Thursday, September 07, 2006

Whitest. Blogger. Ever.

I was all ready to blog today about the Katie Couric debut, but that will have to wait because I found out it was finally my turn in the barrel at Ask And Ye Shall Receive (the url is actually more descriptive than the blog name). These fine folk are yet another snarky blog review site. Their twist is that instead of just being cruel, they are cruel AND helpful. Let’s see what they have to say:

The format is non-offensive. That's the best I can offer. It's beyond plain. It's white, white, white, white. It's white-out conditions at the ski resort. It's buggering up the copy machine and being buried in reams of paper. It's screwing an irishman.

I really can’t fault their criticism of my site. I am about the whitest blogger alive, literally and metaphorically. I’m also part Irish and have never heard that particular ethnic slur before. I thought we were just belligerent drunkards. I had no idea we were boring lovers as well. I better not let my wife find out.

This guy is a pretty prolific writer, and he turns out about a blog post every day. Most of them are long.

I agree with that. It does take me a while to build up a head of steam and I try to limit posts to one page in Word, but I often run long. I think the pictures and videos make them look longer than they are. I try to post 3-4 times a week to give readers a reason to keep coming back. Maybe I do need to be shorter and snarkier.

It's often a longer regurgitation of news blurbs.

The last time I had my blog savaged reviewed, they also complained that I just rehash news stories. I write about what interests me and it is often pegged to a current event. I try to give a twist or a fresh perspective or a personal anecdote that relates to the topic without being boring or pedantic. I guess I need to work harder there.

Now that I think about it, some pieces of the content are so soulless that, like the template, they remind me of Laura Bush. Smiley and well-groomed, but vacant.

Being compared to Laura Bush is not a bad thing. She fits into my fantasy of smart powerful women. It helps that she is a librarian. I have hanging in my cubicle a picture of her I took at the 2001 National Book Festival when she was mingling with the common folk and eating some ethnic food. Does it get anymore white bread than that? As far as politics go, lets just say that Dubya married up.

I give it a and a for thinking you're so damn smart and soulful, but showing us your tighty whities instead of your naughty bits.

I have discussed my choice of underwear before (see the comments on this link if you are that curious) and the reviewer isn’t that far off. It’s what I find comfortable and suitable to me. I make no apologies. It’s what I am.

I will look into some of the more technical comments, which highlight some deficiencies I’m aware of already and some I never realized. Given limited time resources I am more inclined to provide new content rather than futz with the template. Come back some time and check out the snazzier me.

Blatant Comment Whoring™:
Are blog review sites helpful or just mean-spirited train-wreck gawkers?

Bonus Comment Whoring™:
Are my posts too damn long or worth every word?


kitty kat said...

I think it depends on the nature of the site. [Granted, I'm a member of one of the sites, but] If you gain an insight from it or a way to make things a little more functional, or appealing, or even more reader-friendly then I'd say a review can be helpful. If all the review does is summarize what's on your page and based on personal preference berate away, all the while having a groupthink mob follow their lead? Well, no. Then it's just being fucking tyrannical.

Anonymous said...

What I don't get, yello, is how you get to be reviewed on these sites. I like to think that my blog is pretty high-profile but I have not to date been savaged by them. Did you submit your URL to them yourself? If so, perhaps you ARE into the S&M a little.


Anonymous said...

As your anonymous reviewer, I'd like to say that I find Irishmen quite enchanting in bed. They're just really, really pale.

yellojkt said...

Yes, you have to submit your blog to these sites. They have disclaimers making sure you realize what you are getting into. Some even check IP addresses and require e-mail confirmation to prevent prank submissions. I'm a blog traffic whore and do find these sites mildly amusing.

Thank you, sir! May I have another?

trusty getto said...

In response to your first question, yes.

In response to your second question, yes.

I must admit that I like the hack they linked to. I may give it a try on my next long post. [Yea, I know - I'm such a nerd . . . ]

Impetua said...

I like your blog, and yes it is kinda white, but it's not about being white... it just is what it is.

