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.
  • BrandSavant
    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.
  • DannyBrown
    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.
  • Kikolani
    Its Kikolani. What more can I say. She’s one of my favs, so there.
  • Kommein
    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.
  • SocialMouths
    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.
  • TopRank
    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?

What’s Holding Your Business Back and a Simple Fix You Can Implement Right Now

Fear! It’s What’s for Dinner

Sex and Cash Business Theory

The Process of Innovation Any Business Can Adopt Right Now

Devil Gets His Due Either Way So Choose Wisely

How To Increase the Sales of Your EBook by 595.6 Percent

Hey kid, come into my van. I have some ear candy for ya:

Interview With a Blogger Extraordinaire and Social Media Pacesetter Tristan Higbee

Interview With a Blogger and an Online Business Expert Murray Lunn

Interview With a Small Biz Marketing Expert Kazia Mullin

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.

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Google Plus

  • http://www.theantisocialmedia.com/ Jay Dolan

    Dino – Thanks for your review of my blog, The Anti-Social Media, and I’m glad to have you as a new fan. Appreciate seeing all the honest takes on these blogs, and would love any feedback you have for mine.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Your blog is perfect as-is…dont touch it. The only thing I would recommend you change is the pic you’re using on your blog. The one on your DisqUs profile is perfect. The one on your blog makes you look like a serial killer lol a little bit…

  • http://www.businessesgrow.com Mark W. Schaefer

    Where have you been all my life? Love the writing style and irreverance. Good job. Your newest subscriber, Mark

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      hehe thnx Mark. Im right here whenever you need me brother :-)

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Social Media Examiner Finalists Reviewed: Find Out Which Ones Suck and Which Ones Are Good -- Topsy.com

  • http://twitter.com/RickCaffeinated Rick Stilwell

    Going to checkout the ones I don’t know, and respect your take on the ones I do. Best review: on Convince & Convert, Jay Baer – “…I’m a more of a Ella Fitzgerald kind of guy.” Great line.

    So now that you’ve gone through so many, I’d be more interested in knowing what you’d think the “perfect” or “best” social media blog would look like, how it would feel, what it would cover.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I think Social Media Examiner comes pretty damn close to a perfect social media blog. You cant beat the editorial process those guys impose on writers, the variety of topics, the design..I could go on and on…

      One thing I would like to see is less of an echo chamber effect. Or, if you must, present it in a new, funny, interesting fashion.

      Its a really bad idea (from the SEO perspective) to use analogies in blog writing becuz it deprives you of precious google-crack but I’d like to see better writing on social media blogs.

      Theres more but we dont have all day :-) if you’d like to chat more my contact page has my email….

      salute

  • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

    Thanks for your kind words and comment at Kommein. I hope you won’t be a stranger!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      For sure Deb…Im a fan, we will be seeing more of each other :-) P.S. Go Joyzee

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    The one thing people like me need is someone to occasionally say, “you suck.” As odd as it seems for me to say so, thank you.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      You are far from sucking my friend. In fact I’ve revised your grade and updated the article with new information. :-)

      • http://occamsrazr.com Ike Pigott

        As one of the contributors at the Real SME, my only beef was with “bringing out the A-game.” Jason’s got us on an editorial calendar, and his minions lash us across the back too much for us to notice whether we’ve been linked to.

        When we do write “teh awesome” is goes up immediately — none of this “waiting around to see if someone is posting a linkbait contest list.”

        Heh.

        (the preceding line is used with permission from Jason Falls.)

        • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

          Thnx for the comment Ike. Thats the thing about tiny armies vs large armies (or small blogs vs big). Small armies have agility and speed on their side…so I totally understand that there are editorial calendars and thing sin the pipeline that need to go in.

          Perhaps a wise army does its best to stay agile and swift despite its size.

  • Mack Collier

    LOL! Had to laugh at the ‘honest’ reviews of the blogs, and it’s always good to get a quick snapshot from a 1st time viewer. And you dinged several blogs for ‘poor planning’ by not having a post up since we’d be mentioned today in SME’s post, but I had no idea that was going to happen. So I missed that memo, if it came.

