Ever since I started this journal, I've been browsing other blogs to see what people are talking about. I just cruise around randomly, clicking on interesting looking titles, seeing what people have to say.
And here's what I'm finding. Browsing through blogs is like browsing through your local Blockbuster. If you just selected a movie at random, once in a while you might get a quality film - a Magnificent Ambersons or a Judgement at Nuremburg. But most of the time, that movie you grab is going to be Boat Trip with Cuba Gooding Jr. or that one with Tony Danza and the Chimp. Or American Ninja 3, or something you've never heard of that mysteriously stars Burt Reynolds and Paul Newman. In other words, it's going to suck.
And that's really the status of blogs, too. In about the same proportion of good movies to bad at Blockbuster, most blogs suck. Of course, a person should get a minimum of credit for deciding to have a blog at all. Even if it sucks, at least you're trying.
So as a public service, let me point out a few common blog mistakes that we can all correct in order to have better blogs. Here are 10 things a blog should avoid:
1) Some poetry / song lyrics that were inspiring you today.
This is easily the no.1 problem. All that poetry. All those lyrics. Please stop posting lyrics, people. No one cares. No one.
2) Your anti-Bush rant / opinions about Iraq.
It's not that you couldn't have an interesting anti-Bush rant. It's not that you couldn't have interesting opinions on Iraq. It's just that you don't.
3) Describing how bored you are.
4) Your sad breakup story / love life / crush / overall state of depression.
Granted this stuff is the bread and butter of diaries, but in my opinion, you have to adopt a different standard for online posting. In the diary you keep in your sock drawer, by all means, go nuts. But if you're going to share it with the world, have something unique to say. Offer a fresh perspective.
5) Your fiction.
6) The play-by-play of your whole damn day.
7) A "daring" overtly sexual blog title.
I could have titled this blog "Twisted Nutsack" or "My Vagina". But why? Why?
8) How much you hate your job.
9) Your movie reviews / sports scores roundup / something interesting you just saw on the news.
You're not Gene Shallit, Bob Costas and Wolf Blitzer. And if you were, well that would look pretty strange.
10) Anything in one of them "foreign" languages.
That's a good start. Also, just so you know, if I click on your blog and it's just suddenly bam! Anime! I'm gone. Ditto if I'm immediately greeted with some midi-format melody.
But really, it's mostly the poetry and the lyrics.