A week and a half ago I had a sudden realization. Subscriptions generally cost money. Think about that for a second. It’s jarring, especially if you’ve spent the past few months or even years incessantly asking your readers to subscribe…
Are you being completely clear with your word choice? When you ask your readers to subscribe, are you asking them to do the virtual version of writing their name underneath? Or are you asking them to agree to pay you a sum of money?
This is a great example of the WTF Blog Design Clutter. The words you use to entice someone to “buy” your free service can confuse readers. By changing the words, Franzen saw a huge increase in feed and email subscriptions. read more
Blogs began their life as online journals. Then weblogs became the word, which eventually was shortened to blogs. Do you still call them online journals? Weblogs? Or are you “with it” and call them blogs?
Every once in a while I run across an article by a new blogger or an article not updated from five years ago that refers to blogs as weblogs. I saw one reference that called them weBlogs – not referencing a company but in a sentence about blogs in general.
When I see someone calling blogs “weblogs” I think that they aren’t up with the times, don’t you? When I see people using old terminology or wrong terms, I try not to judge them, but it’s really hard, since their words are all I have to evaluate. The wrong name for something can put me totally off. It tells me that they don’t know what they are talking about, and they certainly aren’t going to give me new and valid information. Do you feel that way?
The language, especially the language of the web, is evolving quickly. I remember when we laughed at Yahoo being a silly name for anything, let alone an Internet directory, then giggling over Google. Not much giggling now. These words are part of our every day lingo and we google for information without a second thought at what we are saying. read more
In this ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, we’ve talked about blog clutter with too many “friend” pictures and badges and calendar archives, two of the many elements many use to clog up their blog’s sidebar. “Clutter” is a matter of perspective. If these added design elements really work for your blog, serve your blog’s purpose, and enhance the reader’s experience, leave them. In fact, put them at the top where they are the first thing people will see next to your post title and content beginnings. Promote them. If they are that important, let them stand out.
If they are not important, then they do become clutter.
One of the most popular blog clutters are the Most Recent Comments and Shout Boxes that many feel are important elements to a blog’s design.
The web is now social. People are experimenting with all types of methods to bring the social to their blogs and emphasize how social their blogs are – or at least appear to be. Among the most popular and easy to do are most recent comment widgets and chatting shout boxes. read more
Remember the old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression? You personally may get a second chance to sway that first impress, but your blog doesn’t. If you don’t grab them within the first micro-seconds of a visit, they won’t subscribe and they won’t be back.
Digging through a lot of blogs recently to research an upcoming article, I found myself thinking “WTF” as I looked at the designs. I was constantly distracted from the content I was eager to read through and quote towards things that blinked, flashed, or listed irrelevant stuff. My eyes had to work overtime to stay focused on the information I was there to glean. read more