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  1. #51
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    I thought of another one:

    • Filler content. I think some newbie bloggers see that to build a community you need frequent posts, and take this as an excuse to write filler content. The best example of filler content I can think of is meta-blogging, but I have seen people go way off topic just because they haven't posted in a few days. If you are writing a gadget blog, your readers won't be interested in what you had for breakfast.
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  2. #52
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulgb View Post
    • Too much meta-blogging. I get tired of people blogging about their blog. I don't care about your stats or page rank. Neither does anyone else.
    Agreed. I think a perfect example of this is GooglGuy, Matt Cutts blog. For a while he would talk about Google stuff on a regular basis, now it is a half a dozen posts about his cats and trips with one post about Google. His RSS feed will be the next on my chopping block when I need space on my Firefox "Bookmarks toolbar".

    Quote Originally Posted by paulgb View Post
    • Selling out. I can understand if you want to make money from your blog, if that is why you started the blog in the first place. I mean, if you are creating quality content, you deserve to be rewarded. And from a financial perspective, a blog with 10 hits a day that is monetized is making more money than one with 1000 hits a day that isn't. Just don't be offended if I unsubscribe. And for goodness sake, don't over do it.
    What I have learned is that sometimes less is more. Over the past year I have been very carefully monitoring my ads and axing any ad slot or banner slot that didn't preform up to my expectations. What I have discovered is that by eliminating ad slots I have actually ended up making more money because my pages load faster and the remaining good preforming ads have less competition for attention. It is all about signal to noise ratio.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulgb View Post
    • Required registration. I shouldn't have to subscribe to your blog to comment. If the problem is spam, get a good plugin. Blogs should be a two way conversation; if it is easier for me to unsubscribe than to leave a comment, you can guess which one I will do.
    Agreed!


    Quote Originally Posted by paulgb View Post
    • Your opinions suck. If your blog is based on your opinions, they better be well thought out. I won't unsubscribe because I disagree with you, but I will unsubscribe if I think your opinions are a waste of time.
    Absolutely I don't care if I agree with your opinion or am interested in your topic or not, if your posts are not well thought out, you won't stay on my toolbar.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulgb View Post
    • Not doing something original. Generally I would not subscribe to a blog that doesn't do anything original in the first place, but if by some accident I did, it would certainly not last long. This includes posting whatever you see on d!gg/reddit/fark with a paragraph of your own opinion, especially if the opinion sucks (see above point)
    My feeling is that if I want short summaries of other people's articles I'll visit Google news. I'm only interested in blogs with original content or that at least analyze topical news items in an original way relying on multiple sources.


    Quote Originally Posted by paulgb View Post
    • Taking on more bloggers. It might just be a coincidence, but I have seen more than one blog go downhill after taking on more bloggers. In another case, I saw a blog improve significantly. The difference was that the blog that improved increased quality, while the other blogs increased quantity.
    Additional bloggers should only be added on to increase the quality of a blog by giving each blogger more time to research and write good posts. I have a toolbar full of blogs and I'm not going to visit yours six times a day unless you are REALLY good.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys View Post
    Another reason I would unsubscribe: Only partial text on your RSS feed. If I'm not getting the whole article, I have no reason to waste my time on your feed.
    I have to disagree with this. I see no purpose in providing a complete feed, because many people use feeds as cheap content for their own sites and with live bookmarks like Firefox's bookmark toolbar, more and more readers don't actually need full posts. Besides the way I see it is that while yes my focus is on producing high quality reading material I still need to generate revenue and I have no chance of generating any revenue unless you actually visit my site to read my articles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys View Post
    If you want me to click through to your site and see some ads (I don't mind a few ads, as long as they're not overdone and/or pop unders), make your content compelling enough for me to want to comment on it.
    I'll totally agree on this. A fast loading site is critical and clean HTML and not going overboard on graphics is important to ensure fast loading.

