The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

9 February 2005

Mistakes were made

R. Alex Whitlock lists ten mistakes made by bloggers. Let's see how many of them we can find right here at

  1.  Only link to what we've already read and only say what we've already heard. I wouldn't say I never do this, but I try not to bring up a topic unless I actually have something to say about it. On the other hand, if I tell you to go somewhere now and read, it's probably something of Bill Whittle's, in which case you already have and good for you, or you haven't yet and what's taking you so long?

  2.  False modesty. But I have so much to be modest about!

  3.  Clearing the archives. I think I've deleted half a dozen pages in nine years, none of which were part of the daily bloggage. (I did once have a message board, now defunct, but it got little-enough use that I'd say nothing in it has been missed.)

  4.  Become overly concern[ed] with blogging "rules." There are really only three rules: TrackBacks should not be sent unless there's an actual link involved, Glenn Reynolds doesn't need the linkage, and Oliver Willis hasn't earned the linkage.

  5.  Fail to follow basic punctuation rules. Not an issue. On this. Site.

  6.  Substitute slang for ideas. Not an issue. If I substitute anything for ideas, it's bombast.

  7.  Fail to take advantage of 95% of the blogosphere. Yeah, but which 95 percent?

  8.  Become a one-note charlie. I don't think that's a problem around here. By the way, ballot access in this state blows, and I haven't linked to anything of Susanna's in days.

  9.  Decline to put up an "about the author" link. Not that anyone needs to click on this.

10.  Decline to participate in their own comments section. I haven't run an exact count, but I suspect that of the 7800 comments posted so far, at least a quarter (this would be 1950) were from me, and it could be as much as a third.

Based on these criteria, I believe this site rates "Could Be Suckier."

Posted at 9:26 PM to Blogorrhea

I would accuse myself of 4 of those.

Especially the "false modesty." I'm much better than I think I am, I've always said. :)

Posted by: at 9:47 PM on 9 February 2005

So, in light of #4, why did he continue all the way to #10?

I propose a new blogging rule. From here on out, on any list of blogging rules that contains a rule that one should ignore blogging rules, said rule should either be the first rule (lending a sort of sardonic cynicism to the remainder of the rules) or the last rule (thereby couching the whole thing in a sort of wry self-effacing humor).

Or would that be too unruly?

Posted by: Eric at 10:15 PM on 9 February 2005

So we've come to this now have we?


Time to move to another yet without rules.

Posted by: Don at 2:24 AM on 10 February 2005

At the very least, there should be no Rule Six.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:03 AM on 10 February 2005

Hmm. number 1 sounds like the Democratic Party. Or should I say"The. Demo.cratic,par:ty

& according to my stats, it seems that 95% of the blogosphere is failing to take advantage of me (hmmm, that came out wrong)

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 9:25 AM on 10 February 2005

Don't forget Sturgeon's Law.

And don't be too down. With a little effort you make the site a lot suckier.

Posted by: Dave Schuler at 9:27 AM on 10 February 2005

I'm even guilty of breaking at least three myself. There was a time I was breaking up to six. I even broke one rule (punctuation) on the post itself! So who am I to judge. Just a man with a crappy blog (make that four rules!).

Posted by: R. Alex at 9:41 AM on 10 February 2005

Oh, and Eric, it wasn't rules. It was just mistakes that I think bloggers (including myself) make. I did think about posting about those stupid people that makes lists on their blog, but forgot to.

Posted by: R. Alex at 9:44 AM on 10 February 2005

Interesting post, with some good common sense reminders. Among the parts that resonated, I recently posted a resume at my site, only three years after it opened for business.


Posted by: fritz schranck at 10:24 AM on 10 February 2005

Alex, I was just funnin' ya. I've posted similar lists at my joint in the past. These are all good reminders.

Posted by: Eric at 4:22 PM on 10 February 2005

You left off the most important mistake bloggers make: failing to read and link my blog at least four times a day.

Or am I just part of the 95%?

Dang, that's probably it.

Posted by: McGehee at 9:29 PM on 10 February 2005

Eric, it's actually kinda weird. The two or three bloggers that have linked to it have all called them "rules," which I didn't intend them to be. If I play my cards right, I think I can play it off as clever and ironic instead of hypocritical and garbled... :)

Posted by: R. Alex at 5:22 AM on 11 February 2005

Rule #11 (or 12?): Failing to capitalize on publicity, whether good or not-so-good.

FWIW, I've always gotten better mileage with "hypocritical and garbled."

Posted by: Eric at 3:56 PM on 11 February 2005