Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blogs that appeal

The Grumpies have a list of things that may inspire them to leave a sharply-worded comment on a blog.  The things that inspire me to go from zero to snark are legion and infinite, so I probably won't go there.  What I tend to do is write about the issue generally and get ranty here.

Granted, the general interest, trainwrecky homemaking blogging that I'm doing doesn't often lead me to posts that make me grind my teeth and roll my eyes with such violence that I see my own brain.  Many of the blogs I've read are about how someone's garden is doing, what they're making for dinner, maybe a gripe about a bad day, talk about a craft project, talk about strategies for saving money or resources, talk about creative reuse, etc.  50 Uses for your rhubarb isn't going to inspire snark from me; though I may print out the post so that I can use some of these tips after I pay a visit to my own garden spot.

There are things that make me avoid certain blogs.  There are some big blogs that I don't read because I find them to be a bit on the smug and shamey side, or because someone insists on winning Complete and Total Denier of The Year (it's one thing to be frustrated and not be able to think clearly for a while, it's another to make denial a way of life).  The Grumpies made me think about what would make me avoid a blog like the plague.  They also made me think of what appeals to me.  So here is my list of what appeals to me.  Your mileage may vary:

Open-mindedness.  I don't mean that someone must be a free-love hippie.  There are some folks I read who are fairly conservative.  But they don't post screeds about how hateful group X is or how women all belong in the home or how Black people are all violent or how gays are ruining western civilization.  They're writing about personal finance or their crafts or their cooking or their gardens, and they figure that even people they don't get or don't have much contact with do these things. 

Humility.  This is ironic, since I feel like I'm incredibly arrogant. This is why I highlight my trainwrecks and failures.  I really don't want to be that annoying person who tries to convince everyone of how awesome they are.  We all mess up--well, I do.  I'll own it.  I'm no one's teacher, unless you want to learn about how long it can take to get the hang of something.

Encouragement. It's one thing to not like something or be very strong in your opinions--perhaps you all remember my rants about the voluntary simplicity and local foods movements--but it's another to sneer at people that they're doing it wrong.  We've all got our trainwrecky moments.  We are all doing the best we can, but that means we're not perfect.  Tell me what you're doing and how you're doing it, yes. As long as you don't assume that everyone will be able to do it, and you don't make moral judgements on people who don't do things your way, we're good.

Boundaries.  I prefer people who set some strict boundaries.  If someone has a habit of letting a troll or trolls run amok in their comments section, I'll probably give the blog a pass.  That's just tiring and distracting.  I'm not talking about dissenting opinions or an honest argument.  I'm talking about commenters who act hatefully or try to stir things up.

What will bring you back to a blog? What will turn you off?


  1. Thanks for the link!

    Hm, you read us even though humble really isn't in our vocabulary and we're pretty darn sure that we're awesome. We figure the patriarchy puts down women enough that a little less humility is just fine. Now, we don't confuse lack of humility with our way being the One True Way... so many things are personal preferences that there are an infinite number of ways to be awesome and an infinite number of paths to awesomeness. There also isn't a limited supply of awesomeness-- my awesomeness can only increase #2's awesomeness and vice versa-- we're not in competition for awesomeness with anybody. A rising tide of awesomeness! (And, of course, even awesome people mess up sometimes... that's what growth mindsets and learning are for.)

    As for blogs we like: they're generally interesting, intelligent, they have something new, sometimes they have fantastic blogrolls, often they attract good comments, they cause us to think about things differently but they're not too difficult on the brain (not too much like work!), and they're not all the crazy we mention in our post. You're doing a great job with Feralhomemaking.

  2. When I first started reading blogs (and then blogging myself) I was impressed with some blogs, but as time went on I realised that some people saw themselves as "teachers" and representatives of frugaldom. I began to find this a little wearing and have tried not to emulate them. I like to share what I do and how I do it, but need to be mindful that no one likes a "know-it-all" !

  3. Brilliant post- and I quite agree with everything you have said! The only comments I get that I have to delete are spammage- I mostly like to read about folk who like to cook, garden and craft, although I have got some good ideas for bargains and such like that I like to pass on too!

  4. I agree with your comments; I also like a blog that makes me think ... and makes me laugh. Some blogs have a sense of community about them (like hanging out with a diverse set of friends) and that's fun. I also get a kick out of blogs from somewhere other than the USA--what a great (and cheap!) way to learn about other cultures.

  5. The main thing I like in a blog is honesty... :) I like to "know" something about the blogger, who they really are, etc... I don't like "woe is me" blogs that are always griping about how "rough" they have it.

    Other than that, i'll read if I find the blogger interesting and we share *something* in common... :)