To the chopping block

A week ago, I was following roughly 250 blogs and getting desperate. Why? Simply put, because they were eating my life away, biting off time, chewing it up and swallowing it like a pack of ravenous wolves. So I put my foot down and started culling. Ruthlessly.

At first it was pretty easy - I went through my Dashboard and noted all the blogs whose entries I just never got around to reading. Poof! Gone. Then it got harder. After a while I was close to tearing my hair out, but I learned a pretty valuable lesson in the process, which, without further ado, is this: what to do (and not do) to make your blog interesting.

My personal preferences certainly aren't everyone's, and, as a pretty small-time blogger myself, I can't claim to know all (or even most, or even some) of the answers, but in case you were wondering what makes your blog interesting, this is what I think. There are three major components I found myself considering when I was trying to make my decisions.

1. Subject Matter. This is completely subjective, and not indicative of the overall blog quality at all. Simply put, is your blog about something that interests me? While all the blogs I follow are book/writing/agenting/publishing blogs, some of them are less relevant to me than others - I ended up cutting a lot of blogs that simply didn't focus on books I was interested in.

2. Unique Content. People may have different opinions on this one. Personally, I am not so into the memes that circle the web three times over every week. Perhaps it's because I follow so many blogs, but when I see twenty blog posts in a row titled "It's Monday! What are you reading?" or "Waiting on Wednesday," etc. etc., I tend to stop reading. While these memes are totally fine in moderation (and I do read some of them), I always appreciate a blog that does more than just book reviews, and more than just memes. I'm always on the lookout for the blogs that show some personality and perspective.

3. Quality Control. This one's a little nit picky, but I'll be honest. Evidence of poor editorial skills (misspelled words, egregious grammatical errors) automatically put me off a blog. My blog is certainly not an example of utter grammatical perfection, but I like to think my writing is moderately readable. To me, confusion of it's vs. its is just sloppy. Also falling under the Quality Control section is the design of the blog itself. Blogs with too much going on visually, blogs that take forever to load, blogs with clashing color schemes so bad the content is difficult to read, blogs written in weird fonts... When it comes down to it, if I find it hard on the eyes to visit a blog, that's not a good sign. (I also can't stand blogs that play music when you open them. Having an option to play a song is fine, but forcing a song on someone just because they clicked on a blog? That will drive me away in seconds.)

So there you have it - my quickly typed thoughts on the process of blog elimination. In other news, I've been reading some really interesting books lately. Keep an eye out for a few reviews, and for the announcement of my Ultimate Goal.