Rob from Boing Boing Gadgets has posted a piece on the various types of crappy blog post forms found scattered about the internet like so much, uh, lazy writing. He's right! We do use a bunch of the same forms over and over again, sometimes because said forms are what fit the content best and sometimes because we just write so many damned posts every day it's just easier to use tried and true formulas. Here's what he had as #10:
10: The blockquote sandwich
Lede, blockquote, analysis, quip.
The form is simple, and done well, it makes for a perfect post. As a formula, however, it's poison.
First, introduce what you're going to quote. Then quote it. Then say what you think of it. Got nothing to add? Drop the analysis altogether, or replace the quip with a question for your readers.
What do you think, guys?
He also doesn't like it when people essentially rewrite posts in their own words, as it's essentially like blockquoting but with more effort involved and with the illusion of writing original content. You know, because you're just repeating what someone else says but not taking the time to add your own analysis or insight. That's what he had for #9!
He also mentions image macros (check!), snark (check!) and trolling for attention (fuck you, Beschizza! Also, John McCain is old and Sarah Palin is a backwater nutjob! Anyone who disagrees with that is a racist!).
His number one worst type of blog post?
1: The Top List
Yes, even this one!
So self aware!
In the end, it's a good reminder that no one is immune from falling into routines and having their work suffer because of it. We've been tasked with providing quality content to our readers, and we owe it to them to put in effort on every post we write, ensuring that it doesn't tread on familiar territory and remains worthwhile and valuable. I pledge to you that from now on, I'll take blogging as seriously as it deserves to be taken. I won't let you down.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go crap out 75 words about some USB thing with lights on it or something. [Boing Boing Gadgets]