The Well Designed Blog

3 May

 

Here’s my dirty little secret. I don’t often read other people’s blogs. I know that’s a cardinal sin, especially since I call myself a blogger.

But really, who has the time?

There’s Facebook, Words With Friends, Lumosity, Gmail and oh, yeah—work. Plus, God bless me, I actually like having a tidy house. So there’s housework, too. And food preparation. And dog walking. And the occasional attempt to get fit. (Mind you, the latter doesn’t make all that big a dent into my schedule.)

Oh, and much of the year, there’s grad school. Plus, Charlie Rose. Charlie Rose is for me what a daily run is for someone else. Given all that, what little reading time I do have is devoted to books.  Remember those? I use GoodReads to track my glacial progress on that front.

In May, however, during the WordCount blogathon, I pay closer attention to other bloggers’ work. Yes, as you probably surmised, once again, I’m a blogathon participant. Three days into it, among other things, I’m learning about my own blog’s deficits. Among them: good design. Here are a couple of blogs whose design I like:

  • Broadside. Caitlin Kelly worked at the New York Daily News during a period when I was a regular freelance contributor. I first knew her as a fellow member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Her recent story on Google was among the top most emailed on the New York Times Web site. Take a look at her brilliant blog design on Broadside, which looks very much like a broadsheet.
  • My Morning Chocolate. Aside from one heck of blog title, Jennifer Walker has a nice graphic for her blog theme and she always includes wonderful food photos on her, you guessed it, food blog. My favorite feature of My Morning Chocolate is the e-mail delivery service. The e-mail contains the opening paragraph of that day’s post and the recipient then has the option to click to the blog to read more. I want that feature in Help! I’m Blogging.

What are some well designed blogs you recommend?

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7 Responses to “The Well Designed Blog”

  1. Laura Orsini (aka Marcie Brock) May 3, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Thanks for the thoughtful post!

    Two blogs I highly recommend are

    http://BreakingTheRubberBand.wordpress.com and http://ShelteredBecomings.com.

    They are both thoughtfully written by women, but take different approaches with different styles.

    Great question! Hope you get lots of wonderful ideas.

  2. Jen @ My Morning Chocolate May 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Sheila, thanks so much for the shout out! My husband will be excited that you like the header graphic – he designed it. Here’s my dirty little secret: I had no idea that my blog contains an email delivery service if you subscribe. That must be a feature that WordPress.com includes with all blogs. Thanks for clueing me in!

  3. Sheila Callahan May 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Jen, all I can say is that just moments ago, I THINK I was able to set my blog up for e-mail subscriptions. I can tell you first hand that it ain’t anything that WordPress.com includes as a matter of course. Were that the case, my life would have been much easier. What I like about your email delivery, is that it provides the first paragraph, not the entire post. I especially like this feature. I’ll have to see if my new subscription service has a similar setup.

  4. Lisa Carter May 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    I hear ya, Sheila, about time to read other blogs. I *like* to, I *want* to, and I do *try* to, but more often than not these days I go into Google Reader and “mark all as read” because I’ve got hundreds of posts I’ll never get to. But during Blogathon I do make more of an effort.

    For blog designs, I really like my fellow translator Lise Capitan’s site — it’s simple, clear, arty, with a fabulous logo. http://www.lisecapitan.com/

  5. Caitlin Kelly May 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Thanks so much!

    I chose that WordPress theme for a few very specific reasons: 1) it looks like a newspaper, and that’s my background; 2) because of that, I think it meta-signals that readers will (as they often do) will find news within it; 3) it’s not a terribly popular choice so feels distinctive and 4) most important to me, it showcases three stories at a time, like a newspaper, offering readers three choices every time they visit. If they’re bored by one post, they’ll probably like one of the other two!

  6. Karla May 8, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    First of all, I am overwhelmed by the amount of blogs there are in this computer world! It is simply astonishing to me! You could literally live on the computer for a year and not hit every blog or website! I don’t really follow too many at all. I end up on some cooking and baking blogs, but mainly because, when looking for recipes on Pinterest (have you done Pinterest yet? OMgosh, I love it!), it brings you to the recipe site, which is usually some blog. Don’t remember any of the names except Bakearella and Foodsnots! Lol!
    Your blog is the one I read regularly:)

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