That being said, head on over to mine for cute kitten and baby photos. :)

Jamy said...

I actually found your site because I used to write reviews for "the weblog review." You were on my list, but someone else beat me to the punch.

I don't think your posts are too long (I can't, mine are much longer!). I also think you have a nice mix of current events, personal topics and general observations. Some posts I love, others are just ok, but it's good enough to keep me coming back!

payne by name said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with long posts.

To be honest I get tired of this current fad for everyone wanting short, snappy soundbites. Why?

Once I've made a connection with someone I read their blog to get into their head and share their experiences, see things from their perspective and this isn't served in a three line paragraph.

Unlike some readers of blogs I do have an attention span and if the piece is interesting and well written then I'd prefer being able to sit down and savour a nice read.

I enjoy reading the blog and if I go on and see he's written a long piece it's good to know that when I grab 10-15 mins at lunch or after work I've something to enjoy.

Keep your posts as long or as short as you like but please don't think that all the readers out there can't read more than 100 words without their brain melting.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Dear lord you didn't pay for the priviledge of that beating too, did you?

I think your posts are worth every word. I prefer to read longer posts. I don't see the point in going to a blog just to read a paragraph or two. Your content is great, you can keep your naughty bits in your tighty whities.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

I recently wrote a piece where I suggested that it's better to keep your posts shorter - mainly because I know there's an attention span deficiency problem with some people out there.

But in your case, you're longer posts are a result of simply having a lot of interesting material to share - not simply endless babble regarding what you personally think about some boring issue.

I thoroughly enjoy the way you profile an experience in an educated "documentary" kind of way.

Don't change a thing and for God's sakes, quit asking these useless review sites for their opinions already!!!

Elizabeth said...

Definitely worth every word! That's why I keep coming back!

Anonymous said...

Oh- I enjoyed and could relate to your writing. What does that say about me? I couldn't imagine my reviews. Mine are too wholesome to be news worthy, but my mom reads my stuff. Plus hubby vetoes all the cool nasty bad stuff.

Read/Think/Live said...

Worth it.

And by the way I thought your "ouroboros of vapidity" comment was the Best of Show on Achenblog yesterday.


2fs said...

I would say ignore people who say your entries are too long. We live in a culture where a fifteen-second commercial is "too long" and where people behind you lay on the horn about a millisecond after the light turns green if you're not peeling rubber yet. I don't read all your entries - some are on subjects that just don't interest me - but when you're on things that intrigue me, you write well about them, length be damned. Carry on, sir.

Anonymous said...

Obviously I enjoy your blog because I keep coming back! Most of the time I find your topics interesting, as well as your perspective. I don't know where you find the time! You are what you are, and there's nothing wrong with that.


Mooselet said...

No I don't think your posts are too long. As someone who also tends to run long, I think it's important to not only make your point but explain a bit of your thinking behind it. If I wanted a quick sound bite, I'd watch the evening "news". There are still those of us out there who enjoy an intelligent read.

I got slammed by a review site for being "political" - I'm not generally, but the day they showed up to review me I was on a bit of a rant about things that were going on where I am. I like blogs that are more multi-dimensional.

Keep up the good work yello - I like your blog (although a bit of colour wouldn't hurt).

yellojkt said...


Thanks for the explanation. Since I practically glow in the dark, I can't take offense at the irishman metaphor. Umbrage withdrawn.

Everyone else,

Thanks for the support. It's what my fragile ego needs.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with posts that are "long?" That means you have something to say!

Anonymous said...

Reviews, schmeviews.
Those who can't do, teach, etc. And those who can't contribute to society in any way whatsoever, critique.
Your blog is fine, Whitey

- Not-so-anonymously,

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with long blogs as long as they are interesting and well written. And yours are!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my daughter was stirring. I think a little constructive criticism is always needed. I would hate to think I was always perfect, with no room for improvement. However, it's up to you to discern what is helpful from the malicious, as well as be able to laugh at yourself along the way.

Bonvallet said...

I very much enjoy your writings YellowJ, you're a smart man. This here is a well-groomed blog, but certainly not vacant.