One of my favourite bloggers, Manuel, has returned in triumph with a shiny new website.
That has cheered me right up.
It also got me thinking about what makes me enjoy other blogs. Obviously I like mine best, because it's mine, and I know everyone in it, but you know, other people sometimes make me sit up and take notice.
Being a slightly anal* type, I thought I'd make a list of Things I Like In Other Blogs. There may also be a subsequent list of Things I Dislike In Other Blogs, but that seems a bit negative. Plus I am lazy. And ill. Did I already mention that?
1) Humour. I look for stuff that amuses me. Not necessarily laugh-out-loud comedy, but stories with a twist in them, something a bit offbeat and quirky. My favourite blogs feel like listening to a great friend in the pub telling a good story.
2) Intelligence. To be honest, I have seldom read a blog where I thought "Wow, this was written by a halfwit," probably because pressing the keyboard keys in the correct sequence to actually publish anything requires a sort of Plimsoll Line of intelligence. Typos and minor spelling errors are a fact of life, especially when you write in one hit and haven't worked out how to use the spell check function**, but stupidity is something else. Showing off your top-notch highbrow classical education is annoying though, probably because I never had one, so am suffused with envy.
3) Variety. This is a bit rich coming from someone whose life can be encapsulated under about three subject headings, but I like to read about other people having wild interesting times, things I didn't know about, places I might want to go to sometime. I've learned a lot from other blogs, sometimes too much. Dan, I am looking at you here.
4) Pictures. It took me about a year and a half to work out how to put pictures on my blog, and I love seeing them on other blogs. Especially if they have captions and/or labels. Big fan of that. Yes, I know the LOLCats franchise are teh Interweb market leaders, but I like to see the freelance sort as well. Antonia is spectacularly good at this.
5) Ranting. Well, any sort of impassioned diatribe really. As long as it's not too pious and worthy, that just bores me, being a selfish and short-attention span type of person. But a good rant is usually worth reading.
6) Swearing. As long as it is done with style. Manuel is a past master at this, which is another reason I am glad he's back.
7) Good nature. I'm not a fan of spitefulness, or maliciousness, or deliberate hurtfulness, so I like blogs which are mostly positive. Not "hello clouds, hello sky" stuff, though, that is too cloying and boring. Anything that gets spiteful turns me right off. It is perfectly possible to be grumpy and positive at the same time. I make it a mainstay of my daily life.
I started my own blog when I had a MySpace page, about 3 years ago now, and it was a way of keeping friends and family informed of stuff in a small way, plus it was a way to get myself back into writing after a very long break. I mentioned that I was lazy already? Anyway, I really enjoyed doing it, and when I kicked the MySpace thing into touch, I exported the whole lot across to Blogger, mostly because I was a huge fan of the much-missed Badgerdaddy, and liked the way his site looked.
It means that the first ever post on here is in fact about 20 posts (short ones) all squidged together, and covers a few weeks, but I can't be arsed to break it all up into individual days. I assume that if anyone is that interested, they will just scroll down the page. Do people read archives? I tend not to. Lazy. Sorry.
Hmm, that went a bit retrospective, which wasn't the intention. I guess reading Manuel's blog made me feel nostalgic, as he was one of the earliest commenters on here. Welcome back, matey. I missed you.
**I do that. Sorry about the typos and spelling errors.