I have just been trying to get the new Attensa update working (yes, it has stopped working for me again, it is great when it works though) and have taken the opportunity to trim down my OPML. As I worked through my list of feeds I realised there were certain things that were guaranteed to make me drop a subscription, I thought I would share my reasons here.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, and the examples have been changed to protect the guilty, each point is based on one or more real blogs. I trimmed over twenty blogs from my feeds just this morning, I am sure there will be more when I go back over them.
Here are the top ten reasons why I will drop your feed:
- Hardly post and when you do it is to apologise for not posting – I don’t mind an irregular posting frequency providing when you do post it is something worthwhile and valuable. We all know people have other priorities in their lives, and an apology is obviously well meant, but please include the apology as a PS. on the end of a worthwhile post. And do not post three apologies in a row.
- Re-post boingboing or some other popular blog, or copy and paste press releases – This one really gets on my nerves. Original material is what we want, or at least your own opinions on other peoples stories. If I wanted to read BoingBoing I would subscribe to it (I do), if I wanted press releases I would look on the PR sites, tell me why I should care, pull out the juicy bits, link to more than one site.
- Only ever write when in a bad mood, drunk or have nothing to say – It startles me how many people seem to post in a bad mood. We have discussed recently the “trollish” behaviour of some bloggers and comments so I won’t rehash it here. I guess this is no different to shock-jock DJs who go on air just to rant. Someone must like it, not my cup of tea I am afraid. Hmm .. is this post making me look hypocritical? heh
- Constant unrelenting negativity – This is related to the point above but is wider in that it includes people who have a blog just to moan. I don’t mind blogs as therapy but when it is advertised as a “photography blog” or a “gadget blog” and it is full of depression and moaning I think I am justified in dropping the subscription.
- Bang on about the same old gripe day after day – OK, you feel like the a-list, Microsoft or Google have something against you personally, we heard you the first thousand times, move on already!
- Talk down to your audience like they are idiots – Thankfully this doesn’t happen all too often but I guess that is one of the things that makes it so surprising when it does happen. Obvious lies also stand out as incredibly insulting.
- Be incomprehensible – Fill your feed with cryptic post titles and snippets that don’t give any indication of what the post is about. Have navigation that is designed to cause your audience pain. Yup, that would work.
- Be elitist – Exclude a large part of your audience with in-jokes you never explain and only reply to clique members comments
- Be needy – Constantly suck up to the A-List, name dropping people you have never met as if you know them. Again, once in a while yeah this is ok, but on an ongoing basis it soon gets old if your every post contains “names”.
- Constant irrelevance – Remember Nicks 8020 rule – don’t spend two weeks posting about your cats flea problem on a technology-oriented blog
Ok, that is my list, what things do bloggers do that get right up your nose and cause you to drop their feed? Let us know what we might be doing wrong!