Geek Love

Let’s Talk about Blogs…

I’ve been busily working behind the scenes to tweak different things here and there and I realized a few things that I wanted the feedback of other people on. I realize that ultimately it’s my blog, but I was thinking it would be an interesting study in what users really like, what they use, what matters to them. Sort of my own little usability survey, all about blogs. I think we can all learn from it in some way. Am I the only person that wonders about these things?

1. Do you really care what time I made a post at? I mean, does it matter to you that this is being posted at 7:45pm or can I just lose it?
2. What do you think of those little icon thingies for links instead of words? (David Gagne uses them and I’ve always sort of liked them.)
3. What about categories? Do you care what category I posted this in? Do you ever go and look at other posts in the category? I think categories are useful & I will continue to use them and always list them in the archives, but the bigger question is … do you care when you read the post?
4. Skins. I pulled them the other night because I was too exhausted to tweak all of the header graphics. I probably won’t bring them all back, but which one do you miss? Was there a certain one that was your favorite that you want to see revived? No point in bringing them all back if some of them weren’t even being used. Plus I have ideas for some new ones to be coming soon.
5. Aside from more “cookies”, is there anything else you would like to see here? Now is your chance to speak up and be heard!

Thank you for participating. Please drop your surveys in the box when you have finished and have a good day!

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

40 replies on “Let’s Talk about Blogs…”

Uh oh, give me a questionaire to fill out, and I might write too much. LOL!
1. The only time I care about the time is when I get up in the morning and look to see how late you stayed up! LOL I’m nosy, aren’t I??!!!
2. I like David’s icon idea – I’ve always thought they were cool and thought about making my own.
3. You should do what’s easiest for you! That’s why I leave categories on mine 🙂 I use them SO much for going back and seeing what I said about something – I tend to remember the category better than the date when searching quickly in my archives!
4. I like the pink and white one with pics of you. I think that’s the first one I ever remember noticing when I started visiting your site, so it holds a special place in my heart. (when playing with fonts last night, I had an idea for a skin for you – maybe I’ll make you one!)
5. I love your site, just the way it is. I like your photoblog updates – at least the latest picture keeps me sure I’m seeing the latest. I love your media stuff on the sidebar because its fun to see what you are watching. But most of all, I just love you (and your words!) 🙂 As long as you keep blogging, I’m a happy chica! 🙂 {{hugs!}}

I love your blog, just the way it is! By the way, I love the new name, too. How cool. One day [yes, one day] I’ll venture out on my own with a really cool name. How ’bout sherlonkahkai? Hehe.

Anyhow, here’s more of my input:

1. Time is of no essense to me, the reader of your blog. I only use the hour on my blog, just for my info mainly.

2. Those little icon-thingies are too cool. I’ve thought of making some for my blog, but haven’t gotten around to it. I just finally added some categorial icons to Kahea’s journal.

3. Categories are okay, but really, who reads them? I do from time to time, but mostly don’t.

4. Skin — show some skin, bay-bee! Hehe. Actually, I normally use the default skin on skinnable sites, so either way is fine with me.

5. You already know what I think about the cookies — yum! You’ve done a great job here.

I have always loved sherlonkahkai for a name! 🙂

I realize that ultimately it’s my blog, but I was thinking it would be an interesting study in what users really like, what they use, what matters to them. Sort of my own little usability survey, all about blogs. I think we can all learn from it in some way.

1. I care what time you made the post because I’m freaky like that. I just want to know, I don’t know why.

2. I don’t really like them. They’re usually too tiny for me to click on correctly the first time. Also, everyone uses different images and they very rarely accurately represent what they’re supposed to represent. If you do use them, I beg of you to make use of the image alt tag to put in its title.

3. For personal weblogs, I very rarely care too much about categories. Text is text. I care about categories in specialty weblogs or weblogs that post all different sorts of entries (pictures, movie reviews, etc)

4. I like the pixel log one, the grey one that had the most reason pixel log photos.

5. Nothing I can think of. 🙂

Hehe, guess I’ll take a whack at answering as well.

1. I actually do care about the time. Since I have a very weird short term memory, sometimes I’m not sure if I’ve read a post or not. Therefore, I check the time to see if it was posted before or after the last time I took a reading break.

2. I think the icons are a cool idea as long as they clearly express what they’re for (i.e. don’t have a bicycle or something for “comments”) and always use alt tags 🙂

3. I usually don’t even notice your categories, but I still think they’re a good thing to use 🙂 If you were to become more heavily category-based, you might consider making it more apparent, but I think it’s fine now 🙂

4. I use the default. I like the recently posted pictures along the top 🙂 (But I don’t always just choose the default – on some other sites, I’ve chosen other skins.)

