|"Wanna hear a joke?" credit|
While it wasn't originally intended to replace the respective birthday celebrations of two of our nation's finest men (Washington and Lincoln) that happen to be a week apart in February, it has taken on that significance for many. A day of great patriotism, as it were. I still think it's just an excuse to sell mattresses, cars and other big ticket items that beg for our hard-earned tax rebates. Whatever the case, I enjoyed having a rare breakfast meal with my wife on Monday nonetheless.
The grindstone returned Tuesday for many, and we've all got sore noses to show for it. Right? Right! (Just nod and agree even if you're still being a sloth. We'll never know...) As such, I thought it time to get back to the business of why people
If you'll recall, a couple of weeks back I had a two-part post on the subject (here and here) complete with fancy-schmancy survey. The votes are in, and frankly I'm a little surprised by the results.
There were 14 options to choose from (listed below) with an 'Other' category that allowed write-ins. You could vote for more than one category and as many times as you'd like, so this sucker is far from scientific. However, I tend to believe the votes are mostly genuine as 1) Why would anyone care enough about this to slant the votes? and, 2) I got an e-mail each time someone updated the survey and almost all coincided with a unique individual posting a comment as well.
Conclusion? This is at least as valid as a Florida election. (Probably more so.)
The premise was simple: Figure out why people quit following blogs. The choices were as follows:
1. Overall content isn't useful
2. Overal content is offensive
3. Don't want to be professionally associated with the themes or message of the blog
4. The blogger doesn't follow me back, or reciprocate my activity on my own blog
5. The blog is boring
6. Too few posts
7. Too many posts
8. Specific post offended me
9. Frequent mistakes in grammar, information, etc.
10. Formatting stinks (blog isn't attractive or simply cumbersome to navigate)
11. Consistent technical difficulties (pages won't load, videos won't play, etc.)
12. The blogger doesn't interact with followers
13. All of the above
Here's how the votes came in:
- Don't be offensive or boring
By far the most common grievances. Both of these are tricky, because of their highly subjective natures. Me, for example. I'm easily entertained (LOL CATS FTW!), so you're not likely to put me off in that way. I also have a broad (crude?) sense of humor and am generally easygoing, so you could probably only offend me by being mean or stupid or both--with regularity.
There was a variation on the 'offensive' line as there was a choice for jumping ship if a specific post ruffled your feathers. It got a good number of votes, but I'd suspect that post would have to be pretty over the top in most cases. Could be wrong ... I read a blog a few weeks back where the blogger admitted to dropping people from Twitter, etc. because the talked about drinking alcohol. From my POV that'd be the equivalent of dropping someone because they like Lebron James. I think they're both issues of dubious moral logic. Valid, yes, but dubious.
- Momma said to choose your friends wisely. You listened.
This one is interesting. Tied for 3rd most checked, it seems many people are cautious when it comes to the blog company they keep. Not sure if I'm surprised, as I've said many a time on this blog that folks aren't lying when they say the blog, writing and publishing worlds are punchbowl-small. I've read many, many agents say they are aware of what bloggers are saying--or at least check before taking on clients. I know author-bloggers talk a ton amongst themselves, and news travels fast.
Personally? It's a little disappointing. So long as you aren't vulgar and/or threatening I think you should share your opinions and be able (as professionals) to agree to disagree. That doesn't seem to be the case.
This is one reason I can't advocate book reviews (some of you do awesome ones, btw) if you're an author (aspiring or otherwise). Seems like a lose-lose proposition unless you genuinely love the book. And if you're only 'reviewing' books you love, they aren't reviews, they're recommendations. I digress.
More folks are put off by too many posts as opposed to too few. Who knew?
- Reciprocity is king
If you combine them, by far the thing that you'll get you bounced the most for is ignoring your followers. I consider Doesn't Follow Back and Blogger Doesn't Interact to be branches on the same tree. Both got a lot of votes. The lesson? Love your followers, and they shall love you. Shun them and they'll kick you to the curb.
Whomever voted 'All' has probably already quit following me.
- Bug free is the choice for me
Another area that, if combined, generated a lot of hits was issues in formatting, technical aspects and overall user interface. Guess the lesson here is to occasionally go to your blog as a user would (through the browser, not the blogger dashboard) and make sure it looks and behaves correctly. Also, do it right after a post goes up. Check your links, videos, etc. to make sure they're behaving. A little probably goes a long way here.
- The 'other' write-ins, because they were good
If the blog is a veiled advertisement or the content is idiotic; my interests have changed (IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME!); posts are too long (GULP).
So what do you think? Do you disagree with the majority? Anything we missed?