Wednesday, April 30, 2008

it is better to light a single candle....

....than to burn down the whole f*cking house.

With that inspirational proverb in mind, I've tried to think of a few little things that we can all do to make the world a better place while we await that happy day when the cocqcigrues arrive in silvery droves and we all join hands and sing kumbaya.

  • This suggestion is inspired by the often-inspiring Chani. Turn off the word verification on your blog. It's hard to read. It discourages commenters. And you probably won't get that much spam anyway. At least try it. If it turns out to be a problem, you can always turn it back on

  • If you have a private blog, create an email list of all the people who are authorized to read it, then email them whenever you put up a new post. Even better, put a link to the post in your email. Most people use a feed reader to keep track of new posts. If your blog is private, no-one will know when you've posted something new.

  • Carefully consider the color scheme of your blog. Reading generally involves distinguishing letters, so it's customary to make the text and background distinct. If (as, for example, in this, uh, unusual design) your blog consists of light pink lettering on an ever-so-slightly darker pink background, no matter how absolutely scintillating the content is, no-one's going to read it. Ever.

What little (and I do mean really, really little) ideas (not necessarily limited to blogs and blogging) do you have for improving our corner of the universe?

And if you think my ideas are dopey or unworkable, please let me know why.

edited to add: You probably already realized this (I know you did ). But that extra-special extra-pink blog? I wrote it all by myself. No-one helped me. Not even Satan. Well, maybe he helped just a teeny tiny bit.


Patti said...


You should have put up a warning along with that link. I think I've lost a great deal of sight in both my eyes.

Your ideas are sound. They make sense. If I wasn't so tired, I could probably come up with one or two ideas myself, but honestly, I'm just beat. :(

Bon said...

amen on the word verification. try Akismet least if you're on Wordpress, but i think it's available to plug into other programs. it's amazing. it's saved me from 70,000 separate new penises. which, seriously, who has time for 70,000 separate new penises?

um...other than that, i got nothin.


Rachel said...

I turned off my word verification, I'll try it and see what happens.

My suggestion is to think before putting tickers, counters, etc. on your blog. If you put too many, it takes a long time to load the site. I have had to quit visiting a couple blogs because my computer locks up everytime due to excess tickers.

Beruriah said...

Amen on the word verification. The other day I got one that was vvvvvv or maybe it was www or vwvw. It doesn't look the same in the comments but I think you can get what I mean. In any case I failed repeatedly and gave up.

Akismet works well. Although it constantly thinks Aurelia is a spammer but I can always approve her comment.

sweetsalty kate said...

My pet peeves are superlong paragraphs, which make my eyes cross no matter what the words.

And partial rss feeds - I just don't read blogs that don't let me read them in bloglines. I'm actually more likely to click over and comment (and add to someone's traffic) if I can peruse the entire post in the way that's most convenient for me. I'm cranky that way.

Maaaaan, that pink! I am blinded.

Catherine said...

I added word verification because I was getting spam during a time when I really didn't need the additional irritation in my life (small though it may be). Nothing like writing a post all about your dead baby and getting an advertisement for increasing blog traffic in the comments. It made me want to hurl the computer out a window. So word verification stays. :o)

My personal blog pet peeve...don't bitch about how many/few comments you get. It's rude and self-involved and a little desperate.

Which Box said...

I despise blogs with black backgrounds and white text. While yes, it technically fits the contrast idea, it results in massive eye strain and headaches. And a lot of blinking.

I'm interested in how communities form in the blogging world. Mommy bloggers, infertility bloggers, dead baby bloggers, cancer bloggers, doctor bloggers, political bloggers, entertainment bloggers, etc. In the mommy/want to be a mommy/cruelly missed being a mommy world, lines are blurry, people switch categories over time. Groups seem to form around people who started blogging at about the same time, roughly. And as people move on - have the second child, or not, adopt or IVF or let go of the dream, move on to other interests or not, have successful pregnancies or surrogacies or not, how will/do these communities change over time? I should have been a sociologist. Stirrup Queen does a great job of categorizing and organizing - while this doesn't have much to do with improving our corner of the universe, I just find it interesting to watch these groups shift and morph over time.