    Of all of the important things listed above I think the most important thing is quality over quantity. I read to learn and be informed, don't waste my time with detritus and poor writing and use a spell checker for crying out loud.
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  3. #53
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLB View Post
    I have to disagree with this. I see no purpose in providing a complete feed, because many people use feeds as cheap content for their own sites and with live bookmarks like Firefox's bookmark toolbar, more and more readers don't actually need full posts. Besides the way I see it is that while yes my focus is on producing high quality reading material I still need to generate revenue and I have no chance of generating any revenue unless you actually visit my site to read my articles.
    Splogs are unavoidable... ignore them (the way Google usually does) or send out DMCA notices to their host/complaints to Google if you feel the need.

    But you'll gain more subscribers by using a full feed. Most RSS readers these days probably subscribe to at least 10 feeds, often over 20 or even hundreds. RSS is a way to get your favorite content in one place... the point is to save time and not have to click through to every site you want to read.

    A full text feed will get you more readers (see this report, for example), it will get your more readers (people are more apt to read the full post if they don't have to click through), and if you write compelling content, it will get more readers interacting with your site. Which means -- more readers > more readers clicking through > more website viewers in the long term.

    If you want to monetize it, Feedburner offers some chances for larger publishers (which I'm guessing will get better now that Google is buying the company).

    I think the trade off (dealing with splogs vs. more people reading your content) is such that full text feeds are full worth it for the publisher.

    This guy has it right:

    "We can't expect consumers to come to us," says Quincy Smith, the president of CBS Interactive. "It's arrogant for any media company to assume that."

    (via)

    If you free your content and let your users consume it where and how they want, it will help you in end. Keep your readers happy and you will reap the rewards.

    (There's a reason why most of these blogs use full text feeds... certainly not all, but most of the largest do)
    Josh is an anomaly
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  4. #54
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Sorry Josh, we'll have to disagree on the full post vs. short post thing.

    I see no value in pushing full versions of my posts via RSS feeds. In fact I see it as a waste of bandwidth. At the same time, I see a great value in other sites using summary RSS feeds of my articles on their sites (ala Google News). I also don't want to have to deal with splogs republishing my whole posts because I put them in my feeds. This would just be a massive waste of my time. Even if I were to just balance more people reading my writings vs splogs stealing my content I have to say publishing full posts is a losing proposition overall.

    The value I get out of people reading my articles is them actually visiting my site. If they don't visit my site I don't get opportunities to attract them to my other stuff (like career listings). I see summary RSS feeds as a way to allow people to keep tabs of what I'm publishing on my site and knowing when I've published something new without them having to blindly checking my site on a regular basis.

    The only thing I wish was that Blogger allowed me to control my summaries so that I could provide readers with concise synopsis's of my posts so that readers could know if it is something they are interested in reading.

    I'm not saying that full text feeds don't work for some sites, I'm simply saying that there are very valid reasons why some of us only want to provide summaries and each publisher must weigh the pros and cons of each method for themselves. For me I'm comfortable that summaries are the best route for many reasons even if it means I get fewer users subscribing to me RSS feeds.
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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Primed View Post
    ^well put, but why would you unsubscribe when they have adds on the site(and not adds in the entries and hence the RSS). They wouldn't get any money out of you that way.
    Sorry I'm delayed on my response Daniel, but what I meant was, if they meet either of the criteria I listed (losing sight of their audience or not really knowing what they're talking about), then the subscription is not worth keeping whether they have ads in the feed itself or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulgb View Post
    I thought of another one:
    • Filler content. I think some newbie bloggers see that to build a community you need frequent posts, and take this as an excuse to write filler content. The best example of filler content I can think of is meta-blogging...
    I'd have to agree, especially about metablogging. Blogging about your blog is only interesting to the author of the blog!

    Aside from that, sometimes it's tough to get around filler content if you're starting out. For example, I've participated in 3 or 4 memes, which I suppose could be labeled as filler content. I'm selective about the ones I participate in though, and hopefully I've done a good about keeping them relevant to the topics I cover.

  6. #56
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feistyred View Post
    I'd have to agree, especially about metablogging. Blogging about your blog is only interesting to the author of the blog!
    In most cases, yes, but there are certainly suggestions.

