Fifteen minutes into my alloted half hour of clicking, I found myself making a list of common tics, distracting habits, the things that can make a site unwelcoming. Most of them can be fixed with a little thought and effort.
–A surprising number of people give their blogs subtitles that are so underachieving you wonder why anyone would bother to write them. In fifteen minutes, I found: ruminations, ramblings, random thoughts, musings, a little bit of this and that, just the usual, nothing special and, my personal favorite, "another blog? You must be joking." I don't know about you, but I don't really want to read a blog somebody's already decided doesn't amount to much. Could be the person writing it just needs a little encouragement to see that what they're doing can have real value. I hope they find it.
–It's not hard to figure out if a blog is going to be rant-driven, if you, like me, aren't fond of this style of writing. One clue: if a blog is called "the screaming place" you might want to enter with ear plugs in hand. But note: there's another blog, called The Screaming Room, that's quite funny. Maybe they're one and the same and I wrote the blog's name down twice, differently.
–It's not the bad spelling that worries me, it's the decision not to spell check when you've very likely been told more than once that you aren't a speller. I found these in a single (pretty short) paragraph: "truely," "exquisit," "there" (for their). This string of errors made it hard to concentrate on content.
–Finally, five emoticons in one page view are just way, way too many emoticons. That's as many as you should use in a lifetime. Maybe three or four more than you should use in a lifetime, in fact.
I did find some gems, and I'll write them up in the morning.