Monday, August 1

#2: seven deadly sins of blogging.

Disclaimer: the author has, at one time or another, committed most of these sins himself, and will doubtless do so again. However, we can at least strive for betterment.

1. The dashing of raised expectations. "Wow, I'm really excited: I'm off to see the Snotty Throttlers tonight! Hope it's a good gig!" Darling, we are all positively thrilled for you. Now, would you mind coming back and telling us what the gig was actually like? Or has your fickle little brain already leapt onto the next forthcoming engagement in your enviously packed social diary?

2. Laboriously detailed blow-by-blow transcripts of unsatisfactory telephone conversations with service suppliers. However irksome it must have been to have been stuck on hold for fifteen minutes before being palmed off with another feeble excuse from a call centre dweeb, this does not give you carte blanche to turn into some sort of fearless investigative consumer journalist. ("Today on Mikey's Idiosyncratic Witterings, we EXPOSE the CANCER at the heart of British banking! When will Barclays/HSBC/NatWest SIT UP AND LISTEN?")

3. And, on a similar note: "Last night, I spent TWENTY MINUTES deleting spam comments! When will these SCUM learn? Something must be DONE!" Or in other words: I have suffered for this blog; now it's your turn.

4. Wryly addressing one's audience as "Dear Reader" does NOT confer you with an attractively arch, playfully ironic authorial tone. Now straighten those eyebrows immediately.

5. Those bloody CSS-based table layouts which send sidebars crashing down to the bottom of the page, if you're not browsing at maximum screen size: sort it out, why cantcha? HTML <table> tags might be fearfully passé - but they also have the advantage of actually, you know, working.

6. Similarly, designing blog layouts that look like crap in Internet Explorer, then haughtily abdicating all responsibility on the grounds that the reader should have been using a "proper" browser like Firefox. Listen up, tough-talking crusader against the arrogant might of "Micro$oft" (oh, my aching sides!) - not all of your readers are afforded the choice.

7. Falsely assuming that, just because you've been blogging for two years or more, this gives you some sort of "elder statesman" authority to make superior-sounding pronouncements upon acceptable standards of blogging. Who died and made you queen, Miss Thing?

8. Blogging about blogging, because you can't be arsed to come up with any original content. (See also #7 above.)

9. Not being capable of editing blog postings properly, instead letting them drift on and on, way past their original brief, because once you've started you just can't bear to hit that Publish Post button.


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