Can you imagine wearing bell-bottom pants today? I’m not talking about slender bell-bottoms that are in fashion today, but the ones that shot out a foot from either side of your ankle and dragged on the floor as you walked, making voom voom noises as the fabric flapped between your legs. Combined with the 3 inch thick cork clogs you wore, and tied died, torn t-shirts, you were your own audio and visual marching band. Would you wear those today and feel en vogue?
What about hoop skirts? Imagine wearing a hoop skirt, your head piled 2 feet high with hair, and getting into a subway today at rush hour? Totally inappropriate fashion for today’s lifestyles, right?
Well, there are tons of websites still wearing fashions that are more than 10 years out of date.
Do you resemble that remark?
Recent, I wrote about Lorelle on WordPress called “Things I Want Gone from the Web in 2007“, which took a stab at outdated website fashions. If you want to wear the latest in blog fashions, you need to know what is seriously out of step with the hottest trends in online styles and “glammer”.
- Visiting a secondary page to comment is so old fashioned. Keep comments and comment forms on your blog post so the conversation stays connected with content.
- Forcing readers to jump through hoops in order to comment has seriously past its expiration date in fashions. There are powerful comment spam fighting tools out there today, like Akismet, so you don’t have to test your readers before they comment.
- Comment spam is also totally not hot this year. Any comment spam found on your blog just shouts lack of fashion sense.
- Out-of-control advertising is covering our blogs from head to toe. Stop it. It’s like wearing the top twenty fashion styles all at the same time. Nothing makes sense, it’s hard to look at, and, honey, it’s a serious fashion faux pas. Not every blog needs to make money. And, hey, advertisers! Pay attention! Your ads are ugly! Make them look like something someone wants to click and not like comment spam! Got it! Good!
- Websites and blogs which play “background” music for you to read by is 10 years out of fashion. The same with things that dance and move on your blog. It’s like women who still wear big hair and poofs. Past due. Dead. Old fashioned. And in many instances, criminally nasty.
- Link lists without content also screams horrid lack of style sense, like blond roots on fake brunettes. Oooo icky!
- Link spawning is so passé. Forcing links to open in new windows died off about four years ago in popularity. It doesn’t comply with web or accessibility standards, and makes your blog look stuck in the 90s.
- Is your blog stuffed with Flash? This is like wearing fashion knock-offs. While Flash, videos, podcasts, and other all media content is cool and looks good, without the words to back up the content, it’s like off-label styles. It looks good but doesn’t work right. Search engines and readers are still stuck in text, so give them the words to help them identify your visual and audio content, putting the name back in your fashion style labels.
- Stop wasting bandwidth. We live in a new green economy and fashion generation where waste is an unforgivable fashion trend. Wasting time, bandwidth, money, energy…stop the waste that comes with duplicating each other’s content, stealing content and images, blog bling icons, and visual noise. Stop emailing billions and billions of crap to each other. Do all you can to stop comment spam from slamming your servers and databases and keep it out of the public eye. Clean up and minimize your blog’s lifestyle and fashion style. Think quality over quantity.
And if anything should appear in the web fashion world this year, it should be a trend in getting back to the basics. Remember when even having a web page was valuable? When it was a place to let your voice be heard and to have your say?
Today, blogs are giant mimeographs, photocopying each other’s content and subject matter. Look deep within your heart and soul and find your voice, the one begging for the chance to share its words with the world. Let that be one the one heard and showcased on your blog.
If anything is in fashion this year for the blogging world, it’s “you”. The personal you. The real you. The you that blogs, and blogs in style.
Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on Lorelle on WordPress and author of Blogging Tips, Tips Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging.