A good blog has many important characteristics that mirror all types of writing; both analog and digital. A good blog is aesthetically pleasing and intellectually stimulating. Design and style are equally as important as content. In Lance Hosey’s article “Why We Love Beautiful Things,” he stresses the significance of good design, “it should come as no surprise that good design, often in very subtle ways, can have such dramatic effects,” (Hosey, 2). In class we discussed the interior design in Chipotle and how each restaurant is designed specifically to appear less welcoming in order to maintain a steady flow of customers. People reading digital content will not bother looking at a blog if it is cluttered, crowded with advertisements or poorly laid out.
An example of a terribly designed blog is http://badhairday.typepad.com/bad_hair_day/. First of all, the topic is pointless, is that really worth making an entire blog about? No. Initially, the tacky banner photo is tasteless at best while the endless stream of ads on the right banner distract from the actual blog posts (not that anyone would want to read them). The small information section on the left banner has grammatical errors and many unnecessary capitalizations. The color scheme is not visually pleasing and the content is poorly written.
My example of a bad blog meets little to none of the Top Ten Steps to Better Blogging, highlighted in Writing for Digital Environments by Brian Carroll. The writer hasn’t posted anything new since 2007. Although it could be considered ‘authentic,’ it just comes off as tacky.
A good example of an aesthetically pleasing and intellectually stimulating blog is http://www.viviannadoesmakeup.com. Although she currently has a large banner ad for Herbal Essences surrounding the content, the blog itself has a very crisp, simple appearance. At the top there is an easy to navigate banner with links to social media, as well as a search engine and popular posts on the right banner. Instead of having to scroll through each post, she provides a title and picture preview to link you to the actual post. The photos are very high quality and there are no distracting ads on the posts themselves. My example of a good blog meets all of the steps. The author writes every day and always produces high quality writing. She is clear in voicing her opinions and makes a strong effort to reply to comments or questions on her posts.
A high quality blog is an amalgamation of good writing and smart design. It takes a stand, voices an opinion and draws readers in. It prompts discussion and debate, as well as praise and criticism. Digital writing is a great way to write what you want to write in a very personal and creative platform,