Thursday, January 31, 2008

Use Relevant Images

If you feel the need to include a picture with each post, use a relevant image or don't include one at all.

We understand that you may feel compelled to add a photo to "kick it up a notch" and spark ocular excitement with visual cues. But, your photo isn't relevant to what you're saying and it detracts from any point your post may have had.

It makes you even less credible.

Additionally, do not attempt to mitigate a loosely associated image with your post simply because you enjoy the photo. The justification is mismatched, like a squirrelly preteen in a sumo match. (See how we did that?)

Use images sparingly and only when it enhances the punchline.

Activity of the day: Calculate your Irrelevant Image Ratio (IIR)

Count the number of images in your blog. Call this i. Now, count the number of those that were actually relevant. Call that r.
r / i = IRR
If your IRR is not 1.000 (note the degree of precision in this number), delete every irrelevant image.

Less is more. Stop blogging.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stop Commenting

If you cannot write an intelligent post, keep your comments to yourself. 

In the blogosphere, comments are visceral and reactionary instead of meaningful and thoughtful. Good writers put effort into their blog posts and should be rewarded with insightful responses. Instead, their work contends with lackluster statements of adoration, condemnation, and divagation. 

The term itself is a misnomer. In practice, commenting is more like consuming a four-course meal, chugging Colonblow, and refusing to leave the dinner table until after you've done your business.

Worse yet, commenters comment on comments, clouding the post's intended message with questions of sexual preference and allusions to Hitler. The banter grows longer than the actual post, nullifying any hint of utility. Or relevance, for that matter.*

But for you, dear reader, your comments are clearly half-hearted ploys intending to attract readers to a blog that you shouldn't have. 

We're calling you out.

Stop commenting.


*Which leads us to our next point: monitor your comments and get rid of the feature. Better still, stop blogging.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Don't Apologize for Not Blogging

Do not apologize for an extended absence. No one cares where you were. It's a wasted gesture-- just like your blog.

Do not blog simply because you have not blogged in a while. Your post will be sub-par and will qualify for abortion.

Better yet, stop blogging entirely: your piddling audience most certainly needs to find other sources of entertainment. And, perhaps, get a life.

We suspect the same can be said for you.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Your Top 10 List Is Worthless: The Top 10 Reasons

Often introduced with time-wasting, content-devoid, redundant lead-ins, your Top 10 Lists* fail to deliver. Allow us to show you why:
  1. Readers cannot remember 10 things.
    Your audience can barely remember one concept, let alone ten. Focus on one precise, concise thought per post: it is more likely to attract dedicated readers and not click-through junkies.

  2. Your list caters to Digg, not to your audience.
    A well-focused blog serves as a Top 10 List (and more) without arbitrary consolidation and bounded enumeration. Your list is simply self-serving and masterbatory.

  3. Itemized conceptualization abstracts concrete, actionable utility.
    Stick to grocery lists.

  4. Reverse-ordered lists are difficult to format in HTML.
    Aesthetics and order matter. Countdowns, however, give the illusion that your Top 10 list features relative ranking. Even Letterman knows in practice that's bullshit.

  5. They are predictable.
    And explanations are trivial and obviously written hastily.

  6. The Number "10" is completely arbitrary.
    Be honest: you decided to write a Top 10 list. Then, you wrote down the first 10 things that came to you. If you couldn't make it to 10, you merely cut it to whatever number's the flavor of the month.

  7. One item (or more) merely pads the list.
    Casually included somewhere near the middle, this witless numeral brings the list to a tidy 10. It is loosely relevant and summarily forgotten.

  8. There are already too many Top 10 Lists.
    Because there are too many blogs, there are too many Top 10 Lists. Most readers have grown tired of the format. If they are still reading them, they're delusional or asleep. Most readers tune out by number eight.

  9. They fade.
    You simply don't have the stamina to hold anyone's interest. No wonder you're alone.

  10. You cannot remember 10 things.
    Your audience can barely remember one concept, let alone ten. And neither can you.

    Déjà vu?

Top 10 lists are predictable, arbitrary, and difficult to remember; thus, their authors conclude with clever quips to tie it all together. Inasmuch, the final note could replace the entire list as it is usually thoughtful and more delicately written than the list itself.

Top 10 Lists are worthless. Stop Blogging.


*including the web's favorite variations: The Top 8, The Top 5, and the Top 20.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


For mediocre blog posts, we are neither pro-choice nor pro-life: we are pro-abortion.

Readers care not about your fatuous posts nor the great effort required to make them understandable. Readers demand only satisfaction. Your toils are irrelevant.

Abort your post if it is anything short of exceptional. Inasmuch, if none of your posts are exceptional (which goes for nearly all of you), stop blogging.

Activity of the day: Calculate your Post Abortion Rate (PAR)

Save your abortions as drafts and count your published posts. Add these two to get attempts.

Calculate PAR:
posts / attempts
If your scope is juvenile (i.e. Cute Overload), your PAR should be close to 0.9. (God help you if you 'write' for this blog.)

If you tackle Social Science, Causality Inference, and Statistical Modeling, you should have no problem calculating your PAR and it should be close to 0.5.

If you find yourself Philosophizing, take a moment to re-evaluate your writing habits (and, for some of you, your life decisions). Your PAR is nearly 1.0 but should be closer to 0.05. You write too much and say too little. You are not Camus. You are not Nietzsche. Your audience cares little what you think.

If hell is other people, their blogs are rampant Devil-spawn.

Abort your abominations. Stop Blogging.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Doctorow Effect

Do not invoke Cory Doctorow in an effort to publicize your blog.

Mr. Doctorow will not be amused. You will not be "slashdotted".

In the unlikely event your ruminations* become (fleetingly) notable, expect harsh criticism and Internet memes created exclusively to nullify your personal credibility.

So, ask yourself, is it really worth attracting Cory Doctorow's following to your pithless blathering?

No. Stop Blogging.


*defined as cud-chewing, not thought.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Check Your Facts

  • 68.9% of bloggers don't spell check.
  • 87.3% of bloggers don't fact check.
  • 77.2% of bloggers don't proofread.
Yet, 100% of readers want and expect these things.

Fact check your blogs. Don't pull a valleywag.


*These are not, in fact, facts; they are made up. You believed them, didn't you? And to you, trigger-happy types, I'll bet you blogged about these facts, lambasting your "peers" for being in the the non-(spell/fact)-checking population. Hypocrites.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Years Posts

Each New Years, bloggers ceremoniously reflect on their year's worth of efforts, citing highlights and making resolutions for the new year.

Activity of the day: Read your old posts and make a New Year's resolution.

Actually, don't bother. We wouldn't subject even you to your fruitless musings. Here's your New Year's Resolution:

Stop Blogging.