    I think every one of Techcrunch's readers were interested when Mike announced he was hiring a CEO, for example. And last December when Guy Kawasaki released his first year's blogging stats it caused a pretty big response, so there was certainly interest.
    Josh is an anomaly
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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by themusicologist View Post
    There are some great knowledge driven forums and sites, (sitepoint being one), but these days I seem to spend so much time online without actually achieving anything.
    OK, what are you doing watching my life and telling everybody else about what is going on?? LOL... Dang! Well at least I know it's not "just me" experiencing this.

    My Space is a good example...who wants to have thousands of 'friends' and why?
    I will never understand this. Ever.

    It's like a rerun of the mid 90's when everyone had to have a website without understanding what for.
    Actually it's like High School, and I was so eternally grateful to leave High School nearly 20 years ago... why must I go back? I don't want to go back. I hated the High School B.S. then, and I still hate it now.

    I noticed someone mention niche above...I believe this is where the future lies. Small pods of people coming together to share a common goal.
    I love the idea of this. Now that I think about it, all the sites I spend the most time on, are "small pods of people sharing a common something" -- goal, interest, need, whatever. Wouldn't we all love to be the next Google or Yahoo (in terms of the $$) but let's be real. Sans money, would the workload and aggravation be worth it? For me, the answer is a resounding hell no.

    themusicologist, it is refreshing to hear from someone else who shares views/beliefs similar to mine. I often feel like I am pretty well "off the beaten path" when it comes to some of this "fringe" technology and content ("fringe" is my word -- nobody else's) and it is nice to see it's not just me!!!


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  8. #58
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    posting too much

    Since my blog got picked up by the Creative Weblogging network a while back, I've argued with them over post frequency. Blogging has changed alot over the years. 4 years ago when I started, it was about aggregation - pointing out interesting links. After that it was about "being part of the community" - commenting on what other people said, tying posts together, etc. Once Reddit and others aggregators came along, and blogs exploded in number, it became about original high quality writing. Now that those sites are overrun with fools, it is about SEO.

    Four years ago I made 4-5 posts a day. Now just writing one is a lot of work. I think it's more valuable to build up RSS than to build up daily traffic. But Creative Weblogging still believes there is a direct correlation between number of posts and "authority" in technorati. The way I've gotten around it is to write one a day on weekdays (sometimes two if interesting news happens) and then write a bunch of short crappy ones on the weekends.

    The days of writing unique content are dying, and we are moving into the age of SEO. The real key to blogging and blog traffic these days, is to write about what's popular, what people will be searching for, and stuff your post with the keywords you want. It's my least favorite way to write, but when Google holds so much power, what can you do?

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys View Post
    In most cases, yes, but there are certainly suggestions.

    I think every one of Techcrunch's readers were interested when Mike announced he was hiring a CEO, for example. And last December when Guy Kawasaki released his first year's blogging stats it caused a pretty big response, so there was certainly interest.
    Good point, and I see what you mean. I was referring to those (nameless) bloggers whose constant fall-back is blogging about their own blog.

  10. #60
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Also: I have no idea why I typed "suggestions" ... that word definitely should have been "exceptions" ... d'oh. (Another reason to unsubscribe: your posts contain idiotic errors like the one I just made that make it hard to figure out what the heck you're talking about )
    Josh is an anomaly
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  11. #61
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    No sweat. I knew what you meant.

  12. #62
    SitePoint Zealot ewomack's Avatar
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    The web does seem to have turned into one huge self-promotional whirlpool. I tried reading some blogs a while back and became bored very quick. Personally, I think the whole concept is very oversold, but good things can come of it when someone has something of actual interest to say. But, since content drives revenue the classic "I need more content regardless of the quality" problem enters. Quality content takes time. Post after post hour after hour does not lend itself to quality. The same happens with sitcoms, movies, and books. "Flood the market, someone will buy, we hope." But blogging doesn't have the filter of editors and large distribution of those other mediums, so we see an even larger heap of marketing foisted on us. In short, the web has become a business. We all knew it would happen eventually, and here we are. One can make analogies with newspapers, radio and television, although web publishing has far less startup costs. The same thing happened here. Yahoo! and Google are massive controlling enterprises. Next, the web and television will merge. YouTube has shown huge potential. Hopefully as the dollars blip the web won't make itself inaccessible to the average person who just wants to make their opinion known. Finding such sites will become more and more difficult as business takes over the internet.