Tash said...

I hate blogs where's it's evident the person slapped it up and then haven't been paid attention to it for eons and they're starting to look a bit like a car that needs washed. /self-deprecatory moment for today.

(I really don't like blogs that load with music. And then hide the turn off the music icon. /Wednesday bitch moment)

Something must be going around because I was just about to post some cute puppy pictures. And I'll turn off my word verification for a bit and see what transpires. Anyone know what inspired blogger to go off the deep end like that all of a sudden?

Tash said...

I hate people who don't proof their comments. That should be:

"and it hasn't been paid attention to . . . "


thailandchani said...

That link was unbelievable! :) My eyes might hurt for a few minutes!

Someone else mentioned, and I second it completely, watch the page load. If I have to sit and wait a long time while all the tickers, pictures, ads, awards, etc., load before I can even see the content of the post - I'm outta there.

Aunt Becky said...

Dude, niobe, you're spot on. I'm so sick of that.

And I second the watch the page load thing. I get so annoyed if all the blinkies, pictures, ads, etc take forever to load. In fact, I click away.

In fact, in rereading all of the comments, they're all dead on.

And you know what else I hate? Really, really hate? People who brag incessantly about their kids. I find it so irritating.

Lori said...

Wow... not a whole lot of kumbaya around here...

I guess now I know I am guilty of several things that irritate my fellow bloggers. Word verficiation (I don't know why I have that), boring background that hasn't been changed in eons, and I'm sure I've been guilty of some unnaturally long paragraphs. Oh dear...

However, I don't think my blog will give anyone eye strain. I'll try turning off the word verification.

slouching mom said...

yeah, my blog hasn't been changed up in a long time. boring me! sorry.

and YES to kate on the partial rss feeds. very annoying.

Bon said...

i actually get kinda of antsy when favourite blogs change their looks, so don't everybody go changing all at once!

yes, i have issues.

Ahuva Batya said...

Ok, the Pink Site was wrong. Plus, it wouldn't let me go back so I was trapped looking at it for several seconds. We are two minds with but a single thought-- I put some world-enhancing suggestions on my blog just yesterday.

G said...

Paragraphs are your friend, mkay.
Music is enjoyable only to you, mkay (or at least don't hide the turn off button).
Why do people do partial feeds?

In defense of the dark with light lettering - it does use less watts to display (white = 74, black = 59)... so I am saving the world... yah that's it.

off to turn off my word veri because it has gotten very obnoxious lately.

Katie said...

I'm off to turn off my word verification, but I love my blog design at the moment. It's a black background but isn't stark white writing, I didn't think it was that hard to read, I did think very carefully when I did it. Is it really difficult, if so tell me!

Aurelia said...

Umm, well I like all the ideas you have, especially the one about the private bloggers sending out emails to let everyone know they have a new post.

I seriously forget to check blogs all the time that are passworded and I am really upset at myself when I have missed something important in someone's life.

That said, it is possible to add a username and password onto someone's feed through bloglines so it will update. I know Manuela at Thin Pink Line uses it and so does Vanilla Dreams, so it works.

I can't remember if I have word verification or not---I'll go check.

As for the colors, well, I am so afraid of changing the template on my blog, and losing my blog text that I'm kind of stuck where I am. I wish I could change, but I can't seem to get the guts up to do it.

Tash said...

(All of you people who are now realizing that you haven't changed your blogs in eons realize that I was totally poking fun of my lame blog, right? RIGHT??)

painted maypole said...

just today i ran into that private blog thing, with a friend who had gone private, and I didn't realize googlereader wasnt' picking up new posts, and suddenly I was over 2 weeks behind.

