Time to Pimp My Blog
May 22, 2008 7:23 PM   Subscribe

Suggestions for what additions, widgets, extensions, interactive doodads to include on a blogger/blogspot blog. Looking for input from both blog writers and readers.

As a side project, I've been keeping a blog where I post one YouTube video per day on a narrow theme. I was wondering if there is anything I should add to the blog (hosted on blogger) that will either be a help to me or that my readers would appreciate.

Currently I have: Contact information, a blogroll, categories for the posts, the blog archive, adsense, and subscription/RSS information.

Things I'm considering: "claiming" the blog on technorati and integrating with that service, setting up a mybloglog account to track my visitors, and a shoutbox that people could leave sitewide comments on.

Is there anything else I'm forgetting/missing? Should I try to find a way to make it easy for people to delicious/digg/reddit my posts or the blog?

What are the little extra features on a blog that you really like to see included?
posted by davidstandaford to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As long as a reader can comment easily (via either shoutbox or plain old comments), find similar videos on your blog easily (via categories), delve deeper into your philosophy (via the about page), and see what dirty secrets your past held (via the archives), they should be happy.

And if they want to keep in touch, RSS.

Anything beyond that is pure frills, so that's up to you- sounds like you've taken care of the essentials.

But if you want my opinion:
- I like voting, I do.
- Maybe establish a user database and add the ability for them to favorite (we all know how well this works)
- Polls
posted by self at 7:47 PM on May 22, 2008

Oh, just a thought- nix the shoutbox and throw up a 'recent comments' widget on the sidebar, and you'd be simultaneously discouraging stupid remarks just to get on a shoutbox, while encouraging people to participate in ongoing discussions.
posted by self at 7:49 PM on May 22, 2008

In my opinion, most of that stuff is just a distraction. I prefer clean sites with the content front and center. If you want to build a loyal following, you'd probably be better off spending the time writing kick-ass posts.

Just my two cents.
posted by chrisamiller at 9:05 PM on May 22, 2008

Good, original writing.
posted by justgary at 2:56 AM on May 23, 2008

I have never, ever been on a blog and thought "this is a well-written informative blog, but boy, could it ever do with more geegaws and doodads." A robust search function, good outlinks to other blogs and sites with related themes, and as chrisamiller and justgary say, kick-ass original writing.
posted by Shepherd at 7:03 AM on May 23, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice so far.

And although I appreciate the suggestions about good writing, this isn't a blog that has any writing. All I'm doing is posting a YouTube video each day. I have other blogs that are all about the writing, just not this one.

So if someone is stopping by every day to watch a video about a topic they are interested in, I'm wondering if there are other things they might want to see while they are there.

A list of GoogleNews links about that topic?
Other blog posts you are likely to find interesting, pulled from Technorati?

Anything else?
posted by davidstandaford at 8:39 AM on May 23, 2008

I reckon I wouldn't visit the blog. I would subscribe either to your youtube name or the blog feed. But I have flashblock and load only about 1 in 50 youtube videos I ever come across, so I'm not your audience I guess. If I were to stumble across your site I would in fact be more interested in the sidebar for either links to compelling material within the site (which, if they are only videos, I'm just not going to bother with) or to interesting sites you link to outside.

There have been approximately 2 out of 15 gammazillion blogs that I've bookmarked because of the link sets in the sidebar. Scripty inclusions in the sidebar particularly including 3rd party material (like flickr sets etc etc etc) make the possibility of me allowing the full page to load less than likely.
[I am a little bit of a hypocrite in this regard but I think overall most people would see added value in my bits'n'bobs - having done it a fair while makes these things better tolerated as well I suspect]

To sum up: content is king; gizmos are for tweaking in the long run and may alienate first timers so tread carefully.
posted by peacay at 9:12 AM on May 23, 2008

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