Big Blogs That Suck and Few That Don’t
We don’t have all day so let’s dispense with the preamble and get right into it:
- Anti Social Media
Loved it. Good design, the blogger engages his audience (oh, the irony). I’m a new fan.
- Brand Builder
Poor planning. The latest post is about Starbucks changing their logo. Booo-ring-ring! Who’s calling? Yes, how may I help you? No, originality is not here…yup, left for the day…call later. Also, small fonts, hard to read…fail. Sorry Oliver, you seam like a nice guy otherwise.
Basic design but the content was solid. I’m a fan.
- Brian Solis
I cant read Brian’s blog. I was a subscriber but had to ask for my check, please. His posts are too long. Some might call them thorough but I find them self indulgent. Think more Yngwie Malmsteen less Jimi Hendrix.
- Convince & Convert
Jay’s blog is like Mariah Carey’s singing. He hits every note perfectly. Having said that, I’m a more of a Ella Fitzgerald kind of guy.
A stand out. Must check it out. Nuf said.
- Grow: Marketing. Social Media. Humanity
Reminded me of Jay’s blog a little (all parts where they should be and all) with a lot more personality and flare. I hope Mark continues to drive in that direction.
Its Kikolani. What more can I say. She’s one of my favs, so there.
Good design, useful content. I’m a new fan.
- Mack Collier
Solid design (tho Im not a fan of 3 column lay out). Latest posts are about some conference he went to which is utterly boring to me as a reader. I Had to dig a little deeper to find useful content and did. Poor planning on Mack’s part. He should have had his A game out on the day Social Media Examiner links to his blog.
- Mark Oborn’s eMarketing
Blogger hosted blog. Auto Fail. A plea to vote for him in the SME contest. Fail. His blog seams to be about the Dental Industry. Fail. Three strikes, you’re out. Having said that, Mark’s blog has focus (emarketing for dentists), the plea for a vote is totally understandable and the design bit is only few hundred dollars away from perfect.
- Michael Brandvold
Name dropping right off the bat shows lack of confidence. I don’t care about Rod Stewart and the fact that you worked with him in some capacity doesn’t impress me. I opened for Skid Row. That’s actually true. What I’m conveniently leaving out is that it happened WAAAAYYY after their prime. Bad design and a cursory scan of the content shows lack of originality. Sorry Mich. Fail.
- Pushing Social
is an old favorite of mine which I’ve been neglecting recently. Since the last time I visited there’s been a site re-design (it looks nice) however, a pop-up has been added to capture the visitor’s email. While I don’t mind a pop-up (I have one on my site), Stanford makes the mistake of “pushing” it (hehe) right off the bat. Let me settle in, read a few lines so by the time the pop-up comes up I’ve had a chance to digest some of the content. Easy fix. Stanford is a cool dude, site looks nice and the content is little echoey but delivered with conviction.
- Reel SEO
I cant be bothered with this shit. There are too many blogs with great design for my eyes to rest upon garbage. There is just too much going on. SEO is a really competitive blog subject and so many do it really well that a small infraction counts for a lot.
- Ricardo Bueno
Nice design. The content is little tired. Perhaps a nube would find it more useful but the posts were light on substance and heavy on unoriginality. Sorry, dude, you seam like a nice guy otherwise.
- Six Pixels of Separation
I think the other blogs on this list will receive a spanking from 6 pixels. It’s a site, it’s a book. It’s a podcast. The dude is plugged in. I think the star power alone will carry this one to victory.
- Social Media Explorer
Jason has made a cardinal sin of writing his bio in third person. Fail. The design is solid, the content is slightly paint-by-numbers. I would like to see him respond to all comments for greater engagement but that’s just me. Jason is a cool dude and I hate to be the ass that gives him a bad grade but a C- is not so bad. I was a C student my whole life so I say we’re in good company.
- Social Fresh
Got lists? These guys LOVE their lists. Nice design tho. It’s a collective blog which helps with promotions. They seam to engage with their readership. I gave a cursory scan for some of the items and they were nice enough. Nothing grabbed me by the throat and pulled me in but to be fair, I was there for 3 minutes.
I don’t know what it is (well, I do but that’s a topic for another time) that grabs you and pulls you into a website. Whatever it is, SocialMouths has it. There is content there I want to read so I will be back and I am a new fan.
- Social Penguin
A plea for a vote. Fail. A plea for a guest post. Fail. Name dropping. Fail. I wont be back. Sorry guys.
- Spin Sucks
I like it. They mix things up (text, video) and their content is interesting.
- Storm Driver
This site is the Gene Simmons of the bunch. Everything on Storm Driver is about Storm Driver. Why I need Storm Driver. Why Storm Driver will save the world in 2012. How Storm Driver snagged a lead role from Will Smith in his upcoming super-blockbuster movie about Will Smith. No thanks. I wont be back.
Maybe it’s because I’m experiencing a fatigue and overload or maybe it’s because its more of the same but Top Rank is exactly that.
Going over these blogs few things become very apparent to me.
- More people need better planning – If you are having your name mentioned on a big ass, highly trafficked website like SME, maybe you want to bring out your A game and post something mind blowing for new visitors to read.
- The echo chamber effect is strong in this one – Whenever you cater to a certain niche you run the risk of saying the same, old, tired ass shit everybody else is saying. Which is why its doubly important to have a great design (the kind that doesn’t get noticed, its just there, you dig?), develop you own personal style and voice, don’t be afraid to bring out your inner freak.
- Clearly the same content is served by many, so defining exactly who your audience is (Mark Oborn’s eMarketing blog is for dentists, not for me, so its only natural that I didn’t care for it) and refining who YOU are becomes really really important. Look at Brian Solis. Do you know why his blog is successful? It’s not the content, it’s the suit.
I stand by my assertions. They came from the gut, not from a careful observations over a long period of time so take it as such. Average user stays 19-27 seconds on a new site. I hope you will take what I said to heart and work on improving your site because any and all criticism is meant in that fashion.
Finally, if anyone is offended by my review, I recommend you grow a thicker skin, you pansy.
Want to read some quality shit?
Hey kid, come into my van. I have some ear candy for ya:
UPDATE: 1:38PM EST
I have to take back what I said about engagement on Social Media Explorer by Jason. I checked the number of comments he left on his blog at that number ladies and gentlemen is TWO THOUSAND AND NINETY TWO. So clearly, the dude engages his audience which brings him up to a solid B.