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  • I’m going to write a little article about “bad blog trends” I’ve noticed. I’m specifically interested in design issues that are cliched or just useless.
    One thing that has been bothering me lately is using “strikeout” for visited links. Why do people do this? So what if I’ve been there before…I still want to easily read what the link says!

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  • Mark (podz)


    Support Maven

    Personally I cannot stand the plethora of little buttons that people use on their sites. You know the ones – about 10 pixels by 35 pixels.
    Having *far* too many links.
    And bad designs ? Just keep dropping into mine – I hop from one bad design to another quite regularly 🙂

    Um, podz, just to set the record straight… I never called myself a designer. I’m a developer! 🙂
    As far as bad weblog trends (calling them blogs is a bad weblog trend in my book), I usually attribute them to social-mechanics over bad taste. They are doing those little buttons because they are free, easy, and all their friends are doing them. The strike-out thing is annoying though. I’ll completely agree to that.

    I’d be more interested to read about bad content trends rather than bad presentation trends. 🙂

    Mark (podz)


    Support Maven

    @stevarino – I didn’t mean you 🙂 I have friends blogs which are liberally decorated with said buttons and I happen to prefer words as links.
    Design … a weblog is our chance to express ourselves to others that we didn’t have even say 3 years ago. We can play with the code, add numerous snippets here and there which we may think is cool, our friends may like, but others loathe. Bit like fashion really.
    As someone who has been posting junk to the net for a few years now, I’ve gone through using wierd fonts / big images / garish colours / complex layouts and now just settle for a plain page because when it comes down it to, that’s what I want to see, and I want my page to load fast.
    As for bad content ? Depends on what you mean by ‘bad’. I couldn’t define it. If I like it, I read, if I don’t, I click another link. Doesn’t make it bad, just makes it not for me, and maybe just not for me at that time.

    That’s the beauty of self-publishing. You can any of those things that you mention, and if it means something to you as the person who wrote and designed it, that’s all that matters. You, as a consumer of blogs and sites in general, get to “vote” on what you like based on the choice of whether or not to return to that site.
    Some of the things you mention you might not care about, and that’s fine, but I see them as windows of opportunity — a way to learn a little bit about the person I like to visit and read. A good icebreaker for conversation, if you will.

    I think it’s funny how website trends have changed over the past decade or so.
    The mid and late 90’s was the center justified text, over-use of animated gifs and the over use of java (shimmering reflections, bouncing text attached to the mouse cursor, etc)
    The early 2000 – 2002 brought the abundant overuse of flash (Flashturbation), then and simple/clean websites – with little to no java. Almost back to straight text.

    Here’s my list:

    • Links that change size on hover.
    • ‘Weather pixies.’ Do I need to say anything more?
    • Squidfingers backgrounds. Cool the first time you see them, getting monotonous now.
    • Blue, white and gray. There are other colors in the spectrum you know!

    As for content, most blog content is boring unless you know the person or they’re an expert in whatever they’re writing about.