    Good stuff Dino, and thanks for stopping by at least once ;)

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hey Mark…thanks for being a good sport :-) This shit always goes back to agility and speed of implementation. Not knowing is no excuse. BTW..its not too late…these SME posts are highly trafficked and the day is young my friend :-)

      P.S. Your blog wasnt the permanently disqualified from my visit-list (as if Im some prize lol).. just dinged temporarily :-)

  • http://twitter.com/Canis_bonus Canis bonus

    “ay’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.” Fab way of putting it!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx Laure-Anne…and here I thought the “Think more Yngwie Malmsteen less Jimi Hendrix” line was going to be a stand out :-)

  • http://www.pushingsocial.com Stanford @ PushingSocial

    A little echoey? A little echoey? Damn it.
    I hate criticism dude. But I totally dig you. I’m going to rant and rave in the backyard for a bit then come back in and change some stuff.
    A little echoey? Geez.

    Still your fan :)
    Stan

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      You can fix echoey but you cant graft conviction. And you got conviction in spades my friend.

    • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

      I like how you said “a little echoey” 3 times. I see what you did there, dude!

  • http://twitter.com/KarenBice Karen Bice

    Dino,

    Great list of cool sm folks. I have to agree with you on the Solis blog. As intelligent as he is and as much info as he throws, my eyes glaze over after the first paragraph because I see what’s coming…a white paper.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Dont blame yourself Karen. Its up to the writer to keep the reader’s attention, and NOT the other way around. Harry Potter books are 800 pages but ask ANY fan and they will tell you they wish it was 1800 pages.

      • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

        But at least Harry Potter has the occasional dragon ;-)

  • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

    Well, I think this just about settles it. No need for Social Media Examiner to finish their ranking process. The truth is contained on this blog a few feet above this comment (you know, if you’re printing this out).

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx Andrew..I think so :-p your comment is consistent with your blog…snarky and sarcastic…I totally dig that. Ima be taking a closer look later on today but so far I really enjoyed your http://www.hanelly.com/gurus-ninjas-experts-and-labels/

      You are my kinda blogger my friend

      • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

        This is the beginning of a beautiful thing. I can tell.

        • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

          Dude…where is the comment section on your posts? I was only able to comment on the very last one (read 3 others but no comment area available)…it made me sad.

          Anyways…I’ll make my comments here lol

          Great stuff, I can identify of course. Its very tempting to get into that headspace so my only advice if you’re on the market for such things, is to focus outwardly.

          I hope we continue this discussion on your blog…enable those comments dude :-)

          • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

            HA! Alright, I think I will. The reason I didn’t is some of those posts were originally featured elsewhere, and had comments elsewhere, so I figured I wouldn’t duplicate any discussion, so I disabled them on those posts, and then I realized it was sort of dumb when someone a good deal smarter than me pointed it out, then I reconsidered and took his advice.

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    Dino: What can I say? I appreciate your honesty and take this as constructive criticism. For some time my niche has been the Real Estate Agent (thew newbie real estate agent) so I write for them. Nevertheless, thank you for your honest feedback.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hey Ricardo..thnx for being such a great sport about it.

      Consider the source…Im the guy than hangs on blogs and lives and breaths social media, so if your audience are real estate agents your site will clearly not suit my sensibilities while at the same time it will be PERFECT for your target audience.

      Also, all my judgments were snap. That should be taken into consideration.

      Have you ever placed 10-15 RE agents in a room and monitored their reaction and activity on your site, and maybe followed up with a question or two about their experience?

      I find that any site can be improved greatly if you conduct a simple review process performed by your target users. Often I find things I never even considered.