And I have stopped reading blogs because they were hard to read.

and the new text verification thing has gotten WAY harder. I turned mine off months ago, and figure the appx 3 spam comments I get a month are worth it.

and i liked your comment over at my place about everyone customizing their blog design, at least just a little bit. I ended up paying someone to do mine, but I found there are lots of EASY ways to make your template at least a little different, and personalize it with pictures or whatever. a google search will give you lots of free, and very fun, templates.

Eva said...

Awesome. YES.

Post frequently when you start your blog up.
Comment on other people's blogs.
Respond to comments either by email or in the comments section.
Concision is often very pleasant for the reader.

painted maypole said...

oh, and i agree with people who say they prefer no music. i can't read with lyrics singing at me, so I always turn it off.

diana said...

Hello, Niobe!
I don't know what to say first. I've tried to e-mail, but, apparently, it doesn't work for me. I started reading your posts a few days ago, and I'm trying to tell how much your writing fascinates me. For your story, tragedy and life as it is, my words are too poor to express my feelings. But, you know what? Don't think about it, don't wish it and it will happen. Paris worked for me, one year by the day I passed under a certain bridge and made my tiny wish I found out that my life was to became the roundest ever. I pray for you. Diana

christina(apronstrings) said...

oh silly me! i didn't know we could turn off word verification. and you could always just delete the spam.
i don't like light lettering either. and i don't like small font. or an unending paragraph. MEGO!

christina(apronstrings) said...

ha, ha. MEGO= my eyes glass over. not ME GO!

NE Reg. Volunteers said...

i HATE word verification!

ps. you are not dopey.

Anonymous said...

Assume the best.

Magpie said...

I turned off word verification, because blogger has made it WORSE than it used to be...I can't ever figure out what on earth they are trying to say.

I love your pinkalicious blog.

But I love cocqcigrues more.

Dayna said...

I don't comment to nearly as many people (or posts) as I read because of those freaking letters.

luna said...

I also hate long paragraphs (though I'm guilty of it sometimes too). my eyes just stop reading.

question about the black background thing: I hate white font but it IS easier to see lighter font on black -- BUT if you try to read the same post in google reader, for ex., much harder to read because it's light font on WHITE background. what to do? I try to mix it up little and post in different colors. not sure if there are certain posts that people just think. screw you sister, click!

p.s. love the new glow in the woods blog!

Amanda said...

So, now that I've fried my retinas, allow me to say that I'm so glad to hear you threw that pink thing together as an example. I seriously wondered WHO IN THE WORLD would invest in such a meaningless and painful blog. The content was as bad as the color scheme. I need to go lay down now.

niobe said...

Amanda: Your cruel, cruel comments about my pinkalicious (thanks, Magpie for the adjective!) blog would hurt my feelings.

If, y'know, I actually had feelings. ; )

Julia said...

That pinkness was hi-larious, if hurtful to my poor eyes. Needed the chuckle.

Ok, you sold me. The only reason I put verification on was the one day where I scrubbed like 10 different chinese spam comments from all over different entries. But maybe they have given up on me by now. Especially since the verification has gotten to be so annoying lately. We'll see what happens when I set my comments free...

Monica H said...

Pink is not even my favorite color, but I voted anyway because I may not get back to it in the next 1099 days!

Word verification is annoying and so is when you have to wait for the blog author's approval to post your comment- hate that. That's why I turned mine off months ago.

I also hate when people don't blog for weeks at a time- what's the point?

What else? I also don't like when bloggers change the color of their font. I came across a blog with a yellow background (eew!) and every paragraph was a different obnoxious color. It was a baby loss blog, but I just couldn't do it. Lord knows I tried.

Ooh, that was fun! I feel much better now.

Antigone said...

Privacy. If you know personal info about a blogger like their real name, don't use it in the comments.

Antigone said...

I'm not really paranoid. I'm not.