Question OTD: What makes for a blog that excites you?

I’ve totally nabbed this idea from this post at Feministing, although I’m putting a bit of extra spin on it, because I like a bit of analysis alongside my lists of links.

For those of you who use feedreaders, which blogs are you excited to see a new post from? What in particular excites you – the topics covered, the writing style, the discussions that regularly occur to expand on the issues covered in the posts? Or other – what blogs are pure aesthetic or emotional delights, where discussions really aren’t the point? ?

I tend to read blogs that discuss cultural issues from a political perspective rather than blogs that discuss party politics above all, although plenty of blogs discuss both. I read quite a few humour and fandom blogs for light relief and random light geekery, while I read science blogs and atheist blogs for heavy geekery. I read some literary/performing arts focussed blogs, because I enjoy the style of analysis offered by the best of them and also it feeds my meagre appetite for celebrity soap opera stuff whenever something really drama-llama occurs in celeb-dom.

Do you share your favourite posts from your feed-reader with others? Some feed-readers make this simple, but not all offer the option. What I share from my google-reader [view page][subscribe to feed] is currently constrained by the fact that I have an RSS sidebar module for it over at Feminism 101 as “Recommended Reading From Progressive Blogs”, which means that I feel like I can’t share too many funny cat pictures there if I want it to have cred. Boo.

So, I invite links to people’s shared feed-reader items as well as mentions of favourite blogs in the thread below. If you post more than two links the automoderation will delay publication until I can approve it, so dinna fash y’sel’ if your comment doesn’t appear immediately – I’ll approve them as fast as I can.

Categories: fun & hobbies, Sociology, technology

Tags: , , , ,

11 replies

  1. For me, it’s good writing. I read topics on everything from gardening to infertility, simply because the authors have a unique style, they use words well and they make their topic interesting (even if, as with infertility, it’s not a particular area of interest). There are a couple of artists’ blogs that I read/view for the aesthetics as they post pics of their new work, but they’re the majority.
    Most of the blogs I read are written by women, though, I just realised (although it’s hardly a surprise for me, as my favourite authors are mostly women too).

  2. I like a mix of foodie and political and as my own blog is essentially a coffee blog – then I also like coffee blogs.
    My favourite local foodie blog is: Abstract Gourmet
    A second, and quite less well known blog I love to see new material for is NTs are Weird a blog written by a man with Autism about how he sees the world.
    Grendels last blog post..Coffee as a social experience

  3. I’m a sucker for good writing as well, although if I can find a blog where the commentors engage in lively well written discussion as well that’s the thing that really sells it. I always check out the discussions on blogs that regularly attract more than 30 comments on a post (although blogs that rarely attract hundreds of comments per thread make me wary, because it’s often just chest-beating and pissing contests). I really like following an argument where both sides make me think, and I probably enjoy a thread cascade of snarky one-upmanship far more than I ought to.
    Favourite blogs in that category are Shakesville, Larvatus Prodeo (at its best), Making Light, and Pharyngula. Michael Berube (sadly rarely blogging now), David Niewwert and Sarah Robinson at Orcinus, John Quiggin and John Scalzi tend to spark good discussions as well, as does Digby.

  4. Ooh! *bookmarks NTs are weird* Thanks!

  5. No worries – it is blog full of thinking – a rarity!
    Grendels last blog post..Coffee as a social experience

  6. I have a sub-folder in my reader called Absolute Faves which holds an assortment of Fat Acceptance blogs, this blog, one written by a social worker in the US, LOL cats and Blue Milk. Basically they either talk about issues I am interested in and are well written, or they make me laugh. Sometimes both.

  7. I only use readers for podcasts, pictureblogs and webcomics, because I can’t stand to be without the formatting that makes a blog unique. Slabs of words on a page have little appeal, especially when I have to click for comments anyway (and the best part of the best blogs are the comments).
    Two exceptions: Slacktivist and Not Always Right, for my respective daily inspirational genius and mindnumbing stupidity.

  8. I can’t stand to be without the formatting that makes a blog unique. Slabs of words on a page have little appeal,

    Heh – I’m the exact opposite. Reading in other people’s fonts and colours and layouts is exhausting and distracting, as is clickety-clicking through webpages. I love getting the plain text.
    Agree with comments being an essential feature, though – I have a pile of (smartlist-sorted) comment feeds and comments subscriptions for that reason.

  9. It’s a mix, for me – good writing of the posts, and good comments.  If I get both at once, so much the better.
    Also, I tend to like something low-to-average in posts/day.  I took Shakesville out of my Google Reader because oh god, there were approximately a million posts a day, and I couldn’t deal.  (This is my problem, natch, not theirs.)
    The two main reasons I love my little GR are (1) I never have to worry about page styles breaking my brain and (2) I don’t have to worry I missed a post.  (Using GR for webcomics is fantastic, relatedly.)  If it looks interesting and I know the site design already, I’ll usually click over to the main post, because I figure more page views == gooder.  If I click over an awful lot but I don’t like the site design (or it’s too obviously non-work whilst I’m at work), I use the Stylish FF extension to tweak it.  Because I’m a dork.
    And I click that Share button all the time, heavens.  It’s great because others can see what I like and I can keep track of what I like.
    A few blogs I read:
    * I Blame The Patriarchy
    * Feminist SF
    * Bitch Ph.D.
    * Shapely Prose
    * Three Rivers Fog, amandaw’s blog

  10. I read three types of blogs mainly – FA, feminist, and cooking. My favorite cooking blogs are the ones with nice pictures, and concise writing. My favorite FA and feminist blogs are ones with smart, funny (usually sarcastic) writing, and vibrant commenting communities. Liking the regular commenters really sets the blog apart for me – that’s why my favorite blogs are Shapely Prose and Shakesville, and I’m really liking this blog too since I discovered it recently. I used to read Feministing and Feministe much more than I do, but I’m just so disappointed with the quality of the comments (and prevalence of trolls/weirdos that successfully derail) that I’ve stopped reading them as much.

  11. I agree about the good writing, to be honest. The problem is that I can’t pin down what makes ‘good blog writing’ in words, because it’s different from other writing. A person can write well, even write good essays, but blog in a way that just doesn’t attract me.
    I read a plethora of blogs, categorized mostly into feminist and FA, geeky business, food, crafty stuff, and people I know. I also read several of the big BlogHer names, because they’re pretty damn funny.

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