Feedback

I read a lot of blogs. A LOT. I probably read yours, especially because you have a really cute kid/interesting life/beautiful house/great taste in…whatever and you commented here once. I currently subscribe to 151 blogs in my reader and add at least one a day.

Wow, do I sound awesomely cool or what? I swear sometimes I do other things besides the internet. Although that probably explains the sink full of dishes and the baby currently entertaining himself with a McDonald’s cup full of ice. I wish I was joking.

Anyways, what I’m getting at is that I look at SO many blogs on a regular basis I sometimes forget to look at my own. And then when I do look at my own I’m always depressed. My blog is not elegant or beautiful or inspiring in any way. When I switched over to self-hosted WordPress I just picked a free theme and went with it, so the design is all Atahualpa and my itty bitty bit of HTML skill. I’ve considered changing it about, oh, a BAZILLION times but I hate to lose the parts I do like – I love the rotating photo, I love the blue & orange, I love my tag line – and I’m too cheap to spend $500 on a custom design when I don’t know EXACTLY what I want. Or really, I’m too cheap to spend $500 EVER. I already have one expensive hobby (hello yarn addiction!) I don’t need another.

So here’s today’s question: Name one thing you LOVE to see on blogs and one thing you HATE. You can say whatever, it doesn’t have to be specifically about my blog right now, but don’t feel like you can’t be honest. You can say you hate my rotating photo or my ads or the font or whatever. I won’t take it personally. Feel free to plug your own blog/blog designer/blog design business and leave me lots of links.

p.s. Don’t bother saying you hate blogs that auto-play music. That’s like saying you hate Nazis or lutefisk. EVERYONE hates blogs that auto-play music.

p.p.s. If you think maybe I DON’T read your blog, let me know. I promise I will. I like you.

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32 Responses to “Feedback”

  1. AmyLee says:

    ha! my first thought was i hate auto-playing music! i guess i’m not alone. and DANG… $500 for a custom layout? is that a for real amount? crazy.
    ok. 1 thing i love – pictures of the author. i like to look around the blog & see who is talking. let’s me identify with that person more & put a face to the “voice.”
    something i hate – busy backgrounds, headers that are too “crafty”, way too much punctuation (like WHEN someone types LIKE THIS!!!!!!)

    anyways, hope that’s helpful. not sure if you’ve ever been be my corner of the blogosphere… http://www.agoodlifeblog.com i follow you on twitter too :)

  2. brigidkeely says:

    I, and most people I know, read blogs almost exclusively through google reader. So it really doesn’t matter what the actual blog looks like. And your feed is set up how I like it… the full text shows up, photos show up, there’s an easy link to leave a comment at the bottom of the post. :)

    For my personal blog, the main things I look for are:
    Wide enough text column for photos without cutting off the photo/breaking the theme
    link to leave comments (SOME THEMES DO NOT HAVE THIS HOW EFFING BARBARIC IS THAT)
    threaded comments
    lists that display properly (I do a lot of lists ok)
    compatible text/background. There’s a trend lately of colored/patterned background with grey (not black) text and I have a hard time reading that. Visibility/readibility is super important.

    I also use plugins for footnotes, comment controlling, etc

  3. Meagan says:

    People hate blogs that auto-play music? Whoa. I actually LIKE them, lol. Some of them have really great music. That’s how I got introduced to some soundtracks/bands I like.

    Btw, I *heart* WordPress. For real. How I ever got on without that beautiful page divider, I’ll never know.

    Things I hate in blogs:

    -SUPER tiny font with a busy background. Dark font/dark background or light font/light background. They all drive me nuts. Have one or the other, please. :)

    -Popup ads. Especially the kind that make you wait 4 seconds before you can close them out.

    As Brigid mentioned, blogs that have a fixed-width main column are annoying. Sometimes it cuts off the picture or video, or it overlays on something else on the blog. Stretchy columns FTW! :)

    Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing in your blog. It’s easy to read, there’s no distracting animated/blinky ads anywhere, & you are HILARIOUS. I love the way you write, & your son is so cute. The fact that you take such AMAZING pictures is a bonus! :D

  4. Barbra says:

    take my comment with a grain of salt because i’m not an expert – i don’t have my own blog and i follow just a few regularly (yours is currently my fave because your writing is so good).
    what i like: not too busy of background/webpage. easy to read entries. pics of author and general lifestyle/babies/dogs/etc. to go along with entries. but not so many that writing is second. you balance this well. i like easy to search/view past entries either chron or via tags. i’ve referred to your babywearing entry a couple times when researching carriers for my own soon to arrive babe. it’s also nice when blogs allow you to read entries backwards to present day without too much clicking around the archive.

    for me, a blog is more about the content and writing then about the look/colors/layout. i’ve discounted a lot of blogs because they were too busy/hard to read. I don’t like flashing/distracting sidebars that make it hard to concentrate on the story. or ads that are more prominent than the storytelling.
    i like the layout of your blog. it looks nice and is easy to read. when it comes down to it, a blog is more about the quality of the writing and some sort of connection (however loose) to my life that makes me read it.

