” irony in your post =)
I’d like to add a little something to no. 3, adding opinion to the post. I read quite a few tech blogs and many of them like to add this opinion to the article. The problem is they are trying to use a sort of sarcastic humor, which seems to be funny only to the author of the post at that particular time. Consequentially, when commenters mention this to the author, he tries to be even “funnier” in the follow-up post, and fails miserably, of course. “Sarcasm deluxe” only makes him look like a fool. So in such cases, where the lack of sound judgment is obvious, it is probably best just stick to the tech part, and leave the opinion for the commenters.
I hope this was understandable, I do not blog in English. Yet =)
Digg users have no taste. They love cheap top-10 lists that mainly revolves around Firefox extensions, iPhone apps, and freeware alternative to commercial application.
And there are Digg army, for sites like Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Techcrunch, LinuxHaxor that keeps digging low quality articles. I won’t find anything new on Digg. That’s why I kept returning to gHacks and Download Squad.
Humour and opinion are different things. Humour is often trying to make post funny for the sake of success with social traffic.
Opinion is adding own experience to the story like comparing to similar stuff or sharing usage history.
There can be both but you won’t find good blogs that repeatedly stick to mindless sarcasm.
And sticking to pure tech is simply boring, it’s not what blogs are. :)
Really good one….
And don’t think I am going to digg it, I will stumble ;-)
Truncated feeds is one thing that I really really hate. Why bother providing a feed at all..if the reader is gonna have to visit ur website to read stuff anyway!
As with not linking to the original sources, I have seen some people of my completely ripping off ideas and writing it on their own blog, though these may not be actual products one reviews, it definitely is really very frustrating to see someone you know do that.
hey i am also a tech blog owner, but i don’t write posts for digg and for any other social network websites because they send only useless traffic. writting posts like top 10 are totally useless they are reapeted a number of time.
most of the tech blogs won’t link to the orignal source of information i wonder why [ReadersZone links to orignal source]
this blog post is really good and i have go some real good point from this blog post.
Reflecting on blogs I like, there are a couple factors they share (or don’t):
1.) The blogs’ post’s headlines are informative and descriptive. This really helps me determine if the posting is one to invest time in reading. Also, when the post is bookmarked in the browser, a good headline becomes the bookmark title and proves invaluable when reviewing old bookmarks.
2.) Blog’s interface facilitates selection of past content. For example, if I missed all the blog’s postings from July 2008, it is extremely helpful to be able to go straight to the first July posting and then click through the rest of the month’s postings.
3.) I prefer a truncated feed that has a good informative headline with the first sentence of the unique posting. (I wish all blogs offered full and truncated feeds.)
4.) If a tech blog starts posting/advertising about political or cultural issues, I quit reading the blog. For example, if a tech blogger wants to wear their politics on their sleeve by posting pictures of their favorite candidate(s), it is buh-bye time.
5.) Tech blogs that cater to the “top 10” lists lose my loyalty and interest over time. I quit visiting Digg back in 2007 because of this sole reason