      Consider me a fan of Ricardo Bueno :-)

  • http://twitter.com/mike_mcgrail Mike McGrail

    Hi Dino,

    Thanks for looking at my blog – The Social Penguin, sorry you don’t like it. Just to let you know, I work a 9-5 (and then some) job and the Penguin is something I also give a heck of a lot of time to outside of that, so to make a list like this is a huge deal for me and everyone who has contributed. Yes I posted asking for a vote (no guns were held to anyone’s head) as I felt the blogs readers would perhaps like to join in and may not have been aware of the awards otherwise. As for as the ‘plea’ for guest bloggers ? Nothing wrong with wanting to offer a diverse viewpoint to your audience right? There is other content on there… For a small, independent blog with no financial input to be up there with the other short-list members is an honour and if it did not resonate with the Social Media Examiner team then I’m sure it would not have gone any further.

    Anyway this game is all about opinions and I respect yours, as I am sure you will my reply.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hey Mike, of course I will reply. We’re in the same boat and whether we like it or not comments are an internet currency. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your blog. My reactions were the reactions of a gunslinger. Stream of conciseness, shooting from the hip kind of impressions.

      I think those hipshots are important to have and understand. For example. I would love to know and understand the first impression someone has when they visit my website, but since we’re tiny little blogs the research money is scarce lol

      To be included on the list is probably well deserved and the reason why becomes obvious once someone takes time to examine the content in depth..its just that mine wasnt that kind of post lol

      Good luck dude…you got yourself a fan :-)

      • http://twitter.com/mike_mcgrail Mike McGrail

        Hi Dino,

        Thanks for your response and for taking the time to delve a little deeper in to the Social Penguin!. Glad you like some of the content.

        I agree, it can be tough to maintain an engaging and regular blog whilst working another job!

        All the best and keep up the gun slinging, I’ve been known to shoot from the hip myself.

  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    I love, love, love your sense of humor and your writing style (I’m also glad you liked Spin Sucks)! I’m a new subscriber…big fan already!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx Gini…Im really looking fwd to checking out spin sucks…Im totally down with the message and Im sure the content will be AWESOME!!! <-read in your best Oprah voice :-) …and just so there's no confusion, thats Oprah Winfrey…of the Chicago Winfreys? Yeah…that one :-p

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hey Gini. After going over spin sucks in a greater detail I realized that you will go bananas over the ebook that I send to my subscribers. Its a short history of Propaganda from Ed Bernays to Chris Brogan. Its called The Amazing Rise and the Spectacular Fall of Mr. Propaganda

      Its going to go out tomorrow via autoresponder (along with a video bogging guide) but I couldnt wait I wanted to share with you a direct download link http://bit.ly/eS3UuQ

      Download it, I know you’re gonna love it :-)

      Im off to read more spin sucks :-)

      • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

        I’m downloading it now!

      • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

        Anyone who uses a monkey photo in their eBook is a friend of mine!

  • http://www.twistimage.com/blog Mitch Joel – Twist Image

    I spent fifteen years in the music industry and here’s where I netted out: Yngwie Malmsteen drunk = awesome. Yngwie Malmsteen stoned = bad. You mentioned Yngwie Malmsteen in a Blog post? We are blood brothers… and that’s without the cool/nice things you said about Six Pixels.

    I was inches away from calling the Blog, ‘I Am A Viking’ but went with “Six Pixels of Separation’ instead ;)

    (ok, that last line was a lie, but I had to work that song title into my Blog comment).

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Dude…you got my Yngwie Malmsteen reference…of all people….thats AWESOME!!!

  • http://twitter.com/MariusLian Marius Lian

    Ha ha. Gene Simmons of bunch… I don’t know about that.

    This blog is about StormDriver and the concept of the “Open Web Layer” so yes, there are posts about StormDriver.

    But please take a minute to dig into what this really is:
    http://www.stormdriver.com/blog/the-open-web-layer/
    http://www.stormdriver.com/blog/sneak-preview-of-surf-ui/

    We are really interested in getting actual feedback on the concept of the “Open Web Layer”.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hey Marius, those were only first impressions of course. Since you left a comment now I must go and dig deeper into Gene Simmons…ahh, I mean StromDriver…will send some feedback soon :-)

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      So StormDriver is like a browser that talks to a central server?