  5. Cassie says:

    I was going to say that I hate blogs that auto-play music! haha! ;)

    • FourInchHeels says:

      Ditto. It took me four months to find one blog’s music player and shush it; before that I had to rely on muting the speakers. Nice songs, but I’d start humming along and forget to read the post!

  6. Molly says:

    I’m a fairly new follower of your blog. I think I found it through Twitter. I clicked on your link and saw your tagline and thought, this is a woman I can get on board with. Probably because that is the first thought I had when I saw two lines on the pregnancy test (just being honest).

    I just got a huge blog make-over and moved to the self-hosted WP blog and all that jazz. I did it because I was looking to reach more people and I wanted to create a single, solid “brand” for my blog so it was easier to find an audience. I also wanted to beef up my content. Write about the things I’ve wanted to write about for a long time but have been too scared. What I’m trying to say is, I hope people like the way it looks AS WELL AS my writing.

    Everyone is different. The reason I spent good money on my blog make-over is because our house didn’t sell and therefore I told myself that we could afford it because we didn’t get to buy our dream house yet. My blog is my new “home” for the time being.

    I read your blog for the content and the cute pics of your boy!

    p.s. I don’t think you read mine. Maybe you do but if you don’t come join me. There’s lots of fun with two babies 21-months apart :)

  7. aclundgren says:

    I love blogs with real stories and pictures. I love cute kiddos and their parents, pets. I love to read about everyday life from someone else’s perspective. And I love funny. Funny gets me every time.

    I don’t like blogs that are too extreme – way too perfect life, kids, husband, blah blah blah but I also don’t like always downer blogs about how all their kid does is cry or complain about their husband all the time.

  8. FourInchHeels says:

    I love your rotating picture! And your pictures in general (both because you make cute babies, and because you take nice pictures)!

    The only strong feelings I have about blogs are:
    – too many fonts/colors within a post … it gets hard to read. (You don’t do this, it’s just a general comment of annoyance. Like the internet version of putting a heart above your i’s)
    – things that flash (which is usually more about the ad than the writing, which you can’t always control) because I’ve got the attention span of a goldfish and I look at shiny/moving objects.
    – it’s fun to see the tags sized according to frequency of use.
    – posts that only show a blurb in google reader bugged me before I found the glorious Next button, since it forced me to work harder to read the post, resulting in me usually not reading it.

    Really, I have no complaints about your blog :) It’s easy to read, doesn’t distract me, your kid is adorable, and your writing delights me. Keep on keepin’ on!

  9. jill says:

    i like clean, simple to read, easy to navigate blogs. cute pictures are a plus when i initially happen upon one. that or writing that makes me want to keep reading after the first paragraph. all of which your blog has. i think you are HILARIOUS and when i get on the computer and open all the new posts from all the blogs i follow yours i always one of the firsts that i read! also? little evan is the cutest little guy and so all his silly stories and ADORABLE pictures are a plus! :)

    things i dont like are pretty much the opposite of what i do like. im a girl and i like looking at pictures! so if there arent any, its hard to catch my attention. i also dont really like those cartoon character headers {no offense to anyone who has one} its just seems less personal to me.

    i dont know if you read my blog but thanks for following me back on twitter!

  10. Cole says:

    I read in google reader – most of the time on my phone – so I agree with the first commented. I hate partial feeds with a passion – and am way more likely to comment when there’s a link at the bottom of the feed. I’m dying to try that “Next” button now, the next time I’m on my laptop.

    This might sound silly, but I LOVE when people’s social media buttons are really well integrated or creative – for example on a classroom blog they’re all shaped like crayons or something… Don’t know why, but if I were to spend $$ on a major blog redo (I wish!), I’d definitely include those…

  11. I agree with a lot of what has already been said. I love black text on white/beige/super light colored background. This is something that seems to mostly appear on .blogspot or .wordpress blogs, but I really hate the cutesy printed borders. It looks really juvenile.

    The fabulous Sarah from One Starry Night designed my blog and I love it. Also, I playing with 2010 Weaver on my other blog and am really liking it, if you are looking for a new theme, but I actually really like the look of your blog. It is easy to read, unique and seems like you, not that I am saying you are easy or anything.

  12. I forgot. I HATE blogs that load really, really slow. Yours used to and I would endure it, but it doesn’t any more. Yay!

  13. Suzanne says:

    I was also totally going to say blogs with music! I HATE that. My other pet peeve is finding a blog I like to read, but then the author gets bored/writer’s block, etc and just fills up the blog with giveaways instead of real posts. As for what I love, definitely a picture of the blogger and a clean page. I like your layout just fine :-)

  14. HATE:
    1) as others have mentioned, those f***ing pop up ads that make you wait to see your post, or pop up at you in the middle of reading, or follow your mouse around. Aggghh!
    2) Reallllllly looooooonnnnngggggg posts that aren’t behind a jump. Sometimes I just want to peruse the few last posts that I’ve missed on a blog, and I have to scroll for like an hour to get to the next one. The Pioneer Woman’s blog is notorious for this, as much as I love her.

    LOVE:
    1) Pictures!
    2) A list of links that you like- I find many blogs this way!

