Ever since I decided to start blogging, I have spent quite a lot of time looking at other people's efforts. I am having a tough time finding blogs that I want to stick with, but there are some from which I click-off very quickly.
If a person can't be bothered to capitalize the letter, "I," this reader will soon be gone. This is a lazy habit in my opinion, most likely born from chatroom reality where time is of the essence. From there, it makes its way into emails. I don't particularly appreciate its appearance in emails either, but I am grudgingly prepared to tolerate it.
A blog, however, lives in the public domain. It is a genuine form of publishing, and, the writer should demonstrate respect both for the language and for a potentially diverse audience — some of whom are bound to care about such matters. I have come across some blogs that showed potential — one by a doctor travelling and working abroad — but whenever I discover that an author can't be bothered to follow basic conventions and to capitalize the ninth letter of the alphabet, I soon click away. How hard is it to capitalize one letter after all?
Another click-off: if the blog is but three lines long, I conclude that it is nothing but a news-release for close friends who must also have a short attention span. Why wouldn't you just email three lines? If one goes to the trouble of publishing a blog, it would seem reasonable to assume that one would enjoy writing and would have something, however modest, to say. If you're going to go public, you need to demonstrate some pride in your product.
What about all those blogs that open with a reference to last night's party, or a hangover, or boyfriend/girlfriend angst? An occasional reference of this sort might be fine, but if it soon becomes apparent that it is the sum and substance of the blog, then off I go.
I believe in the value of personal blogs, and I understand that there must be a certain amount of the recounting of days and events. We all do that from time. I do it, and I contend that it is both necessary and okay to do so. But, to hold my interest, a blog must, eventually, contain more. It must contain some thoughts, lessons, applications, or description — something beyond straightforward chronicling.
I have stumbled across some fairly popular personal blogs that don't measure up in my opinion. Are they popular simply because the writer has a wide circle of friends? Perhaps these are veteran bloggers whose perspicacity attracted readers in the past, and, having developed a sense of community they now hang on?
Do I sound overbearingly elitist? If you've read my stuff, I trust that you realize that nothing could be further from the truth. I'm about as ordinary and unpretentious as one can be. I don't have any great delusions about my own writing prowess either, but at least I make an effort. Perhaps, that’s the key. If you’re going to go live, put just a little effort into it.