Why you should leave a comment
This blog is, for me, about "community." That's what I want most out of it. So I've tried to think of ways that I can make it more of a "community." But the blog is still "new" in that until a few months ago, I hadn't really used it very much. So how do I plan to build this "community"?
Here's what I propose
Anyone who comments gets a link back to his/her site or blog because that's how the blog template works - if they add a site/blog url when they leave a comment, that is. (See my Comment Policy.) But I have something different in mind...
I plan to create a single post and call it "A Blogroll." It will become a permanent part of this blog. If you have a blog and leave a comment, I will check it out (just remember to link to it). If I like it well enough, you might get a special, "featured" link in one of my newsletters. How?
How it will work
At the end of each month, I'll take a look at the most commented on posts and visit the artists' blogs I see. I'll select up to 5 blogs I particularly like and give a link to each on that post. As space permits, I'll include a thumbnail of your work, to give my readers a little preview. (Unlike many "blogrolls" you often see, this really will be a list of blogs I actually DO follow.) How will this post (blogroll) stay "prominent" or "above the fold" on this blog? I'll "tag" it (as I've done with this one) which will leave it as a permanent link on the sidebar you see to the left. Since tagged posts appear alphabetically, you can see where "A Blogroll" places on it (this post will be replaced with the blogroll itself once I get it started in June). I'll also highlight this post in my newsletter. This will be my blogroll. So what's the big deal? Well, there is a difference...
How to get a "Featured Link"
If I like your blog and work well enough, it will get a review along with a link in my newsletter.
More about this post (blogroll) itself...
- This will be a "standalone" post. No wading through a list of text only sidebar links.
- I'll be categorizing artists by the work they do, landscape, figures, animals, medium, etc.
- Regularly updated, well written blogs with nice photos will get special attention.
- One selected artist per month whose work and blog I particularly like will get a writeup (review) which will be included in my newsletter.
- Ratings: Writing ♦♦♦♦ | Design ♦♦♦♦ | Content ♦♦♦♦
The ratings aren't as big a deal as they might seem. Mainly I'm looking for quality. Technical writing ability isn't that important - though I'm not going to link to a blog full of typos - it can be casual, for instance. Friendliness is more important to me. Your writing just needs to be understandable and consistent. I don't want to send my visitors to sites that are going to waste their time or that present a slipshod attitude. And with that in mind, to get a featured link, your blog will have to load quickly. Is it optimized? Check out this Empty Easel article on optimizing your images.
But with High Speed connections, why does download speed matter?
This is why... "..... mobile customers often have bandwidth caps and throttling. So if your page takes longer to load because of its size, it can push them over the limit. This can make your site look bad. While the bandwidth caps and throttling are caused by the cell phone networks, most customers aren't going to associate the problems they have with a website with their cell phone network, they are going to blame the site they are on. It's not fair, but it's true."
And blogs can be notoriously slow! They can load so much information all at once, it's just inevitable that they do load slowly if they are not properly managed. Don't get mad at me. I'm really just doing YOU a favor in mentioning this.
Remember, quality is what I'm looking for. Design, readability, load speed and appropriateness as well as the artwork quality itself will all factor into it.
How does this benefit me?
Besides giving me a reciprocal link, this would give me more opportunities for blog content... a resource. If I see something on your blog I'd like to write further on, I could. I can't if I don't see it. With an interactive blogroll that I can check back on myself, it would give me a "well" to draw from. Don't worry, "copying" isn't what I'm talking about. I'm only interested in posting original content on my blog...but an article I might see that could be expanded upon could be useful. And I would always give a link back in any subsequent posts I might write. So you'd get another link in the process, in addition to your blogroll link. Sound good?
You should leave a comment...