September 10, 2004

Unexpected Circular Thinking

Recently, Cbeck talked about his experience with the "Next Blog" function that has been introduced into the new Blogger Navbar, and how to deal with the...shall we say..."undesirable" blogs that you can encounter while using it. And encounter them you will.

I've done my fair share of Next Blog surfing since it became available, and I've found both some interesting blogs and a whole mess of really bad and/or uninteresting ones. Later I want to introduce you to some of those I've found that I like. But first, three of the worst characteristics of the undesirables I've come across are:

1. Blogs that make you click "OK" on their little pop-up boxes, usually containing indecipherable or cryptic messages, before you can have the dubious honor of viewing their offerings. This is annoying. Being annoyed predisposes me to not think kindly of your blog. If you do this, 99.9% of the time I will be clicking on Next Blog before you can type "LOL."

2. Blogs that blast (bad) music at me as soon as the page loads. This is highly annoying. This guarantees that I will have clicked Next Blog before I can read a single word.

If your blog does either of these first two and combines it with the indignity of trying to launch a "spam deleting" program that I have to say no to repeatedly before it will let me move on, you are condemned to the lowest depths of the blogosphere in my book.

3. Blogs that are created for the sole purpose of advertising some fly-by-night business. I haven't come across too many of them, but the ones I have are pretty despicable. They have post after post after identical post with links to whatever their purported business is. I imagine they post repeatedly to increase the chances of being picked up by the Next Blog function. I believe that Blogger has gotten wise to this, however, because two of the links I noted can no longer be found. Bravo Blogger!

These impediments have not stopped me from compulsively clicking on Next Blog when I'm bored or uninspired, hoping to cull the wheat from the chaff and find the one gem that's going to make me want to visit again and again.

Sometimes I'm amazed by the variety of it all, even when so many of the templates look the same.

Sometimes I'm surprised by coming across a blog that I've already hit on a second or third time, given that there are so, so many of them.

And sometimes I'm simply astonished by finding something from someone I know from the blogging world, something I didn't know about until I came across it by coincidence while clicking on Next Blog.

This was my experience, not five minutes ago -- truly -- while in the middle of writing this entry. (I hop around a lot while I'm composing, I can't just stay in one "place" and write.) To have had this happen when it did, and by whom, was true serendipity. It brought things around full circle because it was from none other than Cbeck.