I’m in a Chicago hotel room right now and just paid $9.95 to get internet access so I could check e-mail. I wasn’t going to make a blog entry because it’s late and I want to get up early tomorrow in order to do all the fun stuff in Chicago (like going to a Bulls game) that we have planned. However, I found this old draft which has been waiting to be posted since February 23, 2003. I should have posted it a long time ago, but I believe it still applies today.
I probably won’t have internet access again until I get home in a few days, so if I don’t respond to your comments until then, you’ll know why. As a side note, the Bulls aren’t doing too well this year, but they’re playing the one team in the NBA with a worse record: the Orlando Magic. I’m wondering what it’s going to be like to watch the two worst teams in the NBA duke it out. They have very little to lose, so maybe they’ll do something interesting. Anyway, back to the post.
Here is a list of things I feel can be done to improve a blog (I apply this to my own blog as well). Feel free to add more ways to improve in the comments.
1. Show the post on the comments page so visitors can refer to it easily (and even quote from it) in their comments.
2. Check the spelling in your entries and make sure the links work.
3. Write about topics which you are concerned about, or ones for which you have access to insider information.
4. Have fun. If you enjoy writing entries, people are more likely to enjoy reading them.
5. Use accessible links for comments when using pop-up windows.
6. This isn’t a common problem but if you mention a specific link, add the href tag. It’s very frustrating to see a link and not be able to click it.
7. Write regularly.
8. Make sure the design doesn’t in any way detract from the content (pages at a reasonable size, text color readable on background, links easily distinguished from regular text).
9. Make the archives easy to find and search through.
10. Make your permanent links easy to locate. To verify this, find someone who hasn’t seen your page before, give them a general explanation of a permanent link, then ask them to locate it on your site. If they can’t find it in less than 5 seconds, it’s probably too hard to find.