    Hmm…after reading through things so far I wonder if the original question/post’s “bad blog trends” is referring only to a focus or interest in a very broad, wide-range, steps-back from the close-up and personal, look at design, objectively? Which I don’t think I’ve managed yet to express accurately. This is what’s so maddening about forum interaction to me — how difficult it is to pinpoint exactly what you mean in all ways, including the tone of how a post sounds — it always requires much more time and trouble, digging around for just the “right” words, not to mention so many, many more words! Anyhow, there are so many ways to look at blogging and blogs, of course; we all know that, and that includes blogs of business, corporate, news et al worlds (I often find some of this repugnant in nature — like of course blogging, too, would have to be snatched up and exploited as just one more easy tool for the greedy’s gain! but let me quickly backtrack out into the more politically safe realm…) So maybe SR is in this particular instance interested in looking at that whole wide world of blogging in terms of design only, superficial survey, like when people are interested in how cars in the 20s looked, for example, or jeans for whatever decade. Jeans in the 60s, say, observably different in appearance than trends of 1999… if you think about it like that, it’s easy to recall the familiar objection most of us have made or at least heard, that the clothes don’t make the person or that we like the person inside the jeans, and there’s the parallel with design and content. Of course, follow that thread of thinking out and you come up with all those grey areas such as the impression a certain appearance lends and so on… the early grunge look, e.g. did that trend begin with a certain reality (homelessness=clothing available to the unknowing “trendsetter”)?? What would certain trends in how blogs look mean, or maybe better said, from where/what do they arise, if they do, or if there can be seen that certain trends do exist… are they a result of function? perhaps limits of some sort or another, like the appearance of this “dinosaur” microwave my grandmother had… I don’t know about any of this stuff, not making assertions, just saying that this might be the orientation of SR’s here with this particular interest. In that way, then, a lot of info has come up already — for example how possible is it to separate design from content — a big thing with poetry in the classic sense before even the oral traditions, way way back, Asian areas, the Chinese – for them it was all about how the thing appeared on the page, its arrangement, ‘pen/brush’ strokes of the characters, et al. Maybe in a way we are returning to that kind of concern or esthetic with design/content as interdependent? albeit electronically? Anyhow there’s a smattering of my thoughts … maybe something useful, hopefully, can be plucked from it. Specifically, SR, you asked about that cross-through thing. Strike-out, I think. Interesting because I like it and have been trying to figure out why. Maybe it’s because it’s familiar to me, that sort of crossing things off my lists, which is a kind of comfort to me because I feel like I always have so much going on and that I’m interested in so many things and always, especially internet-web-link-link-link-wise, so much is constantly spontaneously there grabbing my attention… it’s like I need to see what I’ve already at least visited. Especially if I’m having to move very fast, you know? Like in the instance of researching for a story — I go to a particular blog and as part of gathering the info, background, need to check out the links, and this is just one blog of say several others (plus other sources, reference material, right) I’d be stuck forever I guess and in fact do have a hard time pulling myself away from amazing wild new or fascinating stuff…maybe the strikeout is so good because it is psychologically satisfying — because, of course, changed colors indicate links visited, too, e.g. — but maybe the strikethrough as something that familiar has the weight of symbology going for it ?

    Sorry guys I can’t contribute. I obviously need to get “into context ” first. And work out how to run my spell checker. Just in case I get (sic) ed again.

    excellent list — esp. the pundit, rant, musing(s) contribution. those new to it all really have their work cut out for them in trying to come up with substitutes for “musings” — the word’s apt for those who want to say this is a spot for me to just jot down my thoughts and ideas, often fragmentary — put in words the stuff that comes into my awareness, things working over in my head… you know? people who know it’s going to be just exactly that, + don’t want to make any big claim about it otherwise. it’s kind of interesting in the way that some people in fact don’t really care to get a big following or what have you — or maybe don’t start out that way and or don’t expect anyone to take notice but then it happens that others get interested or involved or whatever and then the blogger gets more into it… musings isn’t musings anymore… but anyhow, what in the hell word – one word or two even – might take the place of musings but mean precisely musings? and yeah you put your finger right on it — who can stand to even see anymore musings, rant, pundit b/c these have been spoiled, taken on as they have — trend(ily) — kind of amusing too to think about “rant” as originating (I think) from Dennis Miller way back when. [and look at him now. ugh. hmm, politics-undertone just leaking out all over the place — time to get to work I think …put words there into what i am supposed to be writing ]



    There is a slow but growing convention that certain visual symbols or images be used to indicate certain other things on the net. By the same token when someone puts “rants” or “links” at least you know what you are going to get. Heck is n’t that the fun of it? And a rant is always a rant. Even when it is dressed up with literary illusions.

    BTW – I guess you find my site boring, seeing as it is called nuclear moose musings, but that is your choice, and that’s okay by me. That being said, I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a suitable name for the blog, and “settled” on this one because I needed to move on to content and design. I think pineapple is a stupid, boring, name for a fruit, but it sure tastes good. What about Passion Fruit? Damn, I’ve not had an inkling of passion as a result of eating them. What about Star Fruit? There aren’t any stars in it, and, as far as the shape goes, I’ve yet to see a Hubble telescope photo which shows a star of the shape of the fruit.
    Why do you park in a driveway, and drive on a parkway? I guess by now you see my point. If you judge the quality of a website solely on its colour scheme and title, you may well be missing out on some interesting things.

    PegIDT, I appreciate your deep insights 🙂
    I was probably too vague in my original post. I was mostly talking about design/usability issues. (Having comments appear in popups is a great one that I forgot about).
    In terms of content, I think there are some cliches that can be boring. I’ve only been weblogging for a month, so I’m sure I don’t have the most riveting content yet. But I’m learning what works and what doesn’t. I definitely try to avoid just posting links to a news story, or single sentence posts (although some creep in).
    When writing, my motto is: Am I adding a unique perspective or insight? Is this something no one else could write? Alas, the answer isn’t always “yes”, but that is what I strive for.

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