    Maybe the question isn't "why did I unsubscribe to your blog?" maybe it's "Why did I bother subscribing to your blog in the first place?"
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  13. #63
    Afraid I can't do that Dave Hal9k's Avatar
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    When I leave a comment on a blog and the author doesn't reply to it, even if it's just to acknowledge it. Of course if it's a throw-away comment, I don't really mind, but it's nice all the same.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal9k View Post
    When I leave a comment on a blog and the author doesn't reply to it, even if it's just to acknowledge it. Of course if it's a throw-away comment, I don't really mind, but it's nice all the same.
    Hm, I don't know. I think that's a valid reason if you're commenting on a blog you know is very new, or doesn't have a lot of comments because in essence you're helping that author make their blog look active. But if you consider the volume of comments a well-known blog gets, I think the author has to establish a cut-off point, or he/she would do nothing else all day but respond to each and every comment.

    I try to respond to all comments on my blog, even if it's just with one post aimed at everyone, but I hope eventually I'll have a large enough readership where I can take on more of a "moderator" role, and just foster the discussion rather than continually comment on a comment, if you know what I mean.

  15. #65
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    I agree, that's just infeasible for some blogs. TechCrunch, for example, averages 40 comments per post these days.
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  16. #66
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    My main reason for unsubscribing is that the blogger is often just not updating their blog on a regular basis.

  17. #67
    SitePoint Enthusiast Le GoogelGuRu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys View Post
    Splogs are unavoidable... ignore them (the way Google usually does) or send out DMCA notices to their host/complaints to Google if you feel the need.

    But you'll gain more subscribers by using a full feed. Most RSS readers these days probably subscribe to at least 10 feeds, often over 20 or even hundreds. RSS is a way to get your favorite content in one place... the point is to save time and not have to click through to every site you want to read.

    A full text feed will get you more readers (see this report, for example), it will get your more readers (people are more apt to read the full post if they don't have to click through), and if you write compelling content, it will get more readers interacting with your site. Which means -- more readers > more readers clicking through > more website viewers in the long term.

    If you want to monetize it, Feedburner offers some chances for larger publishers (which I'm guessing will get better now that Google is buying the company).

    I think the trade off (dealing with splogs vs. more people reading your content) is such that full text feeds are full worth it for the publisher.

    This guy has it right:

    "We can't expect consumers to come to us," says Quincy Smith, the president of CBS Interactive. "It's arrogant for any media company to assume that."

    (via)

    If you free your content and let your users consume it where and how they want, it will help you in end. Keep your readers happy and you will reap the rewards.

    (There's a reason why most of these blogs use full text feeds... certainly not all, but most of the largest do)
    Sorry if this sounds stupid, but what are "splogs"?

  18. #68
    SitePoint Guru Marubozo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le GoogelGuRu View Post
    Sorry if this sounds stupid, but what are "splogs"?
    A splog is a "Spam Blog"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_blog

    Essentially a "fake" blog that either rips content from other sources or produces otherwise fake/spammy content for the purpose of boosting their own SERP in turn to make a profit. If you publish full RSS feeds you will more than likely have one or more of these ripping your content.
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  19. #69
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    Question

    I thought I'd revive this thread for no other reason than I do post once daily, have no advertising, I post short entries, and am topic focused (professional business information oriented), definitely don't do any of that meta business and I still have about one unsubscribe on average a month. Yes I know, one is nothing, but I just wondered why? I do get others subscribing, but not at the great rates as reflective of the number of visits, use items etc stats. My subscribers are a very small percentage of my daily readers which appears to be very respectable. So even though I shouldn't be concerned at the one a month on average loss, I am still curious as to why they may be leaving. Any thoughts?

  20. #70
    SitePoint Evangelist happyoink's Avatar
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    Maybe they've lost interest?

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Firefly View Post
    Maybe they've lost interest?
    Yep. More than likely. I am having motivational problems at the moment, but still seem to deliver (or so I thought) *cry* Thanks.

