I started blogging as a way to train myself to write every day. I'd long said I wanted to be a writer, and I thought creating a habit, flexing my writing muscles by blogging, would be a good way to start reaching that goal (almost four years later and I'm not limber enough yet). I thought I'd tell amusing stories, make a few people laugh, comment on the news and pop culture of the day, revive some bits of nostalgia, and just crack my knuckles and get down to the business of writing. What I didn't expect was the opportunity for self-exploration and connection blogging could provide. The more I blogged, the more I learned about myself. And the more I blogged, the more I learned about others, about how we're alike in our differences, about how people are usually more than you think.
What strikes me about today's reviewee is that he seems so self-aware. He knows who he is, what's important to him, what he likes and dislikes and dreams. I don't know how much self-knowledge blogging affords him, but whatever his motivation for blogging, whatever unexpected benefits he may gain from it, I'm glad he does.
Jacob at Jacob's Land of Bliss and Blisters says his blog is "... a little difficult to describe. I'm a scattered, random and eclectic person. So is my blog." And he's right.
He uses a standard blogger template, and though it's not horrible it's also not all that attractive or personal. I'd like a little more personality -- a photographic banner, perhaps. Though it is relatively uncluttered, the font is a bit small. Roll up your archives, Jacob, and consider tabs. Try to fix it so you've got no more than, say, six posts on a page.
Readers take note: he's got a great "about" page. This is what we want: just the basics, a little upfront information on who you are and what to expect. You don't have to shoot your wad there and give us everything, but give us a taste, just the tip. (Although, Jacob, consider linking to the blogs of those you list under "cast" right there in the text.)
Jacob is a frequent, long-term blogger with a backlog of EIGHT YEARS of posts, though only the last three have been consistent. Normally for a blog with that long a history, I'll go back to the first couple of posts just to see how it all started then stick with the current year. But I got sucked in and wanted to read the whole thing. I couldn't, though, not in the time I'd allotted myself to review.
I love a Georgia boy, and they love their football. But like Chris's blog (one Jacob and I both read), sometimes the football talk gets boring for me 'cause they're not talking about Florida State (except here -- Go Noles!). I can forgive him his low opinion of Florida. Barely.
But I just like his voice. Even when he's boring and fatalistic and misanthropic, he's entertaining and well-written and thoughtful. He's dry and smart and self-aware.
True, they're mostly loooong posts. He's got a lot to say and he usually says it very well. It's not that I think you should edit, Jacob, although you probably could prune a bit. It's that I'd like to see more variety in length. Acres of lengthy posts can be a little daunting for a reader. There's a tendency toward tangential and rambling writing, and though this is one of those cases where I think it works in your favor, it would work even better if you switched it up with some more brief, succinct posts thrown in (something it seems you've started doing more of in recent months).
They say you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep, and I tend to think that's true. This is why a blogroll is, for me, as important as an about page. I wanna know who you are and who you like. In this case, I like who Jacob is, and I like who he likes.