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Blogging Without Obligation

July 26, 2008

"I'm peeing on a stick, okay?" "Chosen Prey" by John Sanford

See that button over in my sidebar that says "Blogging Without Obligation"? Well, I've been feeling guilty - I have obligated myself to some blogging - with the Sandcastles Mini (too cute!) and with my offer of a tutorial for posting photos in Blogger.

The tutorial is still in the works and every day that goes by without me posting it makes me feel guilty, especially as I surf along and see the pain that many Blogger users are facing each day. (Heh. Melodrama.)

The thing is, this month has been particularly upside down for me. I can't really put my finger on any one specific thing, but I'm always terribly busy OR recovering from being terribly busy. Heck, I pretty much missed/skipped my own birthday and for those who know me, that is Just Not Done. It's usually a month of reminders ahead of time and stretching out the festivities to a week or two or four. Didn't happen this year. I didn't even get to pick what I wanted for dinner, though I didn't have to cook.

Okay, back to the BWO. I feel bad that I haven't delivered on the tutorial - YET.

And here I am with yet another non-tutorial post, and it's just because I'm a bit frustrated.

This is about blog "features" that drive me wild. There are only two and a half things that come to mind right now, but I've got my shorts in a bunch and need to grump. I'd pretend that this is a public service post, helping bloggers realize what is and is not cool, but I won't be that pretentious. This is stuff that bugs ME.

ClaraFirst, foremost, primary, preeminent: Music on your blog. Makes me click away faster than you can say Billy Mays. For one thing, I might not like your taste in music. Another is that my dear, semi-deaf Mr. W. (bless his heart) listens to 'casts' on the puter, so when I'm innocently surfing around and get BLASTED with Limp Muffin's latest scream-fest I am seriously not amused. Another? I surf at all hours of the day or night. It's summer. My windows are open. I'm pretty sure that my neighbors (whose windows are also open) aren't thrilled with a 1 a.m. performance of Born in the U.S.A.

I'm a pretty fast clicker, but why for the love of Mike is the box that has the play/pause button always at the bottom of the page or otherwise hard to find?

Now, if the player is at the top of your blog where I can get to it in a hurry, I have no complaint. If you give me the choice, I may actually click on "play" on your little music-making widget thingy (Brenda, that one's for you - it's 'Love Shack' every time I visit your blog, sometimes twice).

Yes, it is your blog. I can just put on my big girl pants and get over my damn self. I'm probably the only surfer who won't read your scintillating content because I don't want to deal with your playlist.


The second thing that bugs me - just mildly bugs, doesn't make me spaz - is clicking onto a blog and having to scroll down to see content. I see this particularly on some of the quilting blogs that I visit. There's a gorgeous picture of a quilt that takes up the whole screen*, so I have to scroll down to see if there are any posts below it.

Occasionally the blog is set up so that the lead-in picture is the last thing to load, so I'm facing a blank page until all of the sidebar stuff has loaded.

I'm sorry, but there are times that I have an attention span that lasts as long as a cheap soap bubble. Sometimes I just don't want to work that hard.

*Has anybody noticed how much more frequently we have to scroll from side-to-side to see all of a site's content these days? Am I the last person on the earth that doesn't have a 40" flat-screen monitor?

The half-bugged thing is pretty minor, but I'm here and I'm on a roll. I've been wandering through the Quilting Bloggers and Just Us Quilters memberships. Yes, I've run into quite a few music players and quite a few big ol' lead-in pictures. Sometimes, though, what I don't run into is quilts or quilting!

Now, there are lean quilting times when there's just nothing to say other than "I'm working on it!" as I well know. But seriously. I've come across blogs in these groups that don't mention or show quilt stuff anywhere that I can find it. (Refer to the attention span comment above) Even using the 'label' ability in the sidebar and giving me a place to click (oh, something that says maybe, uh, quilting) is enough for me.
I'm amazed at how much I depend on "labels" when surfing. How did we manage without them?

Again, it's your blog. This is just me.

And, BTW, I'm trying to use Firefox most of the time instead of IE but I gotta tell ya: I miss IE. Sure it's a PITA for some things (that's why I'm on Firefox writing this blog post), but at least when I'm using IE the font sizes are consistent, boxes are floating over text, and the tabs open up where I expect them to. I've used Firefox for the last 10 days or so and when I fired up IE this morning I felt like just giving a sigh of relief.