  15. Susan says:

    I read your blog because you’re down to earth and don’t take life or yourself too seriously. I follow your blog because I enjoy your writing, enjoy how you present topics and ideas, love that you label your pictures (how the heck would I know what some things are otherwise?).

    I dislike blogs that preach. I dislike busy backgrounds that make reading the text difficult.

    I can’t think of anything else because I only subscribe to blogs that amuse me and that are heartfelt. Yours is one of the best. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  16. Suz B says:

    I like your photos & font & colors. Although most of the time I read your blog in google reader so I don’t get to see those cute photos. I’m trying to et better at actually opening blogs once I see something I want to read in reader. I actually just re-did my blog with the help of a free template from A Blog to Brag About. My husband had offered to move me to WP & my own site, but I’ve kinda given up on that and figured I’d try to do it myself. :)

  17. the thing I love most about your blog is your writing style and also that it’s very very real-you post about down to earth stuff that I can relate to. It’s also a nice balance of picture posts and wordy posts.

    I guess my biggest pet peeve on other blogs is giveaway overload.

  18. My biggest gripe is people airbrushing the shit out of their photos! I hate it. It’s so obvious sometimes. When you look flawless and have the most amazing skin ever, and never a dark circle under your eye and then you post a twitpic, unedited and its like WHOA, who is that?! None of us are perfect. We get zits sometimes, and have dark circles. Every single picture does not NEED TO BE AIRBRUSHED into an oblivion.

  19. JDRegent says:

    I am no blog expert but I have followed you since day one, and before that your Jezebel commenting days. I think you do a great job. The daily updates, photos, and specific viewpoint are great. The main thing I would recommend is to change your font.

  20. bellegourmande says:

    I have also been following you for awhile now, almost from the beginning (originally found you through Jezebel). I read a fair number of blogs, but there are only a few that I check, without fail, every day. And yours is not one of them. Just kidding, yours is at the top of the list, actually! One thing I love about blogs in general is when people are honest and you really get a sense of their personality through the blog. One thing I hate is bad grammar/spelling. Oh, and if all the posts, even the first one, start “after the jump”. I don’t know what that’s called in blog-speak. I should be more tech-savvy regarding Google reader and stuff like that, but I have no idea how that works. Maybe it’s time I did some research…

  21. Jen F (from Robinson) says:

    Well, definitely not an expert on this, yours is the only blog I follow regularly (truth). My biggest pet peeve though is overuse of the jump. Call me lazy, but I don’t want to click just to read one more paragraph. It’s also easier to scroll w/o jumps since I usually read on my phone.

    I love your rotating picture, the YouTube videos that play in the page, and the collages. Just the right mix. It’s also nice when you respond to posts (not all of them, just if there’s a question or something), but I wish I could sign up for email notifications for replies (maybe I missed this).

    If I had to change ONE thing about your blog – it’d be when you say you aren’t funny/creative enough. You seriously rock at this. I don’t even have a bebeh yet and I adore this blog (granted, I have the bug pretty bad, but still…).

    Keep on blogging!!

    I

    • bebehblog says:

      Jen – I just turned on the option that gives you a choice to get an email when your comment gets a response (should show up right below the comment box now). I use that on other blogs all the time, so I have NO IDEA why I had it turned off here. Thank you for pointing it out!! I’m so glad you read!!

  22. I’m commenting again. I’m not sure why, but your posts take HOURS to show up in google reader. I normally end up seeing it on twitter or facebook before it ever hits my reader. Which is good for you, I guess, as far as page views go, but kind of strange.

    • bebehblog says:

      No, that is weird. And actually, I think someone’s mentioned it before. I’ll see if it’s a setting I can change. Thank you!!

  23. Oh wow. I seriously need to contemplate this, but here’s what’s off the top of my head lol

    {Like}
    I love warmer colors in design and unique headers, it sets the tone for the rest of the site.

    Unique plugins. Or when people take a super common plugin and use different icons or customize it in some way.

    {Dislike}
    PARTIAL FEEDS. I will unsubscribe the moment I discover it’s not a full RSS feed.

    Design wise, I am not too fond of most pre-made themes because very rarely do people customize them.

  24. Jessica says:

    Hate music in the background. (however Kelle Hampton’s blog is among my faves, and hers has music. I always just turn my speakers off). I love lots of photos. Love it.

    Do you read my blog? Just curious.

    Jessica

  25. andrea says:

    I love your blog. Full-stop. Don’t be hard on yourself… you are a great writer, and I think that all the other stuff is secondary.
    I have been thinking about changing my blog around a bit as well. I just don’t know where to start.
    I like clean blogs. “Less is more” is definitely something I agree with. I hate clutter and when I visit a blog that looks full of junk, it’s a big turn-off.
    I don’t like it when you have to click “keep reading” to finish reading a post. I don’t like it when bloggers change their blog around a lot… it’s nice to have some consistency (although change is nice as well).

  26. TMae says:

    I’m late to the game here – but I’ll add (I’m pretty sure other commenters said the same thing) I hate not being able to actually READ the blog. Light, small type on a colored background, or any font color/background combo that is not easily readable. Makes me CRAZY.

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