Thursday, February 23, 2006

Voting Guidelines (and incidentally a few tips—in my opinion—on improving your blog)

As some of you may be aware, I am a member of Blog Explosion, a blog traffic exchange service. Yes, I realize most of the hits I get from there are stop-and-go just to get “credits,” but for every 100 of those hits I might get 1 or 2 people to actually read my blog.

Anyway, one of the features of this service is called Battle of the Blogs. People wager credits on the battle, and 15 others view both blogs and then vote on which one they think is better. Some people have apparently formed voting blocs, and whatever, I’m going to vote on whichever blog I think is better. But I do have some guidelines that I use to speed up my own voting. Here they are:

Photoblogs have a massive advantage, because if they’re even decent I will vote for them. I like photoblog vs. photoblog battles because I judge them based on something I think I’m very good at judging.

All my other guidelines involve automatic no-votes (in order of priority):
1. Instant Messaging blog loses. Period.
2. If your blog is about sports, I will vote against it. It’s nothing against sports per se, but I just watch them now and then. I don’t really care about them in any sense beyond mild entertainment.
3. If two sports blogs are in competition, I have more rules. Baseball blogs always lose because baseball is the most boring sport ever invented. To watch, that is. Playing it’s not so bad. Soccer blogs are the next to go. Football blogs get voted above all other sports blogs.
4. If your blog has a black background behind the text, you lose. I know my blog used to have that style, but since changing it I’ve realized its evils.
5. Blogs where the author fails to capitalize or use punctuation are the next to go.
6. Next down are blogs with way too much pink.
7. And finally, if two equally sinful blogs are in competition, then I vote based on which template is the lesser of two evils. If I can’t decide, I’ll go through some pains to read each of them a bit to find overall writing style and topic.

As long as you don’t commit any of those sins, then I’ll give your blog a fair shake. And I try not to hold a grudge for people who beat me in battles, but sometimes I get the impression that I was beaten because somebody invited all their friends to vote, and this will affect my decision.

And try to take some of the implied advice if you commit any of the above blogging sins. I guess I can’t expect you to stop blogging about sports, but the rest is yours for the taking.


  1. Tell us how you really feel ;-)

    You're much pickier than I am. Unless the design blinds me (think neon) or won't render correctly in FireFox (people who don't check their stuff in multiple browsers irritate me), I generally look more to the style of writing/subject matter. And seeing as I had a white-text-on-black design for about 2 years, I have to forgive that. Not to mention the maroon I have now, with white text, may suffer the same issues. It doesn't bother me, personally.

    I won't automatically vote against anyone, even sports blogs, although I don't watch sports. If the subject isn't to my taste, I compare the writing style - I'm often surprised how good writing can suck me in to a blog I otherwise would have had absolutely no interest in.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents.

  2. Sometimes I wonder about voting 'blocs,' especially when I lose to a blog that is a standard template and not very interesting. Then it's like a-ha!', and like you I try not to have a blog grudge.

    The first thing I look at is over all design, if it's hard to read (black w/ white writing) it stops me right there, then I look to see when your post was put up. Don't do a BotB with a post that's been there for more than a couple of days. That's just lazy. I'm not a fan of blogs in all lowercase or 'kewl' misspellings. I was an English major -- that crap drives me insane. Other than that, I judge each one. It doesn't matter to me if I've befriended you on the web or not. If someone has a better blog/content etc, then I vote for them. It's anon anyway, they won't know unless it's 15-0. :)