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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist micmol's Avatar
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    Best Features On A Blog From Users Viewpoint

    Looking completely from a user point of view when it comes to blogs.

    What features do you regard are

    a/ Must have features

    &

    b/ What differentiates a good blog from a not so good blog

  2. #2
    Is Still Alive silver trophybronze trophy RetroNetro's Avatar
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    Here are a few:

    Content I want to read
    Ability to subscribe via RSS
    Not having to register to comment
    Ability to subscribe to additional comments made after mine

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    It's kinda hard to say the "best features" so to speak. However, some recommendations:

    1) The most obvious, being able to post comments. However I wouldn't stop there, comment management is a big thing. Depending on the blog, I also might want to see what others have to say about it, or heck, even post a comment myself. If I have to wade through lots of spam comments, then I usually get turned off and go someplace else

    2) Formatting. Blogging about things can often be more interesting by the usage of proper formatting. Things like image placement, font styles, and yes, give me code highlighting :P

    3) Have some kind of feed so I can add it to vista sidebar, firefox, or shove it on me google homepage

    4) Category listings of some sort, though I must say that those topic cluster thingies I see a lot.. never was into those. All that varying text makes it distracting when I'm reading the blog. However, I still might like to look and see what else this person talks about, especially with technology blogs

    But most importantly, have good content!

  4. #4
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    I agree with Johnny except for his last one. I don't care if I can subscribe to comments or not. I also like a search box at the top of the blog so if I want to check on a keyword I can do it quickly.

    Another very important element is how the content is formatted. Do the headings stand out without blowing me out of my chair? Is the type size easily readable? Can I skim down the page without being blocked by ads or confused with overly zealous formatting such as too much color used within the content. (recently first saw this on a blog I reviewed)
    Linda Jenkinson
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  5. #5
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    Johnny Gulag hit them all for me especially #4. I like to be able to easily follow up on blogs I've commented on because I am very forgetful and need all the help I can get!
    Sara

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict Poiesis01's Avatar
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    Most definetly
    Not having to register to comment
    If I must register, I don't bother commenting or bookmarking, seems a waste of time

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poiesis01 View Post
    Most definetly If I must register, I don't bother commenting or bookmarking, seems a waste of time
    Same here.

    I also like the ability to subscribe for the comments to one post. When blogs subscribe me to every single comment in every post it pisses me off.
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    Not having to register to comment
    The only way to truly get rid of this across the board is to collectively throw blog comment spammers into the ocean, causing a massive tidal wave that destroys the world right as web 3.0 beta is going to be released.

    But yeah, if you're not going to do this, at least have a .. I can never remember the acronym "A Visual Anti Spammer Tool (AVAST! [arrrrr!])" so that will have to do.

  9. #9
    Is Still Alive silver trophybronze trophy RetroNetro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ses5909 View Post
    I am very forgetful and need all the help I can get!
    Yes, me too, I never remember to go back to posts I commented in. I try to remember when they make a new post but I usually forget.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist micmol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poiesis01 View Post
    Most definetly If I must register, I don't bother commenting or bookmarking, seems a waste of time
    So how do you suggest the owner avoids spam?

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by micmol View Post
    So how do you suggest the owner avoids spam?
    Sift through all the posts and remove the duds, that's what I do. Although Akismet usually catches everything for me anyway so there's not a huge amount to sift through. Usually about 3-4 per day makes it's way past.

    I'm assuming that with a captcha or similar system you should be able to weed out the last few fairly easily and a custom built captcha type system would be virtually fool proof.

    And don't forget that spam bots can register too!

    Ryan,

  12. #12
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    the factors i consider in choosing the best blog are:

    Content - always fresh and updated
    Pageload time - 5 to 8 seconds is tolerable
    RSS - subscription is an ease
    Comments - must be user-friendly but not enough to do spam
    last but not the least good Page Rank must be 3 above will do

  13. #13
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Gulag View Post
    Here are a few:

    Content I want to read
    Ability to subscribe via RSS
    Not having to register to comment
    Ability to subscribe to additional comments made after mine
    I would agree with all of the above

    I'm also a fan of the myblog avatar plugin which displays the pic of the commentator next to their comment

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast mcaronan's Avatar
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    Yep.. I agree with you guys, but you still need visual aids. Some visitors have lack of patience and will visit your site in just a mere seconds.
    Can't afford your dream house? Home Loan Calculator can help you.

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  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fonzerelli_79 View Post
    I'm also a fan of the myblog avatar plugin which displays the pic of the commentator next to their comment
    I prefer Gravatars. I can't sign into MyBlogLog ever since they switched to Yahoo authentication.
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
    Singapore Web Designer

  16. #16
    Is Still Alive silver trophybronze trophy RetroNetro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo_dk View Post
    I prefer Gravatars. I can't sign into MyBlogLog ever since they switched to Yahoo authentication.
    I too prefer Gravatars, not that I dislike MBL's, I just have never implemented them into a design. I need to give Grav's aniother try now that Automattic has taken them over, maybe no more slow load issues.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by micmol View Post
    Looking completely from a user point of view when it comes to blogs.

    What features do you regard are

    a/ Must have features

    &

    b/ What differentiates a good blog from a not so good blog
    Interesting topics
    Descriptive, not misleading
    Regular updates

    ...

    I really couldnt give a flying expletive about comments or any of that because 99% of the time they are throwaway remarks that wont be seen as soon as the blog entry disappears off the front page. Compared to a forum where there is a communication between people I see blogs are what they are - web logs - where one entity is broadcasting to readers.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    - fluent design
    - good language skills
    - non-intrusive ads or no ads at all
    - being mediocre in views

  19. #19
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    r937's Avatar
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    a/ must have:

    - content
    - identity

    b/ difference between good and not so good:

    - content

    regarding identity: nothing annoys quite so much as a blog by an anonymous person

    no email address, no name, no About page? i don't trust you, and i won't be back
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
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    "giving out my real stuffs"

  20. #20
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo_dk View Post
    I prefer Gravatars. I can't sign into MyBlogLog ever since they switched to Yahoo authentication.
    yeah i remember it being a pain too!

    I used gravatars originally with my blog but I recall their server being down quite frequently at the time


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