December 7, 2010

Poll: How Do You Use Blogs?


Help!  I need you.  Don’t panic, I need only your answers on some polls.  I think these questions could help all bloggers understand how their readers are accessing and using their content, and I’ll share the results once the poll is done.

For those of you reading this via email or RSS, I ask (beg! plead!) you this one time to click through to the actual post because you are exactly who I want to have answering these poll questions.

For a bit of background, now that I have a smartphone and can’t imagine my life without it, I’ve been using it for web surfing.  One thing smartphone users quickly notice is that websites optimized for mobile use load faster and are much cleaner to use than generic websites.  So, perfectionist that I am, I wondered if I should look into creating a mobile version of my website and blog.  Similarly, someone I follow on Twitter has been wondering if she should look into publishing her blog for the Kindle.

In other words, there are probably an endless number of ways people can access blogs, but the question is: Which methods are used enough to make the effort worth it?  So question number one…  (Check off your top three methods.)

[polldaddy poll=4207879]


Now let’s talk about why those are the methods you use.  Do you follow a routine and like the organization of RSS readers?  D0 you visit blogs only on the spur-of-the-moment?  Let’s find out with question number two…  (Check off your top three reasons.)

[polldaddy poll=4207900]


I’ll be honest, question number three has me biting my nails.  Obviously, you haven’t decided that my website is so ugly that you’d never visit it again or else you wouldn’t be here to see this question.  But I do wonder if any of my readers go the RSS route for website usability/readability reasons.  Please be honest if that’s the case (and let me know the details of why in the comments) because I want to improve and fix things that are broken.  And if you’ve read any of my posts about critiquing, you know I take suggestions and feedback very well.

[polldaddy poll=4207921]


Did I miss any questions?  Did I miss any answers?  What do you think—Should I create a mobile version of my site?   Do I need to improve my site for usability or readability?  Please let me know in the comments.  Thanks!

Comments — What do you think?

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Glad you did this post Jami.
For websites that are hard to read (black background with white text or dark graphic backgrounds) I do use the RSS. I like RSS because it is easy to read, organize and also save for later. I read to many I guess.

However, I love clicking through from twitter to get straight to the blog especially if I want to leave a comment. Leaving comment from RSS is not ideal.

I love blogs with easy polls. All I have to do is click my opinion and I get to see results from everyone else.

great blog today


I read blogs on their sites and blogs on Google Reader. Reader’s for the blogs I want to track, because I enjoy their content or because I’m “internet friends” with their authors, or both. I don’t want to miss anything that goes up on them.

The blogs I read on the sites themselves are either ones that have caught my eye on Twitter or ones that I’ve clicked through from Google Reader because they’ll be easier to read on their own page or contain video. This also lets me keep the articles around in tabs without having to worry that I’m going to “mark as read” something I wanted to read. The tweeted blogs tend to be by people who are cool and interesting, but don’t always publish content I’m interested in. Twitter lets me filter the “boring” stuff out.


I mainly use google reader so I can keep track of everything. If I want to comment I’ll just click through.

Two things you didn’t include in your surveys that bug me when I visit a blog: 1.) it’s so riddled with ads/images/etc that it takes a long time to load or scroll through, and 2.) when a blogger cuts off his/her feed in RSS so you have no choice but to click through if you want to read the whole post.

Rachel Firasek

Enjoy the obsessing for today!!! 🙂

Joanna St. James

I like your blog as it is. I use my computer and just go through my blog roll everyday its more organized that way for me.

Roni Loren

I used to use Google Reader, but now that I follow so many people, it’s not so useful. Now I honestly just use Twitter and click through when I see interesting links. It’s all I have time for lately. (Of course, there are a few sites I always try to visit regardless.)

I will, however, not go to a site if it’s white/light print on a black background. It hurts my eyes too much and gives me a headache. I could read those in google reader, but often, I won’t take the time to worry about it.

Good thoughts about creating the mobile version, I never considered that. As for Kindle, I do have my blog up to subscribe to via Kindle but no one has utilized it, so I’m not sure if it’s all that worth it.

RK Charron

Hi Jami 🙂
A great post, nice poll, and good comments.
Like you, I un-subscribe in Reader those blogs which only have a line or two & say go to site for the rest. That’s beyond annoying. If I wanted to do that, I wouldn’t have the blog in the Reader in the first place. There’s a real good blog I Follow which has a terrible color font issue so I cannot read it on their site. (Yes, I’ve told them but they have not rectified it).
Plus MUSIC. Instant turn-off! Just DO NOT DO IT. I understand the urge to share your favorite tunes with the world but it is worse than annoying & I hardly ever visit those blogs.
And Melissa was correct with the over-abundance of ads. (though that has a lot to do with the age of the blogger I’ve found. Teens like the “busy-ness” of all those things.
One of the best sites to visit is Dark Faerie Tales. Oh – and Book Smugglers.
I also enjoy your site Jami!
All the best,


Agreed on ads and music (ugh)! Weighing in again to say that there’s one case in which those teaser posts on feeds work for me, and that’s when a blog has lots of long posts each day and most of them don’t interest me — and io9, for instance, or some book review sites. I like having a paragraph or two to let me know if it’s worth my time to click through, without having to scroll down a lot to read the next item in the feed. Most mostly, no, don’t like the teasers either.

Suzanne Johnson

Interesting poll! I like the idea of reading blogs on my Crackberry but for those of us who aren’t, er, as young as we used to be, reading the teeny-tiny print is just not happening. Plus, I’m at a computer all day anyway, monitoring Twitter, so it’s easier just to click on a link.


Great topic, Jami!

And yup, interesting reading the comments and seeing how many people wouldn’t consider reading my blog – because of the background and color. I’ll have to think about that. 🙂


Susan Bischoff

I used to use a feed reader, but then I stopped going to it. Friends, etc, I feel I must keep up with, I try to find an email subscription option. Because I have to check my email. One thing that bums me about the email option is that sometimes the notification goes out hours after the post goes live and the discussion is pretty much played out already.

I click through to a lot of blogs from Twitter if the topic interests me. Text of any color on dark backgrounds, or text on patterned backgrounds, are things I avoid reading. I’m more likely to skim the article, or just leave without reading it.

Andrew Mocete

I go to a blog for the content. Once I see stuff happening all over the place I’m usually out. Even though I checked “never visit again” on the poll, it’s more like “won’t think to come back”.

I like my content to be free of any distractions. Think about when you read a newspaper or magazine article. It’s just you and the text. If there are pictures they hardly ever interfere with the content.

Plenty of blogs I read look just as good and professional with a few simple links and a really good header.

My eyes did get a little tired scrolling through comments with a picture behind it, but that’s just me. In your case the topic was interesting enough for me to come back for future posts.


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