Monday, December 21, 2009

Blame Humor Bloggers

A review from People in the Sun:

So last week I got this nice review done, and most people thought it was alright. Hell, it even had a Nazi joke! And here, so soon, is the review that will banish me forever from this community.

Because what we have here is a Humor Blogger. And I don't hate it.

Now, I understand the hatred for Humor Bloggers. They're bubbly. They're constrained by the need to tell jokes. They're like a bubbly community of monstrous sad clowns. They're my supervisor in the call center 5 years ago. She smiled her stupid smile even when she told me 5 minutes late is still late, and that at 8am I'm already expected to be ready by the phone. Because she had to smile all the time or else she would have exploded with self-pity and self-loathing and self-delusion.

So I understand the instinctive hatred for Humor Bloggers.

But beyond that, what do we have here?

First of all, I hate original Blogger templates. Find a blog you like, find the template link at the bottom, and get yourself a new template. I mean, that "Just hangin' out" line in the description is invisible, for Canadian Christ's sake.

Oh yea, he's Canadian. Whatever the hell that is.

Now let's go down that sidebar:

Humor Bloggers button. A Christmas pun. Links to his Canadian Politics blog. His chatting-about-music blog (why do all his blogs start with these dots? What am I missing here?). His awards-other-bloggers-have-given-him blog. His blogroll blog. Another Humor Bloggers button. A picture of Elvis ironing. It's moving endlessly. Because it's a GIF. Who gives a fuck. It's the most annoying thing I've ever seen. Two more Humor Bloggers buttons. God I'm getting annoyed. And Friendfeed, and Tweets, and Followers, and something called LOL BLIPS Rating, and this thing that tells you where traffic is coming from because as a reader I'm supposed to give a fuck? And some stickers, which are these horrible one liners you find at that call center supervisor's cubicle, and of course: yet another Humor Bloggers button.

Man... And there are more buttons at the bottom? Shit!

OK. I feel this review is already too long, so I'm just going to go through the content quickly.

It's not horrible, see? And that's the tragedy of it all. I mean, it's not really for me, and I don't think I'd wake up and say, "I wonder if there's a new post up?" But I also wouldn't kick this guy out of my Google Reader. Most of the stuff is original and not annoying at all, considering the Humor Bloggers connection. In other words, ever met anyone involved in improv theater or stand-up, and you know they're testing material on you while they're supposedly having a regular conversation, and it's the most annoying feeling in the world? So this blog isn't like that. It's genuine, and even with all the buttons, you don't get the feelings that he's trying hard to make you laugh. He's doing whatever the hell he wants, really, and that's good, in principal.

But it also means that for every original Christmas Song post and for every genuine post about his health, you also have a couple of posts about US politics, which don't really go anywhere, a collection of cut-and-pasted editorial cartoons, and some posts about nothing, that you finish reading and feel like Will Smith just erased your memory with his Men in Black gadget.

And captions contests.

Now, whatever I think about captions contests is irrelevant. The commenters are genuinely having fun, so who am I to judge? And that's what it's about, really. Humor Bloggers are not monstrous sad clowns at all. They're not my call center supervisor. It's just a bunch of people who like to make each other laugh, and what's wrong with that? Knowing the Internet is full of shitty motivational posters, isn't a community of bloggers actually the best part of the internet? Congratulations, Internet, you're using your powers for good this time.

So at the risk of being the Paula Abdul of this site, I will say again that I didn't hate this blog, and I can't give him the fiery finger. But I can't praise it either.

The Dufus needs to make drastic changes to his design. Dufus, if Humor Bloggers forces you to put 10 buttons on your sidebar, you should join forces with other members and protest. This is YOUR corner of the Internet. How much traffic are you getting from LOL Blips? Do they deserve room on your sidebar? I bet even your most loyal readers can't stand this Elvis anymore. Put some Goddamn thought into what you have on your sidebar. And change your template. Your writing is original--so make the whole package look more personal. And get rid of those dots.

Unless its a Canadian thing. In which case, power to you, eh?


  1. In other words, he got a star for regularly pimpin'
    I bet he doesn't even wear a giant gold necklace.

  2. I couldn't even read much of his content becasue I was so bored by the template and annoyed by the sidebar. I agree with your review. What a great Christmas gift you are giving this guy by saying.. hey snap out of it, if you care about your blog make it look like it.... then maybe we will too.


  3. Mongoliangirl, I guess it was borderline Meh for me. But that would have meant me judging his sense of humor. I think his readers genuinely like his sense of humor, so it had to be a case of "It's not you, it's me."

    Warmchocmilk, it's just weird to me that people dedicate so much time to their blog (and obviously he has plenty of time to spare, maintaining all his blogs), and not spending any time trying to make their corner of the Internet their own. I hope the review helps, you know?

