What I am looking for in a blog

There is no shortage of tempting blog-morsels available to hungry readers in the blogosphere but the question I wish to explore is: what makes a person actually commit to a blog? What is it that motivates us to subscribe via e-mail or a reader, or to visit that blog every evening with a warm cup of tea in hand?

How do we get from the first date to “I do!”

I spend about an hour a day reading blog postings and there are a few that I just adore even though they are written by people I am not likely to meet, in countries far far away. I love that about the blogosphere, the sense that we are a community even though we are not neighbours.

In fact, there are about thirty blogs (honestly, I had no idea that the number was so high until I counted them just now) to which I subscribe through Google Reader. Google does all the work for me; when I log on, my Google Reader page shows me which blogs have been updated. Then I can either read the posting on GR or go to the blog itself.

So why these thirty blogs? What makes them so special?

I tried to think about the question in the same way I might if I were looking for a partner. What makes a certain blog a “great fit” while others simply aren’t my cup of tea? Here’s my list of what I am looking for in a blog:

  1. Personal narrative voice
    For me, there is nothing more compelling than a storyteller. I want the blogger’s personality and sensibility to come through in their writing. The blogs I LOVE are joyful and wonder-filled and inspirational. The bloggers convey their humanity in every post. Gradually, readers grow to care about these bloggers and their lives.

  2. Photographs
    They don’t need to be great ones but a picture is worth (at least) a thousand words.

  3. Clear focus of blog
    The blog knows what it is.

  4. Regularity of posts
    I appreciate it when bloggers post at least once a week.

  5. More than just a merchandising vehicle

  6. Interesting content
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is interesting to me? Travel, culture, food, photography, teaching, literature, and popular culture. (Also, not coincidentally, these are the same things about which I write in TMW).

  7. Content is original and not recycled from other sites or blogs.

  8. Good writing
    Write to Done provides great tips and strategies for improving your writing.
    There is also an interesting discussion about what constitutes good blog writing brewing over at Skelliewag

So who do I love?
I must confess to feeling positively giddy when I see new posts from:
Chocolate and Zucchini
Orangette
The Glass Doorknob
3191

What are you looking for in a blog?

2 comments

  1. what do i look for in a blog? well, if i am taking time from my day to read someone's blog, it is probably because they are taking me somewhere i cannot physically be. i went to budapest this weekend and a few months ago, i went to italy. the entire time, i was sitting by my computer, watching home improvement television. i didn't pack, board any mode of transportation or get any digestion related illness. yes, pictures are good, but an imagination is better. i am along for the ride.

  2. @ LittlestI'm glad you came to Budapest and Italy with us. Budapest is actually a little edgy; I think you'd like it in your REAL life! Imagination does play a huge role in great blogging. Partly, that's about whimsy or "play"; imaginative posts are just more fun to read. Also important is the ability to communicate lived experiences through metaphors, to create vivid images that help readers imagine how our travels/life felt and looked and smelled. I'll keep working on that!

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