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.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.