  4. The design immediately gave me a bad taste in my mouth and I really had to force myself to read a few entries. But your review is dead on.

    First of all it's hard to hate on a grandfather with cancer. But he even manages to joke about that and I laughed hysterically at the cancer/Alzheimer's joke! He's affable, funny and good-natured.

    Just lose the clutter and focus more on the personal stuff and this would be something I'd check in on regularly.

  5. I'd about given up hearing from you folks. Nice of you to save this for Christmas. Now I've unwrapped your present and it's kinda like when mom used to give me underwear and socks.

    Mongoliangirl: Sorry, no gold necklace - gotta gold tooth!

    warmchocmilk: Snap out of it? You guys certainly know how to get a guy's attention.

    Daddy Files: That's for the kind words. You get it. There's nothing wrong in using laughter to get through a rough moment.

    Now, People in the Sun: What is it with you guys over here and your mad on for Humor Bloggers Dot Com and Humor bloggers? It's like were lepers or something. Hey, we're a nice (and funny) group of people and you hit the nail on the head when you spoke of the comaradarie among us (not your word mine, I think yours was "community" and it really is). It's great to visit one another and comment on each other's blogs. There's a real back and forth and it makes what we do worth while.

    Not to toot my own horn but I must be doing something right if I get between 150-200 drive-bys a day from around the world ("this thing that tells you where traffic is coming from"widget), 10-15 commenters, rate around the Top 5 at Humor Blogs and within the Top 20 at LOL Blips. I'm happy with that.

    That having been said I take folks comments about template. Hey, I'm a writer not a techie. The dots? Ha, ha, I couldn't get the spacing to work properly to centre the blog name and had to use dots to push it over to where I wanted it, as simple as that. But my new year's resolution is to be dot-free in a new template.

    I take this as all good stuff and appreciate the time you took to go through my blog and provide this advice. Hey, one star isn't bad when you consider there's, what, 4-5 steps below it. And, hey, I'm happy I'm not your supervisor!

    Merry Christmas guys and I hope you'll drop by in the new year to see how I've cleaned the template - and yes the side bar - up.

    Oh, and Paula, where is she now? ;)

  6. Daddy Files, it's also hard to hate on him because he's not pretentious in any way, you know? Just a guy with a blog.

    Dufus, but in the end, you've used your underwear and socks more than you would have used your toys, right? Probably less lead in them too.

    Now, about Humor Bloggers. Like I said, I think having a community of bloggers is a good thing. Blogs on the Left and on the Right have communities. Mom and Dad blogs have communities. What they don't have are lists and popularity contests. Good for you (and not in a sarcastic way) that you're in the top 10 of Humor Bloggers, but just know that for non-Humor-Bloggers this is completely meaningless to the point of annoyance. Hey, you asked. See what I wrote above, about you not being pretentious? Don't tell me about your Humor Blogger rating or I'll take that back.

    Now, about the template. If you know how to publish a post then you know how to get a new template. I saw you changed the header, and I think it looks much better now. But take a look at other templates. Here's one place. There are many more. The only problem is that you might need to reinstall some of the sidebar widgets, but it might be a good opportunity to rethink them anyway.

    And yes, I understand YOU might want to know how many people visit your blog and where they come from. I just don't understand why I need to know that. Get a free StatCounter account and get rid of that white rectangle. I know I came to your site from Baltimore. I don't need your site to tell me that.

    Paula will be resurrected.

    Happy New Year.

  7. This has been a useful exercise for me People in the Sun. I appreciate it. Thanks again. And good luck with that Paula thing.

  8. No Name --

    If I may be permitted to enter the fray and explain why I, at least, have a problem with "Humor Bloggers."

    In general, I don't like anything that tells me in advance if it is funny or brilliant. To paraphrase what I said in a previous review -- Don't tell me you're humorous. Just BE humorous. (Or brilliant, or whatever).

    See, if you say you're a humor blogger and I don't find you funny, then you come across as a wannabe poser. And here's a little hint -- I don't consider 90% of the humor blogs that I have read all that funny. I also don't consider 90% of comedy movies all that funny either.

    I used to know a guy who would somehow work into every conversation I had with him that he had an IQ of 162. Which made it all that more embarrasing for him whenever he would fuck something up. Which happened regularly. Me with my measly, mediocre IQ of only 126 would not make the same fuck ups.

    Now if he had been just one of us, the fuck ups would have gone by unnoticed, or unremarked. But by holding himself out there as some sort of paragon, he made himself a lightning rod.

    By affiliating with Humor Bloggers, if you ain't funny, similar lightning rod.

    Of course, that may just be me.

    Does that explain it?

  9. Posol'stvo the Medved: Good luck with that IQ thing.

  10. I can't tell. Was that a comeback?

  11. Posol'stvo the Medved: Touché


Grow a pair.