5. Hrm, nothing that I can think of – cept maybe more of your photography now that you’re playing with your camera more 😉

*Drops the survey in the comments box, then checks the slot to make sure it fell all the way in.*

I agree with Lynda about the icons – they’re cool, but not super-useable without the alt tag (I sound like such a geek!).

I like categories, and I do find occasionally that people will go looking for more of the same thing (such gossip hounds! good for them…), so I’d consider leaving them in.

Finally, smilies in comments are growinng on me – I’ve never been much of an :LOL: girl. I think you should implement pink smilies; if they’re cookies, so much the better 🙂

I like the categories. The icons…..mmmmmmm not so much. you ping weblogs, so I guess it doesn’t really matter about the time, but it could be useful to someone who might want to see when you posted last. Hmmm, that’s about it. Oh yes, and more cookies. Snickerdoodles please. :oD

Here’s my contribution:
1. I guess I really don’t care about the time. It kinda sets a frame of reference for the post, I guess.

2. I have no preference for one or the other actually.

3. I like categories. Maybe not at the time of original posting but I like being to go back and say “Okay, she posted this under that category…I’ll look there.”

4. I really like the dark grey skin you had with the pixelog photos up on top. That and the one with the pictures of you.

5. Can’t think of any right now but I’ll be sure to let you know if I come up with anything.

Bottom line is, it’s your blog…whatever you do with it, I’m okay with. 🙂

1. The time doesn’t matter to me as long as you keep it in your RSS feed so I don’t get all of your entries as new every time I poll the site.

2. Icons – Cool idea if they have alt tags.

3. I like categories. It’s a fun way non-chronological way to read up about a person.

4. Sites with all white backgrounds or all black backgrounds tend to make my eyes jump. Must be “old” age. :p

5. I think your site is a lot of fun. Just keep doing what you’re doing. 🙂

1. I like knowing the time just because I do. With my hours being so off from the rest of the world, I pay attention to these things.

2. I have the one little link one in between words, but agree that so many different icons can mean so many different things on different sites — it can be hard to keep track of ’em. One of the beauties of designing so many blogs. I can still do this and it not be my own.

3. I like my recipe category because people can glance at everything at once. I’ll have one for football season as well. As far as being in blog taglines, I rarely click on a category link from that. Only a page, like my recipe page, if I see it mentioned in a post or in the sidebar.

12. Just seeing if you’re paying attention.

4. I agree with Kristine — the pink and white one with pics was the first one I ever saw/used. I liked the Venice one a lot, too.

Since you asked..:)

1)The time is good to know because sometimes if I see you listed as “updated” from my blog and I look at your site, I can use the time of the last post to tell whether I’m reading a cached version or the real “updated” version of your page.

2)Personally, I hate using icons for links most of the time, I’d rather just have a clear link and a word description of what it is.

3)I never really pay attention to categories but could see where they’d be useful from a content management perspective.

4)I’ve never “skinned” a site. I read your blog for what you have to say, the skin is just wrapping and is completely unimportant to me. But that’s just me. 🙂

5)An XML/RSS feed? (Yeah I’m a geek, I like to follow sites in my news aggregator! *L*)

Hi Christine! I wonder about these things too, so I enjoyed reading everyone’s responses. Here are my thoughts:

1. I don’t pay attention to the time at all.
2. Like Lynda, I find those icon thingies difficult to use. I’d rather they were just text links; however, if you do use them, definitely use alt tags 🙂
3. I like browsing the categories on a site. Sometimes, I’m curious to learn as much as I can about the author’s thoughts on a particular subject, so in that case, I read the category archives.
4. I also liked the Venice one and the pink one with pictures of you on it 🙂
5. I can’t think of anything else. I enjoy your blog as it is 🙂

I don’t much care about the time, I like David’s icons, and I have never looked at category archives, mostly because I don’t yet understand how to reach them… Re the skins, I liked the one with the pictures of you, ’cause you’re cute…

I’ve wondered these things, too. I’ve come to the conclusion that for my own blog, I like to have the time and categories for myself, so who cares if anyone else doesn’t want/use them! LOL!

For your blog:

1 – I do pay attention to the time on people’s posts, just out of curiosity, I guess.

2 – Don’t much dig on the icons. Like everyone else said, if you use them, make sure you also use an alt tag and make the icon related to what the link is for.

3 – I don’t pay too much attention to other people’s categories. But, maybe I should. LOL!

