The title of this blog post (see below) immediately caught my eye.  As a sometime golfer, why wouldn’t I want to be subpar?  After all, in golf, that’s good.  But, in blogging terms, I guess it’s bad.  Par is average so in golf to be below average is good but not so much in blogging.  Oh the linguistics!  Someone needs to explain the English language to me sometime.

Back on topic, Doug…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I’m a sucker for these types of posts.  I like to apply them to my own situation and see how I stack up.  They’re not really based on a scientific analysis but just someone’s opinion at a given point in time.  And, isn’t that what blogging is about?

The articles was called 7 Biggest Annoyances On Subpar Blogs.  I thought I would use the “annoyances” to handicap this blog from my perspective.  Feel free to tell me otherwise.

1. Cluttered Sidebars
Uh oh. I could be in trouble from the start.  I do have a lot happening in the sidebar.  I think that the litmus test might well be to see if the sidebar is longer than the content of a blog post.  If that’s the case, I’m failing.  I’m going to have to do some weeding here.  I can absolutely remember when I added each of the elements and they all seemed logical at the time.  Now, looking back at the entirety, there’s probably far too much there.  I’ll score this -2 which is good in golf but bad in blogging.

2. Messy Comments
I don’t think I have a problem here.  I don’t get many comments on posts.  I do have the WordPress app on my phone and get notification everytime something comes through.  This allows me to react to comments immediately.  I think I do this well — +1

3. Worthless Posts
By the standard, I don’t think I have what would be considered a worthless post.  They’re all written from the heart; I try to legitimately write a post from what I’m doing or thinking on any given day. — +1

One Tree Hill Studios via Compfight cc

4. Link-Heavy Posts
Gulp!  I know, I know.  The worst thing Doug ever did was learn how to automatically post from Diigo to WordPress.  I like the feature; it allows me to review the things that I share on previous days in one fell swoop.  Diigo has been acting up lately so there have been some posts that don’t make it.  Generally, though, I expect every other post here to have a big collection of links.  Or, maybe it’s not half-empty.  I expect every other post to have something to say.  Let’s call this a wash.  — 0

5. Poor Formatting
I take pride in reading and proofreading.  Sometimes, it even looks like I did.  I also use the WordPress language tools.  I try to have legitimate paragraph breaks.  I try to get punctuation correct.  I try to format images so that they’re quick to load and in the proper place.  You can tell when I use Windows LiveWriter for content creation because it adds the 3D formatting effect.  I’m not a fan of text wrapped around an image because it displays differently on different browsers and different screen widths.  For the most part, I put images on their own line.  With the theme that I’m currently using, I think it works well.  — +1

And, I’d never do anything like gratuitously stick an image of a golf ball in a post just for effect.

6. Over-Sharing
I’m bad at this.  But hear me out.  I have the blog sent to automatically post at 5am in the morning.  It’s automatically shared to Twitter.  Then, it’s automatically posted on Facebook.  Since it’s a link on Twitter, posts the link to Diigo.  Diigo then makes a once a day post to the blog to summarize all the links I’ve shared on any given day.  It also posts to my Blogger blog.  I’ll share my posts manually to Google + and then to my Pinterest page.  It’s all in good learning to teach me how to use these different services.  It doesn’t stand up to analysis…gosh, I’m noisy.  -1  Oh, did I mention that lots of folks are kind enough to retweet the link?  Better make that -2.

7. Rants
This made me smile.  The default category for any blog post here is “Just Rambling”.  Is that an acknowledgement that the standard is to ramble.  Is rambing the same as ranting?  I’m going to say no and score that — +1

Let me indulge myself with one rant and that includes sidebars and poor formatting.  I recognize that some folks sell advertising space on their blogs to make money.  The least they could do though is format it so that it fits nicely into the area devoted to it.

Now that we’re at the 19th, er, 8th hole, let’s check the scorecard.

Hole Hole Hole Hole Hole Hole Hole Score
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7
 -2  +1  +1  0  +1  -2  +1 0

Yes, I probably moved the ball while you weren’t looking…

It was a fun exercise to take a look at the blog through the standards of someone else.  If nothing else, it’s given me some things to think about.

Do you agree with my scoring?  How would you rate yourself?

Would you analyze your blog this way?

Would you have your students?

Published by dougpete

The content of this blog is created by me at the keyboard or as a result of an aggregator of my daily reading under the title OTR Links. On Fridays, look for my signature post "This Week in Ontario Edublogs" where I try to share some great writing from Ontario Educators. The other regular post appears Sunday mornings as I try to start a conversation about things that have gone missing from our daily lives.

5 thoughts on “Subpar?

  1. I like it when you do these reflective self-assessments. It’s interesting to read the thinking about your thinking. Personally, I appreciate the Diigo posts. I’m not on Twitter all day so it allows me to quickly see if you shared any gems that I missed. Typically, I find something I want to explore further. I’m sure some would feel differently, but hey, it’s your blog. It’s also nice to have a backup to Diigo on your own site, no?


  2. I’m not good at analysing my own work. I don’t know what I’d think of my blog if it were not mine. Of course one issue for me is that I don’t read many blogs via web browsers. I use to read the RSS feeds. When I do visit a blog I tend not to notice the sidebars that much. Someone who discovers a post organically may pay more attention than someone who follows a direct link.

    I’m not sure that link heavy posts are that big a problem. But then I love hopping around the web reading things. Perhaps I am an outlier.

    In any case it is my blog and no one is paying me to write it. You get what you pay for even when you are not paying. 🙂


  3. Thanks, Philip. I think that it’s important to be explain “what” you’re doing and it goes to the next level when you can explain “why”. I’m glad that you like the Diigo links. It was a concept that I wrestled with when I first learned how to do it. I use it myself quite regularly.


  4. Alfred, you raise a good point. For the most part, I do my reading in a reader but do get interested when someone advertises a new post via Twitter or Facebook. That takes me to the blog where you read it in all its glory and make the decision whether or not to follow.

    For me, an added advantage of reading your blog is knowing you personally. I see even more than just the words; it’s like the conversations that we have when we get together at CSTA.

    Bottom line – you’ve got it nailed. It’s your own blog and you should feel free to work it however you feel best about it.


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