Bloggers from Whom I Learn the Most

Blogging as a genre, hobby, art form, or medium, whatever you wish to call it, is an umbrella over a wide wide array of writing “types.” Which ones do you learn the most from?

Below is a post I wrote mid 2007.  It’s funny how I still agree with some of this and other stuff I once swore off I now tend to do.  This is a cool by-product of blogging, you get to go back and read your own hopes, dreams, and goals to see if they’ve changed or not.

A while back I blogged about the people from whom I learn the most. Tonight I want to talk a little bit about the bloggers from whom I learn the most. Blogging as a genre, hobby, art form, or medium, whatever you wish to call it, is an umbrella over a wide wide array of writing “types.” Which ones do you learn the most from?  I have my favorite “types” on my Google Reader.  I spend a lot of time (my wife often tells me too much and she’s probably right) trying play my part in the game. I think of it as my “contribution” and whatever I do in my life I always aim to do right by my contribution. Anyway, as I peruse blogs and read posts out there in the vast nothingness, I learn what I like and what I don’t. I thought I’d list 5 and 5: 5 blogger “types” (no need to name names, though names exist!) that I glean things from and then 5 types that teach me what NOT to do.

First, Bloggers from whom I learn the most:

  1. Writers of short posts. Long posts, unless they are very well constructed . . . bore the hell out of me and I rarely finish them. If the title isn’t “amazing” then I will prboably move on before I even reach the end, ergot the point, of the post.
  2. Writers with a “#### you” attitude. The rugged individualist has always been my arch-typical hero in modern culture. The day I lose my attitude, is the day they’ll be lowering my casket into the ground. I identify with other bloggers who share that perspective.
  3. Bloggers with original layouts.
  4. Bloggers who post often.
  5. Bloggers who comment on my site and re-comment when I visit their blogs. Also those who respond in the form of a comment to comments on their posts.

TIP: Usually you can go back to check replies to your comments on other blogs by checking their “subscribe to comments” box. Sometimes they don’t have that feature. In that case, I have a dedicated folder on my bookmarks list where I save links to posts I comment on. This makes going back much easier and much more probable.

Second, Bloggers from Whom I learn what generally NOT to Do:

  1. Any blog on monetization, seo, or “how to grow your traffic.”
  2. Angry bloggers that never come up for air.
  3. Pity party posters.
  4. Careful bloggers who explain too much.
  5. AND . . . (of course you had to know this was coming) OVER-THE-TOP AD WIDGET FOLKS. (sorry, just callin’ it like it is!!!)

*If anyone feels personally attacked by this post, please don’t. I write posts of all these types. None of us will ever be perfect at this but I’m aiming at perfection anyway!

Author: Damien Riley

I'm an online diarist, blog film critic, & podcaster. My views on films and life are often 'left of center' on, but I have respect for other viewpoints. I married my high-desert princess (now my queen). We have 3 children.

8 thoughts on “Bloggers from Whom I Learn the Most”

  1. Well, I fall into number one.. That’s mainly because a lot of times you can’t get the same information across with a short, zingy post. If I could do it, I would. :)

    I’m the opposite – I adore a long post. I love reading what people have to say regardless of size. ;) I don’t discriminate in this area.. ;)

    I’m with you on most everything else, though.

    Snoskred
    http://snoskred.blogspot.com/

  2. Oh, boy, interesting!!!! I hope I fall into most of the good posting things, although…(shhhhh!) I know my posts are long and maybe too careful, too! Actually, I’m really glad that you wrote this because I noticed the other day that I am getting “wordier” lately. I personally don’t care about the length of someone’s post as long as it’s decently written, but now you’ve confirmed my thinking that if some people see a long post, they just don’t read it.

    I agree with the commenting back, too. I had never done that previously but when I see the interaction on yours and SHelly’s blogs, I am going to do it, too. It’s a fantastic idea!!

    These are great things to think about!!!

  3. @ Snoskred: It is a tough thing to pull off. Every now and then it works, but to my way of thinking it’s wiser to KISS (keep it shorter stupid!) LOL. When I taught English 1 at the community college I taught that about essays as well, so it’s probably more of a personal observation/preference than a mathematical rule. Thanks for your comment. Sorry I haven’t been commenting as much on your site, it’s blocked at my work (blogspot right?) and when I get home latey I’ve been too busy with the babies and with my own blogstuff. I will get over there to do some more reading tho.

    @Jessica the Rock Chick: You are fine! LOL. As for me, I look at words as spices . . . no matter how good they are, too many wreck the recipe . . . but that’s just me. Some people love long posts . . . I can tell you from a teacher’s perspective that it is proven the human brain can only handle small ideas in chunks of no more than 3 main ideas at one sitting. If nothing else, it’s something for my friends to think about . . . or not. it’s all good! Thanks so much.

  4. Well, Damien, we know I have a hard time with short, though I have purposely been throwing in shorter ones now and then. But I will read any length if it is the slightest bit interesting.

    I love reading blogs that comments are replied to, I actually go back and read many of them when I return to a blog.

    Good subject!

  5. Yes, I am really trying to be better at going back to comments I’ve made to see responses. Usually you can go back to check replies to your comments by checking the “subscribe to comments” box on a blog. Sometimes they don’t have that feature. In that case, I have a dedicated folder on my bookmarks list where I save links to posts I comment on. This makes going back much easier and much more probable.

  6. Good article Damien, some other info is use the A/C best term. I read that the ideal article should be about 400 – 500 words maximum unless it is a technical how-to guide or something. Those are the ideal article size for approval on Associated Content and that is really just one giant blog anyway.

  7. I don’t mind long blog posts as long as the post is divided into sections with proper subheadings. Just like reading the newspaper, sectioniong chunks of info makes for easy reading.

    I learn most from bloggers who post well thought out, pithy content, especially those presenting original ideas or point of view. I also learn from writers who stand strong in the face of adversity, they inspire me.

    I don’t learn from negative people who whine all the time about this and that being unfair yet refuse to work towards a solution or at least listen to advice/suggestion.

    BTW, I cringe at most of my earlier posts! Yikes. Oh well, live and learn!

    PS: the link at the start of your post is showing a “nothing found” page.

  8. I remember this post when it made its first appearance! It is kind of funny how blogging goals evolve over time. At that time, for me, it was all about an A-lister Technorati score. I was always very anti-blogging for $, because I thought it would take the fun out of it and most of the posts for money I read around in the internet are…..blah. I really like how you turn them into personal stories and how you share your system with everyone. You put your own mark on things and I like that about you.

    P.S. I still write longwinded comments and posts ;) Not everything changes hahaha

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