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permalink 19 Comments:
At 7/26/2008 12:16 PM, Blogger Susan Babbled Back:  

I agree with you on the auto-play music thing. I have the TV on while I'm on the internet on my laptop and I find it really annoying.

At 7/26/2008 12:33 PM, Blogger Sweet P Babbled Back:  

I agree with you on the music. I keep the sound turned all the way down on my laptop. The only it's turned up is when I'm playing my own ITunes.

I agree, too, on the large photo. I'm thinking of changing mine because think it's too big.

I also get turned off when the side bars are filled with ads. I don't mind lists of blogs or projects or archives. But, if there are lots of ads I tend to click away.

I use Firefox all the time. I have a MacBook Pro and Firefox is the best internet program for me.

At 7/26/2008 2:11 PM, Blogger Brenda Babbled Back:  

OMG, The "auto play" is one of my pet peeves too! ugh...there are days when I just want to listen to silence. Oh, and call me dumb but I didn't know you could turn them off until I added one to my own blog so I just left the blog...duh! I'm not too technical, can you tell? LOL! And I have seriously resisted the temptation to teach people how to size the pic on the top bar so it doesn't take up my whole screen when I enter the blog...I figured it would be like telling people their door was too big, so I just ignore it and wait patiently. =) Rest assured you are not alone in your pet peeving world. You forgot to mention the "quilters get blogged" who blog in foreign languages! UGH! Hey, that should be reserved for quilters (see it spelled in English?, Hello???) LOL!

At 7/26/2008 5:23 PM, Blogger Bobbie Bentneedle Babbled Back:  

I SO feel your pain. I surf with the speakers to my computer turned OFF, and if there is something that I think I might be missing, I turn them on. Guess I got in the habit of that when I was getting up at 3:45 and leaving at 4:35am to get to a 6am shift, and didn't want to wake up everyone in the house.
I do sometimes wonder what I'm missing with the sound off, but not enough to turn it on!
Bobbie in Texas

At 7/26/2008 6:20 PM, Blogger Cathi Babbled Back:  

I totally agree with you on the music playing on blogs. I can't hit the "mute" button on my keyboard fast enough! I hope, hope, hope more people read this post and maybe delete that distraction from their blogs!

At 7/27/2008 1:07 PM, Blogger Kyla Nicole Babbled Back:  

Charles & I LOL'd at this post X] Totally agree with the music thing; as others have said, I surf with my speakers muted. Aside from it being annoying, the music players sometimes take FOREVER to load, and slow down the whole page (I've inherited the soap-bubble attention span ;)

@Brenda: I've found that there are a lot more foreign language blogs in the artsy-craftsy category. I keep a bookmark folder for those blogs, and occasionally go through them, looking at the pictures. There is some amazing work out there, and sometimes, all I really want from my computer is some eye-candy =]

(p.s. to my mom: I always spell "foreign" correctly, but my spellchecker gets me every time on "inherited" ~.^)

At 7/27/2008 3:10 PM, Blogger Bethany Babbled Back:  

OH...I HATE the music. Or if the sidebars are so cluttered I can't even find your entries. I despise backgrounds that make your eyes hurt or scroll funny because you were trying to be cute.

I hate when you say your blog is about quilting and all you have for pages is nothing about quilting.

Sometimes I get annoyed by the "check out so and so's blog so I might have the possibility of winning something" and other contests. Usually it's when I hit nothing but blogs that have dozens of entries like that.

At 7/27/2008 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Babbled Back:  

You crack me up!!!!! Big Girl Pants!! That depends...

At 7/28/2008 9:56 AM, Blogger Jen Babbled Back:  

OMG, the music thing bugs the crap out of me. I have a good friend who has music on her blog and since I read through bloglines, I DO NOT click in to comment because of it. Dang it, I'm usually playing my OWN music; I don't want yours blasting OVER mine. The Mute toggle on my computer doesn't work quick enough so I forget to always mute. If I want to surf the web in bed so I don't fall asleep on the couch and all of a sudden music comes on, then I wake up my hubby and it just well..sucks!!

They have the choice to have the music and I have the choice NOT TO READ and I"m not gonna read or comment anymore!

