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This is an old revision of FinalMH made by MadelynHaasken on 2018-05-01 09:50:10.

 

Blogging and Digital Reading


I have been blogging for about two years (ever since Weblogs & Wikis). I've changed the theme of my blog multiple times -- from makeup, to photography, to poetry, to crime writing. Currently, my blog is a hodge-podge of things, mainly a portfolio for my photography and writing. I've also spent lots of time browsing other's blogs, which can be a toss-up, because of the sheer amount of blogs and the variety of creators. Blogging is relevant to digital reading, hypertext, and Krug's teachings because anyone can create a blog -- including people such as teenagers, bored moms, people who might not know much about writing/design, etc. These people can put their blog online for all to see and read, which is why it's important for the information and design to be highly readable and usable to any audience.

Krug in Application to Blogging

ch1: Website creators pay regular citizens to see how readable their websites are, however amateur bloggers likely don't have the funds for this, therefore they might not know if their content in readable
ch2: Less info, get straight to the point
ch3: Several conventions are not to be broken. Logo should be on top in center or in the top left corner.Creativity is good, but the original web design conventions are vital because people are familiar with them and understand them.
ch4: users like mindless choices
do not mind a lot of clicks if they are simple
"home" "about me" "my work - photography" "my work - writing" etc.
important for readable blogs, or user will go to a different site
ch5: Cut out useless words, even for blog posts, they are not important and your content will seem more professional.
ch6:
ch7: Homepage is the first impression for viewers. It's important for users to see this as a non-cluttered, timely, non-confusing space where they can begin their search for content. On the homepage, viewers should be able to see the name of the blog and what type of blog it is (travel, food, etc.)
ch8:
ch9: Usability testing. Again, not normally accessible for small blogs run by a single person. Instead, it would be useful to ask third-person parties such as friends, family, even your viewers, whether or not your blog is usable. Ask if there is too much clutter, if the theme of the blog is clear, and if there is too much going on.

Readability and Blogging

Krug explains the importance of creating content that allows users to find information quickly, without thought. However, with blogs, this is not often the goal of the reader. Upon opening a blog, users are more likely to casually browse, as opposed to rapidly searching for an answer to a question. Although, there are some times when information is desired by users and blogs can be a distracting format in which to find it. For example, recipes. When searching for a recipe online, it is primarily cooking blogs that will have the recipe you desire. But to find the actual recipe, you will likely have to scroll through a lengthy blog posting about the author making the food, as well as a plethora of aesthetic photos of the food posed in different ways. However, in many instances, blog posts are for reading, not glancing and skimming.

Hypertext in Blogging

https://michellerafter.com/2011/05/18/8-essential-reasons-to-put-links-in-blog-posts/
Michelle Rafter, a freelance writer who runs the blog "Word Count", which contains advice about web writing and blogging, posted this opinion piece about entitled "8 Essential Reasons to put Links in Blog Posts". She argues that adding links to blog posts can add credibility to your content, save time defining and explaining, and create traffic on your blog by linking your past posts.

This article, published by The Economist, discusses both sides of adding hyperlinks on web writing pieces. The question posed by the author being "do articles on the internet contain too many distracting links?" The article discusses Nicholas Carr, writer of The Shallows, and his thoughts on the subject of hypertext which he shares in a blog post, in which he writes "links are wonderful conveniences...but they are also distractions." Would Krug agree that hypertext links are too distracting for readers to find what they are looking for quickly and conveniently? Does it affect the readability of the piece? Carr favors the format of adding links in the article, but instead of adding them into the fabric of the article itself, instead putting the links at the end in a chunk, almost like ending citations.

Design Elements in Blogging

Content is king. Although it might be tempting to add whimsical fonts, bright colors and unconventional layouts, by far the most vital part of any blog is the content. Krug explains basic web writing layout "rules" in Chapter 3, where he describes the importance of using conventional layouts as opposed to untraditional layouts that users will have to think about. Here is an example of an unconventional blog layout, Ted Goranson's personal blog. Strange characters, aka buttons that are unclear, force viewers to read a paragraph about where each specific button leads to. This blog in general is a bit of a thinker.

This blog post discusses design elements and branding mistakes that can distract your readers. Although design and layout is important to the blog, content is the first priority. As Amber Simmons writes in Reviving Anorexic Web Writing, "The content is the heart of the website. I can’t build you a body until you give me a heart."
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