Some Observations From Reading Other People's Blogs

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Day 11 100 blogs in 100 daysAs part of the 100 blogs in 100 days challenge I've been trying to read other people's blogs. I wanted to get an idea of what other people are doing and how they are doing it. I could then compare it to what I am doing.

When do I read other people's blogs?

I must admit that I have never actually been a regular reader of anyone else's blog. The usual pattern is this: I have a problem of some sort to solve; I google for solutions; I find a web page or YouTube video with the relevant information; and I use that information to solve the problem.

That information maybe on someone's blog, but it is usually totally new to me, and there's a good chance I won't ever go there again, so I don't really visit any blogs on a regular basis.

And I think that that is probably not uncommon.

What I do notice, however, is how easy it is, or more to the point, isn't to get the information that I am looking for. Are there any obstacles to me getting that information?

Go away!

There's the big obvious obstacles like those pop up windows asking me to submit my email address. NO I don't want to be on your mailing list, go away, I just want the answer to my question!

Then there's the less marketing orientated annoyances like the colour scheme and layout. I find some blogs easier to read than others. I prefer dark text on a light background. Is that just me, or do other people feel the same?

Also I find big blocks of text off putting. That was how I was taught to write at school, keep closely related sentences in the same paragraph. But this can build large paragraphs and when I see that on screen something in my brain is less inclined too read it. I don't know why, if I'm reading a book it's no problem, it just seems to be a website thing.

Also if the text is small. I think it's things that are going to increase the effort or reading. Even if it's very subtle. We know that eye strain is unpleasant and maybe we are picking up on these slight additions to the effort it will take to read the article.

That is just a few things, and I want to go to bed now so I am going to stop there, but I resolve to keep taking notes and report back to my journal any other stuff I notice.

A website developer's daily time-sheet

What has kept me out of mischief today?

5 hours 27 minutes Coding: finishing for previous and next buttons for the blog; setting up the Mailchimp form for the journal; writing a blog post and thinking of ideas.
1 hour 26 minutes Starting a new website project.
59 minutes Virtual networking (twitter)
31 minutes Admin: email and organising my Evernote notes
27 minutes Research: reading blog posts, watching you tube videos
25 minutes Testing a dynamic online form: functionality and email delivery

Total: 9 hours 19 minutes

A good productive day today, I also managed an extra blog post about my new next and previous buttons in the MODX area of my website.

And I managed to get a 2 mile run in today (and yesterday). I shall start reporting what exercise I am doing in the journal as well. Keeping fit and healthy can only help (especially when you are sat a computer for most of the day).

I need to crack on with a new client project tomorrow...

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Mike Nuttall

Author: Mike Nuttall

Mike has been web designing, programming and building web applications in Leeds for many years. He founded Onsitenow in 2009 and has been helping clients turn business ideas into on-line reality ever since. Mike can be followed on Twitter and has a profile on Google+.