Blogger whines, redux

…So Kevin Drum published his list of whines for 2009. It’s a pretty good list, but I have to disagree with some of his points. Here’s his complete list, with my comments in Bold.

  1. Blogs without comment sections. Or, blogs with comment sections that require you to go through some kind of painful registration process just to leave a one-sentence note. Yes! This means you, BoingBoing.
  2. Bloggers who don’t put their email addresses somewhere on the blog. I don’t mind looking around for it a bit (keeps the mind sharp, you know), but put it somewhere, OK? Agreed. Doesn’t actually bother me that much, though.
  3. Blogs that provide only partial RSS feeds. See also point #5, which actually bugs me a lot more. This doesn’t bug me so much either. No one makes money off RSS feeds, so there must be some incentive to actually visit their blog.
  4. Bloggers who are too damn lazy to check their links after they post something. Come on, people. Yeah, come on, people!
  5. “Teaser” blogs that put only the first paragraph or two on the main page and force you to click “continue” if you want to read the whole thing. This is both annoying and pointless. It only takes a second or two to scroll past a blog post you don’t want to read, after all. (Yes, I’m talking about you, Felix Salmon.) This really depends. I mean, if you’ve got a three-paragraph post, and you’re asking people to click through to read one more paragraph, I agree. But what if you’ve got a post that’s 8 or 10 paragraphs long? Or what if you’re embedding some bandwidth-heavy content? Most people aren’t going to click through, so this can save a lot of bandwidth. Yes, I’m biased, because that’s what CogDaily does, but at least you know now why we do it.
  6. People who say “blog” when they really mean “blog post.” Oh, God, yes.
  7. Blogs with lousy (or nonexistent) search capability. Mine, for example. Sure. But Google is usually better anyway, so it’s not a very big deal.
  8. Top ten lists that are plainly larded with filler because the listmaker couldn’t actually think of ten things to write about. Yes. And whines about top ten lists.
  9. Bloggers who can’t count. This bothers me much less than #8. You should have stopped at 8, Kevin.

As you can see, my main disagreement with Kevin is in point 5 above. I don’t see CogDaily as a “teaser” blog. You get plenty of information in the first few paragraphs to decide whether you want to read further. We usually include at least three or four paragraphs, and shorter posts don’t require clickthroughs at all.

I do agree in the case of blogs like Felix Salmon’s, which Drum calls out in his post. I mean, check this post out. You actually can’t tell from my link, but in this case, Salmon only gives you one sentence to decide whether you want to read the post. Yes, that’s a “teaser,” and it should be avoided unless there’s some serious bandwidth-hogging content below.

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3 Responses to Blogger whines, redux

  1. Kevin Drum says:

    I replied to #5 back at my place, but I’m curious about #7 too. Do you really find Google better than an internal search engine? That’s what I use since I don’t have any choice, and it sucks. Google indexes everything, including comments, which means that when I try to find a post I end up getting a thousand hits from blog posts where some commenter just happened to use the words I’m searching on. Plus the results aren’t returned in any particular order. I really miss a working internal search engine.

  2. charlie don't surf says:

    Some people make money off RSS feeds, just not the authors of the content. RSS feeds are often pirated and reposted on other blogs, unscrupulous webmasters sometimes view RSS feeds as a source of free content, so their blogs can generate advertising revenue without having to do any actual work at content creation.

  3. dave says:

    Good point, Kevin. I don’t get as many comments as you, either here or on CogDaily, so it doesn’t really affect me. In my case I’ve found that if I can remember just a few words from the post I’m looking for I can find it quite quickly.

    And good point, Charlie, as well. RSS feeds make it easy to automate piracy, so if a site’s complete feed is available, it’s more likely to get pirated. It’s also possible to automate piracy without RSS, but it takes a little more programming skill, so you don’t see it as much. The system we use on ResearchBlogging.org could actually be adapted in that way (although of course we get the bloggers’ permission to index their posts and put snippets on our site).

    That said, I’m not convinced that it really ever “steals” that much revenue from the original site. It doesn’t take long to figure out there isn’t a real person behind a pirated blog. Nearly everyone prefers the original — especially since both are free.

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