Your Blog is a Myth (and other reasons your website could use some spiffying)
I thought I’d share with you some little figures, facts and perhaps a bit of frolic over the elements that we see everyday, on every blog, and why they prove humanity is a crew of lemmings headed over the cliff. These are pretty much universal to every blog, yet used pretty much universally never.
“Cat, dog, mittens, fluffy”. I’ve just finished reading a post and now I’m presented with a list of words, theoretically related to the post. Why would I ever click these? To read more about your pet? Well that’s the theory, but the percentage of people who actually click these? Less than the percentage of robots from the future who have come back naked to chase teenagers on motorcycles with big rigs while listening to hits from Use Your Illusion. And when have you ever seen a “tag cloud” and thought, hmmm, the word social is the biggest one here, I’m going to click on it and read about everything this blog has to say on the topic of “social”. What an afternoon!
While more useful than Tags for people who know how to sort your WordPress blog by categories for RSS purposes, for the average user, no one is drilling down to just read one aspect of your blog: if they like your writing, they’ll just take everything they can get and dip out half a paragraph through anything that’s not interesting. Categories as a small dropdown are a nice to have for the random few who really know how to use them, but as a long list, they’re just more clutter in your sidebar.
I wonder what Bill was thinking on March 15th, 2001?
Yeah, no one has ever thought that. Ever. Dedicating space to a dropdown for archives might not be the worst waste of space, though a long list of the past 49 months worth of articles is. You might as well have a giant white ad with a single white letter on it. That would be more useful.
Social Sharing Links
I do it (in fact, I’m guilty of most of the above crimes against Web), but “Share This” links are really not ever used. Sure, a “Tweet This” or “Like” on Facebook button can be handy, the latter particularly as they’re proven to work, but when you have the green square with the white plus that expands to 150 sharing options for the user, all you do is give them a giant list of choices, and humans can’t handle choices. They wig out, and therefore do nothing. Keep your social sharing links to two, or one, or better yet, none. Or one or two.
That’s all, hope you’ve enjoyed another wonderful and well thought out article from the good folk(s) at ClickNathan.com!
Up Next: Red Moon, August 13th, 2011