Can You Really Identify Features That Makes A Good Blog?

Image of numbersSo what does make a good blog?

Tara Ethridge asked the Classroom 2.0 community “What are your top 3 blogs you’d recommend others to read about web 2.0, collaboration or anything technology-related?” so that she could create a list for teachers at her school of the most commonly recommended.

While I like the idea of helping teachers locate blogs to read — there is no way I would ever consider promoting 3 blogs!

Image by Brothergrimm.

People Are Individuals

Graham Wegner’s What Makes A Good Blog masterfully captures the essence of why it is an issue for me. Several weeks ago Graham and I had a discussion using twitter on what we like/don’t like in blog posts. As Graham says:

We found that we both appreciated very different qualities in the readability of blogs. What I might find artful and clever wordsmithing might be painful reading for another. Step by step instructions with annotated screengrabs and how-to-be-a-great-whatever appeal to some people but have me reaching for the “Mark As Read” button.

As individual’s we each have our own personal preferences of what we like and don’t like. Now that Google Reader has linked Reader with Google Talk so now all your shared items will be visible to your friends from Google Talk, and vice versa its become plainly obvious how unique individuals are in terms of what they see as a good post/blog.

If someone asked you to recommend books to read — you would start with first finding out what type of books the person likes to read. Pointless recommending Murders, Mysteries or Thrillers when they liked romances; or better still they actually hate reading books but love watching movies.

Trouble is when a person hasn’t been exposed to reading blogs — they don’t know their personal preferences. Provide a limited selection of Shakesharpe like blogs when Barbara Cartland better suits their style or vice versa — may mean they don’t learn to appreciate the value of reading blogs.

My Advice

My advice to educators new to reading blogs is to:

highlight that as individuals we each look for very different qualities in the readability of blogs — perhaps start with Aseem Badshah Top Education Bloggers or edubloggers based upon Technorati’s rankings. When you find blogs you like — take the time to check out blogs in their blogroll since these may include similar type authors

While personal preference influences what people identify as a good blog; there are practices that will make you a more effective blogger — here are My Advice On Being A More Effective Blogger!

FINAL THOUGHT

Thanks to Tara Ethridge for starting this great conversation, Dan continuing it and inspiring Graham to write his response. Although Graham – I’m thinking I need some screengrabs to finish it off — ROFL.

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7 thoughts on “Can You Really Identify Features That Makes A Good Blog?

  1. The most popular edublogs tend to be blogs that are more theory than practice. However, for busy teachers who are not used to reading blogs I suspect it would be practical educational blogs that would be immediately applicable to their classrooms without much thought that would be of most interest.

    Mathew Reply

  2. Sue, I know you are a lover of great movies so I’m going to give you my list of best 3 movies that you should watch to really become an expert.
    1. Finding Nemo
    2. Cars
    3. Shark’s Tale.
    Sadly, I don’t have a movie that I personally appear in to recommend to you … if I was talking about blogging however, it could be a different story!
    BTW, think your moderation queue needs some beefing up judging by your first two comments here. Reblogging Google Ads morons definitely are the bottom feeders of the online information ecosystem.

    Graham Wegner Reply

  3. for me, wondrous language mangler that I am, I would recommend the following books:
    1. Geek Love by Katerine Dunn
    2. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
    3. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

    Movie:
    1. Miller’s Crossing
    2. Fargo
    3. The China Syndrome

    Culinary Dishes:
    1. Veal Picatta
    2. Tacinelli’s Pizza (if you’re ever in Philly)
    3. Spaghetti-O’s

    Blogs:
    Not sure yet…still too new

    ken Reply

  4. So true Sue. What makes blogs so wonderful for me is that someone else isn’t telling me what is good or not. I am free to decide for myself. I love the diversity of input across disciplines, style, and voice. If I want consistent quality as determined by others, I’ll go to the mainstream press.

    Even so, I do appreciate recommendations from others. I’m always interested in what my network thinks is interesting or inspiring. Nothing like collective wisdom.

    Guess it is a constant balancing act.

    Christine Martell Reply

  5. You are right Matthew – hadn’t thought about that until I looked closely at the top edubloggers list. It also why I like Vicki Davis so much because she is in the classroom using it with students in global projects.

    Trust you Graham – fancy remembering the type of movies I hate (from my random twits) and adding them here in the comments. Spam is a bit issue at the moment and yes I need to delete those comments.

    Ken – I’m think we might need to vote on the movies, books and meals. I think the only one I have experienced is the China Syndrome.

    Interesting points Christine – I find the shared Google Reader is a really good way for our network to let us know what is interesting and worth reading. Oops I’ve been forgetting to share lately :). Trouble is I don’t always make time to read the posts shared 🙁

    Sue Waters Reply

  6. Hey Sue,

    I absolutely agree on the indivuality of blogs, however I think there are a lot of people out there that don’t know where to start in the blogsphere. I was one of them and I’m very IT literate. I would imagine that those that don’t feel at home in cyberspace would like to hear about a couple of places to start learning about the wonderful world of 2.0 stuff!

    Mick Reply

  7. Sue this is a great post. I agree I do think we all look for different bloggers to read based upon our interest. I always look at the blog rolls of those I read for this same reason you stated, chances are there will be someone I find with similar interests.

    Also I have tagged you for the meme Passion Quilt, here are the rules.
    1. Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
    2. Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
    3. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
    4. Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce.

    Robin Ellis Reply

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