You know what qualities will get posts highlighted in the DC Blogs Noted section: good writing, timely topics, interesting topics, great humor, good writing, tales of dates gone comically bad, a well picked fight, good writing, and better writing.
What you may not know is that there are certain things that will get a DC Blogs Contributing Editor to close their browser window as quickly as they can find a button to click. To be sure, exceptions (for truly spectacular writing, or puppies) are made but they are infrequent. Recently I, your friendly neighborhood Restaurant Refugee, was discussing this matter with fellow contributing editor, LiLu, and we decided that we would share our:
“Completely Subjective, Unsanctioned by Other Editors, Reasons Why We Disqualify (even where we generally approve of the content) Your Blog”
Disclaimer: Yes we were both drinking when this gChat conversation took place
On Music & Eye-Painful Layouts
RR: so which is more offensive: music or white text on black background
LiLu: well wait, because honestly, I can beat white text on a black background; wait for it… PINK… or neon of any color on a black/dark background.
LiLu: while white is blinding and definitely migraine inducing on a black background, neon is just offensive.
RR: you should know that I really just said “eghewwwwwww” out loud
LiLu: did you spew wine? Be careful, that’s a nice shirt.
RR: never spewing wine, I got priorities and all
LiLu: I’ll break a nose before my wine glass.
RR: ok, so the bright text dark background trumps white against dark, however, I would still contend that music is more offensive and more likely to get me to ignore you
LiLu: Though the overall blasphemy against human eyes stands, I agree. Because while I groan when I come across an offensively decorated layout, auto music actually causes a knee jerk SHUT IT DOWN, GET AWAY, OMG SAVE ME JEEBUS reaction and I immediately “x” every tab I have open just to make it STOP.
LiLu: these aren’t thoughts… these are animalistic reactions… I also throw up a bit in my mouth out of fear
RR: and I am with you on closing every tab just to make it go away. ok, but we have to move along
LiLu: ok, ok
RR: and we should note that we are more sensitive to the eye-straining thing because we read 100s of blogs on the day we prepare
LiLu: when I’m scanning through a thousand blogs that day, a simple, clean aesthetic will win my heart in an instant, even if you write about the turkey sandwich you had for lunch.
Grammar & Structure Issues
RR: ok, for me number 3 would be grammar
LiLu: oh YES. I agree. And I’m not talking “your” and “you’re,” whatever. Not all of us graduated vocational school. I’m talking real disaster, run on sentences, scattered with “lols”, incomplete thoughts, incoherency… because there is SO MUCH OF IT.
RR: I mean if I come across something with offensive-to-my-sensibilities grammar in the first paragraph, I have just closed a tab.
RR: and I am glad that you made the distinction between the mistakes of copy editing and the misguided grammarians who think that using “your” instead of “you’re” makes you a bad person
LiLu: exactly… that’s still legible, albeit incorrect. I can still get the message you’re trying to convey
RR: but poor structure and the like are just frustrating
LiLu: or one whole block of text
RR: brain bleed kinda frustrating
LiLu: GIVE ME SPACE TO BREATHE. Literally, like between your paragraphs.
RR: a whole block of text is maddening
LiLu: more importantly, MAKE paragraphs. And use your “return” when you start a new thought.
RR: we should also take a minute to note that we want to love every blog we read. Besides saving us time in the search for 5-8 noteworthy post, we just want to like them.
LiLu: we do! I really do! I am LOOKING to promote you, not to hate
LiLu: but… some of them make it so hard. They should be saying something they want to say, not because you want to attract followers/etc; it should be genuine. Creative, honest, maybe even entertaining, or thought provoking… or are we getting too deep?
RR: that’s never what she said
Another Quick Aside
LiLu: by the way, partial posts!!! That doesn’t affect us so much as we choose… but people HATE it like whoa.
RR: partial posts drive me nuts but I might include both if I cross it on the second day, the first day, forget about it
RR: so let’s include it as a “by the by” kinda thing
LiLu: like “this does not affect OUR choosing, but it does not go unnoticed that… blah blah blah
RR: zackly… that’s perfect
RR: ok, but what about offensive language; and for the record, [common euphemism for sex] is not offensive
LiLu: right, I would say it’s more like when it ventures towards SOCIALLY offensive like gay or racial or whatever. If a post says “negro” in it, I am probably not going to feel ok about linking to it
RR: zackly… so sayeth the white girl
LiLu: well exactly, I know my role, you can’t comment on something unless you ARE. It’s the unspoken rule.
RR: but you know even I, the socially conscious and aware black guy, am touchy about including some racially sensitive/charged things
RR: it’s a careful line, but we both agree that generally socially offensive things are over that line
LiLu: right, unless you’re commenting that it’s socially offensive.
RR: zackly, if you write a post condemning the inherent misogyny of PUA blogs, that’s commentary; if you write a PUA blog, go [expletive deleted] yourself
LiLu: yeah [all kinds of words deleted]
Self Important Blogging
RR: ok – anything else that really drives you nuts and will make you quickly ignore a post for inclusion?
LiLu: people who apologize for having not blogged, it’s so self important. This is BLOGGING, not rocket surgery.
LiLu: no one cares. Just write or don’t write. There’s no boss watching over you.
RR: when the first thing I read is “sorry I haven’t posted in a while” I close that tab faster than [way inside joke about a shrill voiced harpy]
LiLu: HAHAHAHHAHAHA, I just peed a little