Blogs > Cliopatria > A Successful Blog Is ...

Aug 17, 2004 4:38 am

A Successful Blog Is ...

D. Keith Robinson, a web designer in Seattle, offers these criteria for a successful blog:
· Well written. Good content will make or break your blog. Period. This it the #1 thing that makes a blog successful in my book.
· Frequently updated. Unless you're a guru of some sort you really need to stay on top of it. This can be a real challenge.
· Consistent. This is kind of a combination of the first two. I like sites that are able to maintain quality and frequency overtime.
· Open. I like to read people who are honest and willing to talk about tough issues in a free and open way.
· Responsive. Those who respond to feedback and try to adapt to the wants and needs of their audience get high marks from me.
· Well designed. Yes, I do judge a blog by its design. It's not the most important thing, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't matter at all.
· Aware of its audience. If you don't know your audience it'll show.
· Varied in topic. I feel there are lots of people who would disagree with this, but I like sites that change the subject every once in awhile.
· Personal. I tend to enjoy a blog with a bit of a personality. I want to"get to know", to a certain degree, the person(s) behind the site. Tone and style have a lot to do with this.
· Thick skinned. With any successful site comes nay-sayers, trolls, pedants and spammers.
· Honest. Readers are smart and they can smell bullshit.
· Accountable. Mistakes are inevitable and there are times when it's best to fess up and admit where you're wrong.
· Funny. I like a blog that can make me laugh on occasion.
Robinson's criteria are just that, of course: his criteria. By them, I'd give Cliopatria a mixed report (a 1 or 2 on some counts, a 9 or 10 on others), but far better than some of the most heavily trafficked blogs on the net. I'd also hold us to a higher standard of intellectual content than is suggested anywhere among his criteria.

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More Comments:

Jonathan Dresner - 8/17/2004

It's in our nature to analzyze and classify. But, to be fair, the originator of the list is a web designer, not an academic. He's also posted a followup enumerating what he thinks comes out of a successful blog:
I think we're doing pretty well on this list, too, though some of his focus is more appropriate to freelancers like himself.

You're doing fine, really!

Anne Zook - 8/17/2004

You scholarly and professional types have a lot of rule, don't you? :) Sheesh, I'm just happy if a day goes by when I don't publish a post full of typographical errors.

Reviewing that list, I don't think Cliopatria has anything to worry about.

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