  22. #72
    SitePoint Zealot Jim Beam's Avatar
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    You're right. But I think you are too severe. Each blog can't be original in accordance with the rule of majority...I mean that the majority can't be original in general...

  23. #73
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    Rough but pretty much true..

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marubozo View Post

    * Stop posting so much. I realize that a lot of new content is good but if your posts are somewhat lengthy don't post so much in one day because as a regular reader I won't be able to keep up.

    This one can be frustrating for me. I subscribe to a number of sites that I like to read so it can be difficult to keep up as it is, but when a site begins posting 4, 5 or more times a day and they are long posts I simply can't keep up. If the posts are short, sure that is no problem, but anything a few pages long that requires some thought isn't digestible enough.

    It is a shame too because often these posts are actually of good quality with decent content, but if you take a day off or don't check regularly you can find yourself with hours of reading to get caught up.
    Quote Originally Posted by ses5909 View Post
    I'm with you Jeremy. TBH, I don't want to read more than one post a day from a site usually.
    Quote Originally Posted by paulgb View Post
    ...once I am a few days behind it becomes tempting to unsubscribed....
    Quote Originally Posted by jylyn View Post
    I agree though, more than 3 posts a day is getting a bit much! I'd say 1-2 is ideal.
    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    Yeah - it's nice to see new content each day, but people have short attention spans...
    Quote Originally Posted by Marubozo View Post
    Right, it is sort of relative. Some blogs can pull off multiple posts a day just like others can pull off only a couple posts per week. But I'm with you in the 1-2 posts per day works great. I have 30-40 different blogs I keep tabs on and sadly I do have a life and job outside of sitting on the computer so just one or two a day from each of those sites is more than enough to keep me busy.
    Quote Originally Posted by SimplyFu View Post
    too much blog post will let your readers unsubscribed your rss, make sense
    Wow wow wow! I was surprised to see this many people irritated at several posts per day. To start off, I'd like to say that I do see and understand your side about how it's difficult to stay caught up. Yet, I don't understand how you all can possibly say it's a bad thing that shouldn't happen just because you can't stay caught up. That's like telling XYZ chip company to stop putting out processors just because you can't afford to upgrade. For one, you don't have to upgrade to every processor. Many of them aren't even designed for you, just as some blog posts aren't relevant to you. The job is to communicate fresh ideas and good information in a way that is easily understandable. Sometimes people have a lot of content to post. Whether or not that content is "good" is purely subjective. The point is to reach as many people as possible rather than cater to just a few. If you read a single article out of 50 a week then the blogger has done his job.




    Quote Originally Posted by themusicologist View Post
    The 'Net', (appropriate considerning how many gat caught in it), has fast become a portal for entertainment and commerce and a tool for personal promotion. What a shame.
    Only partly. The "Net" encompasses far too wide a breadth of information, much of which far surpasses the trivialities of entertainment and e-commerce, to be given a tag such as this. That's like saying that Hollywood embodies the spirit of the US without taking a minute to look at the scientific culture in Boston.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_M View Post
    The days of writing unique content are dying, and we are moving into the age of SEO. The real key to blogging and blog traffic these days, is to write about what's popular, what people will be searching for, and stuff your post with the keywords you want. It's my least favorite way to write, but when Google holds so much power, what can you do?
    I also have to disagree with this. Where do you think "What's Popular" comes from? Though some things that are popular are just regurgitated cycles, the rest are actually generated from somewhere. A big part of that is the scientific research community trickling down into our everyday lives. Another form is people putting their creativity to use on old ideas to generate new ones, the kind where you say "Why didn't I think of that?!" The buzz around the internet exists from people coming together and creating new ideas. Many "followers" capitalize on these ideas using keyword intensive, search engine optimized content that does little more than spin the news in a different direction. I'm not saying this is bad, because it is definitely a necessary part of the communication community, just that it's not as bleak as you make it sound. Writing about the "buzz" may be a proven method of generating traffic, but writing original ideas is what generates the buzz. The days of writing unique content are far from over my friend.

  25. #75
    SitePoint Enthusiast jt_va's Avatar
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    Most of the blogs that I have read stink. A waste of time to read. I don't waste my time visiting blogs anymore because they stink.


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