4 – I rarely use the skins on people’s sites except for when the first post, “Hey, check out my skins.” I don’t like the idea that when I go to your site, I’m possibly seeing something different than everyone else. Yeah, I know – that’s my own issue. Ha!

5 – I LOVE the suggestion for smilies here – little pink smiley emoticons would be way too cool.

my turn?

1. yeah, i look at the time. you can kinda tell what frame of mind you’re in (like, if it’s 8am and you’re ranting, that means you’re at work and there’s no coffee)
2. dun matter to me
3. there are categories?
4. i like the beige low-graphic skin. or if you could do a word skin like Rob, that’d be sweet.
5. more T&A.

Actually, for me, its more the content of the blog, not the look.

3. Categories…Never saw the need for them, but then, I’m kinda new to this blogging thing. So, I guess I don’t see their usefulness.

The rest I’m more indifferent to. I don’t care one way or the other.

And I agree with Mikey, More T&A 😛

1. yes. blogs are frequently updated, time-sensitive material. time of day may even influence content — morning posts being different from late late night, etc.

2. they are cute but for usability purposes, not great. i don’t want to have to put my cursor on a little 8 pixel picture and wait for the alt tag to kick in to see what i’m clicking.

3. categorizing is what separates us from the animals. no, not really, but it’s a convenient archiving feature. also, if it’s useful to you, well, that’s all that matters, if you use that link, then the link should stay.

4. skins rock. i don’t necessarily use them here, some of them had issues with NS7/Mozilla, and i’m real happy with the default, so … they still rock.

5. this is a great blog. i wouldn’t change a thing. except my link to it, that i should go change (oh man, i’ve been lagging).

I think the time is useful if only to help separate out when you have different posts all on the same day. I guess it’s dumb, but I think it’s worth noticing if you have three posts in the morning, and three in the afternoon. And of course we all notice those 3 am ones. 😉

I think the Category info is useful, even in the entry. That way, we can click through to the Category Archive and find similarly-themed entries (if we so choose.)

By the way, love the new domain name.

I think the time is interesting sometimes, and it doesn’t really hurt anything.

The icons are very cool.

I’d rather see 1 or 2 very well developed skins rather than twenty choices. I’ve thought about this issue a lot and just made the decision at my site to have different skins with different typography options, but the same colors/layout throughout.

1. I like know the time.
2. Words work better for me than icons.
3. I shuffled through Nancy’s categories at jillmatrix when she first put them up, but probably won’t use them again unless I’m looking for a specific post I know should fall under “Florida” or whatever.
4. No opinion on the skins.
5. It already looks good.


1 – No.

2 – Bad idea. My litmus test for anything I design (except when ordered to ignored reality and design something according to the clients explicit directions) is to ask myself if my mother or grandmother would be able to understand it. Icons, while useful in many instances, are very difficult to properly create for the things you’d need on your site. For example, comments might be a cartoon-like word bubble, but what would you use for trackback? How about permalink? If your mother or grandmother won’t understand it instantly, is it worth creating? Of course, this rule is very flexible, and you can ignore it if you’d like. My point is only that in my daily business dealings, I’ve found that icons can get in the way of the actual message unless they are completely and utterly self explanatory across all age groups AND languages.

3 – Categories are very useful for the poster. I’d implement them if GM had them, but I’ll just wait until I switch to MT.

4 – Skins are good. Keep them.

5 – “cookies” are nice, but I prefer buns. I’d like to see more buns on your site. Hot croissant’s, sweet butter rolls and any other bread analogies you can think of. I’d also like to see my website prominently displayed at the top of your page, preferably right above your title and in a larger font with ‘click this for a good time’ right before it. Oh, you might also think about making your Blog headers stand out a little more. Bold, or a different color or something. But don’t forget about the link to my site. That’ll REALLY make this site better.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

1. Hmm. I guess it isn’t absolutely necessary, but I like having it there. I don’t always notice it, but I think I would definitely notice its absence.
2. I think they look cute, but I have a dialup connection at work and home, so I tend to advocate minimal use of graphics. (I have a few 88×31 buttons in my sidebar, but it seems like all of my friends have them and the daily memes all do, but if I were to use all those graphics my page would take a lot longer to load.)
3. I think it’s interesting to know what categories you’ve got and where you’ve placed an entry. The way you do it now seems like a good way – I like having it there.
4. I don’t remember them now! I like skins a lot – I have the urge to change my own design once every three hours. I think a set of skins is good for a few reasons. First is readability – I couldn’t read Kristine’s gray-on-black-with-red at all, so I switched to the white one with the flowers. I also think it’s easy enough to have one skin that works in browsers that don’t meet current standards. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but it’s worth having.
5. Looks fine to me! The cookies surprised me though, I figured it was maybe a regular cookie with pale pink icing thick on top.

