06 February 2012

5 Annoying Features On Your Blog

by Diane Carlisle

I’m begging you! Please, please do these things to make your blog more user friendly with the more interactive crowd. I follow many blogs and my commenting and responsiveness relies upon very easy access and quick feedback.

1. Please turn off the captchas. I understand there's spam out there, but if you haven't monetized your blog or posted it up in some of the sites that broadcast to mass marketers, then you really shouldn't need captchas. Only use them when you've discovered spam abuse in your comments. Chances are you will never run across abuse in comments on your personal blogs. You may even discover an increase in the number of responses to your articles. It would be nice if blogging software would allow you to pose a test question to be answered rather than use of the captchas. At least that would make your blog ADA compliant.

2. Please don't change your blog theme as often as the weather changes in Florida. Think about Microsoft and Google and how long they've been around. They still look the same, right? On occasion, Google will change their Logo to accommodate our holidays, whether it's Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, or Valentine's Day. However, they always revert back to what looks familiar to us. Come up with your theme and stick to it. It’s the concept behind branding.

3. Please be sensitive to your audience when selecting font size and color. I've seen font colors that are so difficult to read it may as well be white text on a white background. Also, since I'm getting older and my eyes are getting weaker, I don't want to struggle to read what may otherwise be a very clever and entertaining article. I hate it that I have to by-pass an article because the font isn't big enough for me to read. I'm not going to change the zoom on my screen for one article with small font when I can simply go to the next blog.

4. Please turn off comment moderation. If you want, there's an option that will keep anonymous visitors from posting comments to your blog. Seriously, I'm an instant gratification type person. That means I like to experience things in real time. I want to see my comment published as soon as I click the "post comment" button. It gives me a warm fuzzy to see my posted words on your site, in your theme and all it's beautiful colors and fonts!

5. Please use the spelling and grammar checking tools bundled with your word processing software. There have been a ton of blogs that I've visited and re-visited where I'd find the occasional typo and/or misplaced word (I've done it myself). The fewer there are, the more likely I will visit your site again just to give you kudos and leave comments because I like what I'm seeing.

If I’m coming back and commenting on your blog and you have these dreaded features enabled, then you have an awesome blog because I feel compelled to visit despite them!

So, tell me. What features out there in the blog-o-sphere have you flustered? Share them here. I do make subtle changes on mine, all coming as suggestions by readers who visit. The one thing I refuse to change is my white text on a dark background (...and never say never. Oops!). I was raised on the internet playing MUDs and it is an absolute must for me.

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