At 7/28/2008 5:12 PM, Blogger Carol E. Babbled Back:  

Don't rush the tutorial on account of me or anyone!! Relax! I've been blogging for years and can wait a wee bit more for your tutorial. And maybe I *like* the challenge of figuring out how to post my pictures successfully. I haven't had as many struggles recently. Maybe Blogger and I are done playing our foolish Power Struggle game.

At 7/28/2008 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Babbled Back:  

I totally agree about the music ... I hope I have't woken my neighbours with my late night surfing habits.

I'm the owner behind the Quilting Bloggers directory, and just wanted to point out that if you find a blog listed on my site that you don't think belongs, please do let me know. There's a little icon that appears under each listing that you can click on to report the site.

I do review each and every site submitted, and I do allow some leeway that if a person says they are a quilter, but hasn't posted a quilting post in a while, I'll look through the site to find "something" quilty before approving them. I have refused a few people, but very few. I do want it to be a high quality directory, but I don't want to restrict it just to those that blog about quilts every couple of days.

Happy Quilting

At 7/29/2008 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous Babbled Back:  

I am gald you were able to vent this however I feel your words may of left some feelings hurt. Peoples blogs are a a glimpse of who they are. I found your post to be a little harsh. I can understand your feelings but they just felt in anger.

Just my opinion

At 7/29/2008 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Babbled Back:  

I have been emailed a copy of this blog post by a couple of people today. For the most part people were shocked by your post. To be honest, so was I . I started a blog about a week ago after some very sweet bloggers encouraged me to try it. I have deleted it today after much thought. I thought blogging was suppose to be fun and an expression of yourself. I feel if I continued I would be worried if I offended someone or have to big of a pic at top .... I still cant believe that part of your post.. come on ... isn't that a tad picky?? I have read it like 4 times and I just shake my head. I KNOW KNOW for a fact many have thought you were singling them out and they are really crushed. I cant blame them. You sorta went on a self indulgent binge of complaining and ranting without thought of how your words would be recieved. I hope you feel better now that you have vented because you sure left alot of other hurt in the process.

But you know what it is your blog and you have that freedom!!!! I wish you felt that way about others.

At 7/30/2008 8:56 AM, Blogger Candace Babbled Back:  

Take your time on the tutorial, there is no hurry at all, and I totally believe in the BWO. If you get to it great, and if not, it's ok. I downloaded Firefox a couple of weeks ago, and I feel the same about it. I guess I am too used to IE. I'll keep trying though.

At 7/31/2008 7:18 AM, Blogger Julie Babbled Back:  

The music is annoying to me too - so is the busy background on some blogs that make things seem to jump around when you scroll.

At 8/01/2008 5:38 AM, Blogger Katie Babbled Back:  

I'm so with you on the music thing!

But I can't agree about IE vs Firefox. The only problem with Firefox and "other" browsers is that lots of "webmasters" write their scripts with only IE in mind and forget that their sites are going to look like crap to all of us other folks out there. It's a shame. They should know better!


At 8/05/2008 10:22 AM, Blogger Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson Babbled Back:  

You just hit 2 of my biggest complaints on the head, the music and the no quilts mentioned. I would make the last one a full complaint though. I want quilt content if they are in a quilt ring. Additions to the quilt content are fine, but I don't know if they even have any fabric, or know how to sew.

At 8/12/2008 8:59 PM, Blogger Edna Babbled Back:  

I also agree with you about the annoyance of the music that begins on many blogs. Sometimes, I am just not in the mood. I use a program called Opera instead of IE and it is wonderful.. I have no problems looking at any blogs. There is a little button that will fit any blog to my screen. You can also pick up where you left off when you last closed the program. This is wonderful for following a number of blogs or regular places you visit. Check it out, you may like it.
As for the lack of quilting content, I fear that I am one of those who fell into that. Life took over my blog and I had no time for quilting even though it is my major source of joy. I am trying to get myself (and my blog) back on track. Thanks for the wake-up call.

At 6/02/2009 6:21 AM, Blogger Carrie P. Babbled Back:  

Since I am pretty new to your blog I thought I would check this post out. I have seen the No Obligation button on a few other blogs before. When I saw those it did help me to feel less guilty for not blogging all the time. I hope that people understand when you have life happening or an injury like I have now that sometimes other things are more important. I enjoy blogging but I don't want to feel guilty. So my therapy continues and I only blog once or twice a week now instead of everyday. Blog when you like.

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