1. No. I took the timestamps off my blog posts a while ago. This also helps disguise the obvious fact that we’re all blogging instead of working at our jobs. 🙂
2. I like the icons personally, but I think icons are too confusing for users because there’s no standardization to them. I would never use them myself, since I want people to understand what is going on.
3. Categories can be useful, especially if you are a topical blogger. People whose blogs are primarily personal will find categorization kinda pointless, I think. I may start using categories soon because I have so many topical posts.
4. Keep skinnin’ girl!
5. Just keep doin’ that voodoo that you do so well.

My two cents worth on your blog. Regardless when you post I come here at least a couple times a day.I even link to you. I find your blog very well organized, easy navigation, and inviting. I like how you offer a variety of information about all sorts of things. Maybe have a survery for your dedicated readers to select their favorite skins, then the top choices would be brought back? How ever you use to re-invent yourself I am sure I will keep coming back. Nothin but love baby..;-)

For what it’s worth~

1. I do look at the time stamp, but if it wasn’t there, would I run away? Nope. It’s your blog, girl, and if you want to take them off, then do it! 🙂

2. Icons are cool if you have the alt tag. I agree with that, totally.

3. I have categories on my site, for me. I think that some people actually look at them though, I see it in the logs.

4. I love the look you have here, if you want skins, put them back on! I did like the black one with the pixs at the top.

5. Some cool pink cookies in the comments would be neat. Smilies are fun, if they aren’t overdone!

Oh, please change my blog link in your blogrolling, in case you haven’t already, thanks!

I don’t keep the time in my posts because I don’t want to get caught using non-lunch work time to blog, but I do like looking to see when other people are blogging. It does give good insight to frame of mind.

Everything else, I’m so-so on…categories, skins… the important thing is that YOU like your website.

Although, I must say…. MORE COOKIES!

That brings up a good point though – I like subscribing to comments, but if it’s a comment I don’t want to subscribe to then it seems to add a lot of lag time to posting the comment. Considering I’m on a T-1 at work and cable at home, lag time annoys me.

So is it worth it for the lag time? Or do you just look at the sidebar for the posts with a ton of comments?

1. Exact time of post isn’t important to me. (I don’t read it) However DAY is.
2. Don’t care for the icons… I saw it and my first gut reactions was “huh?”. I had to mouseover some of them to find out what they were (called “mysterymeat navigation”. v. v. bad usability)
3. The only time I care about categories are like the ones used on scriptygoddess. For blogs like yours… I don’t really look at them at all. (If for no other reason than most of the time, categories mean more to the WRITER of the blog than the readers…)
4. Skins are cool and all, but it’s not like I flip around. I actually use the one that you’ve made the default.
5. duh… I dunno… =gives blank stare= 😉

1. I find it interesting sometimes. Poeting at 3 am can kind of add interesting flavor to a blog.
2. I am torn on this one. I like pictures, but I don’t always understand them all. “She wants me to do what with what?”
3.I actually have looked at catagory archives if I wanted to find out more about a subject.
4. There has to be a pink cookie skin. I liked the ones of the boats, but would trade it for a pink cookie skin.
5.The real question is what would you most like to do more of?

  1. Sometimes, I do look to see what time a post is made, but only if it’s relevant to the subject. For instance, if you were suffering from insomnia and posted about it, I’d look to see what times you had been posting.
  2. The icons are cute.
  3. I don’t read the categories. I don’t even read my own 🙂
  4. The default skin has been my favorite and the one I’ve mainly used. And I love staring at big pink cookies when I come here!
  5. I can’t think of a thing…

in all honesty, none of that really matters to me. I usually stick with the design you put up, I never skim through categories (except at scriptygoddess), I come for your words and stories and links and life — everything else is secondary.

Need another opinion? what the hell…

1. Yes, I care about time. Sometimes I check it to see how far behind I am in my daily reading, other times I might just check it as a comparison to when someone last blogged their previous entry… of course that is most relevant to people I interact with in person, so that I know how long it was that they blogged after an event in their life, etc., If that makes sense…

2. Ixnay on the icons. Icons aren’t universal to everyone and I’d probably be stumped anytime I tried to permalink or comment or whatever. Words, words, words.

3. Actually I’ve found I only use categories on group blogs (so I can see a variety of posts on one subject from different people)… not really in individuals’ blogs, though. I just go chronological, really.

4. I don’t think I ever changed skins on your blog. Sorry! *blush*

5. Eh, I dunno… it’s all good!

Comments are closed.