Asking what makes a good blog is a question loaded with opinion and follow-up questions. It is not simply just asking, “what is your favorite class?” but more along the lines of, “what is your favorite food?” If someone were to ask me this I would respond with questions such as, “well, what category?” and “who is preparing it?” It would be difficult to choose breakfast foods when comparing to sweets. My point here is that there are different types of blogs out there that attract people for different reasons. Most people do not only enjoy one blog, and therefore may need to filter the question based on more specific criteria. One type of blog may attract a reader for certain reasons, while the same reader may like another blog for a completely different reason. The question is loaded and must be broken down even more.
What makes a good blog in general?
Although I make the point that blogs attract different types of people based on a person’s specific interests and the blogger’s work, I think that all blogs must include a few basic things to be successful and to be considered a blog. There is a fine line between blogging and writing posts that come across as research or news articles. Yes, blogs can contain information that is similar to these two works, but in reality blogs should have more of a personal tone, “The everyday person voice of many blogs encourages identification versus the dispassionate, clinical choice of traditional media.” (Carol, 27). It is important for readers to feel a connection with the blogger. This connection should be written in an informal tone (or close to it) and should be somewhat brief. Although tone may be different in blogs, and sometimes informal, the writing should still be clear and correct as Carol states in Digital Media Versus Analog Media, “The fact that writing appears on a computer screen rather than in a bound book does not diminish the writing’s need to be clear, concise, complete and correct (Carol, 24). I have not seen many successful blogs that are pages long per post. Secondly, the page should be easy to navigate and appealing to the eye. Although, it is hard to say that appealing to the eye makes a good blog in general because we all have different opinions of what pleases us. That brings me to my next question of, “what makes a good blog when applied more specifically to the readers and writers interests?”
As I stated previously, a blog must be easy to read and somewhat easy to navigate, but when looking further into the question I wonder what makes someone choose their favorite blogs or pick what type of blog they like to read. This is similar to the response of the question what is your favorite breakfast food? This question is much easier to answer, just like if someone were to ask what makes a good travel blog, or food blog. When the question is broken down further it is easier to answer because the interest is more specified. Upon being asked this question, I would answer saying that a good blog is one that connects with the reader. Don Hewitt, executive producer of CBS-TV’s 60 minutes said, “If you don’t know how to communicate with words, you’re in the wrong business.” (Carol, 23). Communication is simply the key to connection, which can be done through tone and writing style in blogs. The tone is still important of course, but the tone will be one that attracts and keeps readers interested. Those who like science blogs may enjoy a certain tone portrayed, but when reading a humor or fashion blog they may be turned off immediately. The reason this reader, and many others most likely, will stay with the science blog is because the blogger wrote in a tone that the reader enjoys and attracts their interest. I think that a very key thing in blog writing is connection. Unlike websites and newspapers, or even books, blogs are like diaries and are extremely personal They may not share personal information always, but there is something about knowing that there is someone on the other end sitting at their computer just like us that creates a new type of connection. Blogs should attract readers with an interesting title as well, one that may attract potential readers from afar. As we saw in class, some people jumped at the title of the blog “People I Want to Punch in the Throat”. This is an example of how just the title can gather potential readers based on one line. In addition, the blog content should participate positively to the genre that it is written in. Even if it is a causal topic, the blog should challenge readers to think or to continue wanting to read more.