      • http://twitter.com/MariusLian Marius Lian

        It is not a browser because you do not need to install something. You use your browser to go to StormDriver.com and then you see the web through the eyes of StormDriver. We call it the Open Web Layer. When you visit a page in StormDriver you will see everyone else who is there (if they are also using SD). Where they came from and where they are going. In addition all links to other pages are added by users. But yes you are right that there is a few central servers needed to make this happen.

        • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

          ahhh…gotcha. So StromDrive is like a proxy. I get it :-) I hope you dont mind little blunt honesty but it seams to me that the early adopters would be technically savvy web users. Your copy (about page) is not speaking to them. You should be more clear. Something like “its a proxy-like service” with central servers and the reason we’re doing this is such and such and the way it benefits you is so and so and the way it benefits us is so and so…

          hth

          • http://twitter.com/MariusLian Marius Lian

            You are absolutely right. Actually we are technically savvy but the reason why I use the allegory of the page and that you cannot see anyone else today on the page is that everybody we talk to instantly understand that. Even people who are not technical at all. But yes, we should have more technical content there as well. Based on your reaction and input we are removing some irrelevant posts and will also address those early adopters better. Thanks for your input!

          • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

            Im glad I could help. If you guys need anything else, dont hesitate.

  • Anonymous

    Good to see @antisocialmedia by @jaydolan bodes well here. I agree Love it. Good design, Jay engages his audience (oh, the irony). I’m a fan.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Isnt that funny? @antisocialmedia turned out to be quite social, but I wouldn’t advise they change the name to Quite Social Media…its just not as catchy lol

  • http://benjaminlang.com Ben Lang

    Awesome, I love most of these blogs, great to hear your feedback.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx Ben…Im glad I found some of these…its a very good bunch overall.

      • http://benjaminlang.com Ben Lang

        No problem, cheers!

  • http://twitter.com/jaennutter Julie Nutter

    Finally! I get to comment. I am behind on articles… What the heck.
    Anyway, out of this whole review (very fun read, btw) the best point by far was the last sentence.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      lol…of course you’d like me calling people a pansy. When it comes right down to it, its just a fucking blog, you know? No need to take all this shit seriously…

  • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

    OK, just getting to this post now – man, THIS should have been the “awards” criteria and voting overview. :)

    Awards are funny things – yes, they can add credence to what you’re doing, but then they’re also based on a collective’s take, as opposed to the overall audience take.

    I’ll take interaction on my blog, and my readers thinking for themselves and challenging the status quo (which they do in SPADES!) over awards any day. Except, maybe, the Kerrang Award :)

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hey Danny…Im really enjoying your blog dude….these nominations, at the very least, bring more exposure to people who deserve it, so congrats.

  • http://sproutsocial.com/insights/2011/01/fan-friday-half-way-there/#comment-129219893 Don Power

    One of the best blog review posts I’ve ever read. And I used to read ‘blog about blogging’ blogs…

    Laugh out loud funny Dino. And Danny Brown, well done mate!

    Cheers!

    - Don
    aka @donpower

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx bro..I was wrong about @mitchjoel takin it (he would have if I had my druthers) but he did place well…Im not surprised Solis got it tho, considering the sheer star power.

  • Pingback: 5 Ways to Improve Your Blog Today

  • Anonymous

    Dino, you speak the truth. And boldly, I might add! Great review and thanks for giving me some new blogs to check out!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      hehe…thnx…I might have a follow up….a kind of “how did it change your life/blog” type of deal for the finalists. Only half of them responded so far so..I duno…we’ll see, stay tuned :-)

  • Pingback: #FollowFriday: Dino Dogan | Spin Sucks

  • http://kikolani.com/ Kristi Hines

    I don’t know how I missed this, but I love the review of all of the sites! Danny Brown, Pushing Social and SocialMouths are two of my favorites out of the list. Glad I made the good list. :)

  • http://blogs.communitiesrus.in/communityconnect sanjayshetty

    This is such an awesome post, that I couldn’t help but comment. You sense of humor has me smiling, and I’ve not been able to stop till I read each comment on this post.