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Thursday, April 03, 2008

When the Post is Called up Yonder

Yesterday’s post on “Posts that Don’t Suck” stirred some interest, some comments, some Twitters, some emails, and some phone calls.

P.S. Follow me on Twitter here.

Most people wanted to know if I think “they suck” or “their posts suck.” I got emails from some asking if I would rate their post suck-level. I found this quite amusing. Some said the post was very helpful for them and they are already making changes.

Others, like Ann Jackson (fellow blogger and Tweet) wanted some examples of good posts and I think that is a great idea.

Let me add we all “suck” at posting from time to time. If having a degree in Public Address and being a professional public speaker for years have taught me anything it is that we will never hit it out of the ballpark every time. BUT, we can get darn close with a little thing called preparation and minimize the suck factor.

Most communication efforts that fall short do so because we don’t take the time to prepare. I would venture to guess that most posts that suck achieved suckiness in haste.

So, unless you are incredibly witty and superbly gifted for creating things and communicating well on the fly, pay attention to what others are doing that make it “work” for them and emulate what you see working.

So, with that . . .

Remember the Top 20 list from yesterday (I posted a short list at the bottom of this post). That list is our guide.

Here are a short list of posts that don’t suck from around the blogosphere this week (You would think I would be tempted to just link to all my friends’ blogs here but I promise I won’t. Some of my friends’ blog posts suck to be honest). The following short list of recent posts are examples that are hitting on “almost” all if not all cylinders.

Look at the layout, content, design, and check them against any-ol’ post out there. I think you will see what I mean.

Flowerdust (good going, Ann. And, no, I didn’t post about Ann because I felt obligated after her comment. It’s the first place I went and it’s a good example. So there.)

Ethos (nice, Randy. Randy has a lot of good examples on his blog.)

GuerillaHost (always great content! Check out the flow and spacing of this post—so easy to read and enjoyable)

Jesus Needs New PR (Matthew Paul Turner cracks me up. His posts usually hold up great to “the list”)

Jason Boyett (good use of color to break up links. Good spacing. Great grab-your-attention title)

Normal Rockstar (ahhh. The Hat Tip. The links. Gives his opinion and then points to the article rather than re-posting.)

Vertizontal (yep. The post you’re reading does not suck. Ha.)

Blog on!

Short List on Non-Suckiness
1. An interesting post title is essential.
2. Forget what you learned about paragraphs.
3. As often as possible, use links.
4. If everyone has already posted about it, don’t post about it.
5. Mention other bloggers in your post and make sure you link to them.
6. Speak your mind. We want to know what you are thinking.
7. Talk about your personal life but not too much.
8. Use images. Photos. Art. Etc.
9. Be original. Develop your own style.
10. Don’t talk to a small audience.
11. Create an identity.
12. Break from the routine every once in awhile.
13. Don’t be a downer.
14. Don’t give us old news.
15. Don’t sell the sizzle without giving us the steak.
16. Grab attention.
17. Surprise us with a "new find" every once in a while.
18. Don't re-post.
19. Break up the text.
20. Use Spell Check.


Jason Boyett said...

Thank you, John. It is my pleasure not to have sucked in at least one post this week.

Paul J. said...

If I buy you a glass of scotch, will you tell people that I don't suck?

John said...

Ha. You're welcome, Jason.

John said...

Paul, you don't have to earn my love.

Nathan said...

does my blog suck? Come on, be honest.

John said...

Nathan : : : I love reading your blog. You have a lot of great posts. I hate giving criticism--it is so much easier to talk about "blogs that suck" in vague generalities. Your blog usually has good links, humorous stuff. You usually have great spacing but sometimes, the paragraphs are a little long for me--that's my one critique. I am purposefully typing this comment as one long paragraph to give you an idea of what I try to stay away from.

But, dude . . . I love you and your blog. I usually get a good laugh and I learn some new things.

Thanks for introducing me to the Lullaby Renditions by the way. They kick booty.

I should do another post about "types" of blogs.

Sometimes, blogs exist to inform family and friends about what is going on in our lives and they have a different set of "rules." They can be personal by design.

For the most part, I think your blog leans towards the "personal." Would you agree? P.S. That baby is so cute I want to tickle her and smell the top of her head--"Freedom has the scent."

Some are trying to get a large reading audience and grow a blog in order to advertise and be recognized as an "expert" and they have different rules.

I don't think I am a blogging expert per se but most of the non-suck rules are about good written communication and I feel I can speak to that issue well.

Survey says : : : your blog does not suck.

Nathan said...