It’s time once again for Mr. Grumpy to Go Blogging! This is Round Three of the Mr. Grumpy Series on Blogging. Mr. Grumpy’s goal here is to point out misfortunate blog design choices and mistakes in meaning and incoherent content and creative choices that make blogging a painful experience for the rest of us instead of one built on Passion and Magnitude. Some of the following mandates come from Mr. Grumpy, some of them come from Mr. Grumpy’s readers — all come from eyes too swollen by bad blogs to afford us a good night’s sleep and that makes everyone grumpy! Let’s get started:


1. Huge anime pictures do not make you young and cool. You become sad and antiquated in our eyes.

2. Leave anything that sparkles on your party gown! We don’t like imitation sparkle on your blog because it is never well done and always looks cheap.

3. Don’t use JavaScript pop-ups that say — u *heart* my blog!! or i heart u!!! We feel your pathetic loss of self-esteem and it embarrasses us for you.

4. Don’t make your blog a series of links to other articles. Create original content and then use those links for deeper exploration of what you are arguing in your post.

5. Never role play! “I am the King of Siam and here are my beautiful Princes” gets really old and unfunny fast because you’re in competition with other pitiful pretend pseudo-royalty like “The Queen of Texas” and the “Duke of China.”

6. If you don’t have anything to say, don’t tell us that in the first sentence of your post — or anywhere else: “I don’t have anything to say so I’m going to tell you that over and over and over again every single day in a new message.”

7. Self-indulgent emotional outbursts that lead to cursing and festering rage are rarely effective. We really don’t care if your boyfriend is mean or if your neighbor’s dog ate your dinner or if no one understands you. We are your readers, not your therapist! Treat us as your intellectual equal, not your bottle of Prozac!

8. Never post poetry. EVER!

9. If someone ticks you off don’t talk about your revenge plans in your blog because lying isn’t interesting and if we want fantasy we’ll see King Kong instead and if you really carry out your revenge plans you’ll go to prison for a long, long time because your blog is evergreen evidence of your premeditation.

10. No Pirate Talking. EVER!

11. Pick a single category for your posts. The idea of categories is to break up your blog into niches of interest. We don’t want to read the same article twice, but we do just that when you can’t pick a single category. For those of us who read you via categorization instead of reading you randomly, let us have unique content, too. Your post should be about one thing, fit in one category, and leave it at that because then all your categories will be as content unique as your original post.

12. Always never use strikethrough. It is always never funny or clever. It always never was.

13. Don’t beg. We don’t want to donate to you via a PayPal button. You aren’t that interesting. We will not purchase anything on your Amazon Wish List. You aren’t that deserving. You blog because you must express a unique thought — not to beg a buck. You can make more money panhandling on a street corner.

14. Don’t use Google AdSense. We won’t click on your links. We don’t want advertising shoved down our throat by our fearless blog leader.

15. If you hate your parents, keep it to yourself because your vicious words will only come back to haunt you in your fancy career 20 years down the line as your hatred of the people who raised you comes to light out of the darkness of a web search. You have already told us too much and if we want more we’ll just do a search for the gory details you post every day about your rotten life on earth.

16. We don’t care about your sexual exploitations because we know you are making it all up. If you were truly as sexy and beautiful and rich and funny as you claim, you wouldn’t be blogging and begging us for money!

17. Don’t write skits. We don’t believe your “this really happened” scene settings and awful dialogue. We can see through you! All the witty things you meant to say yesterday that suddenly finds form in an online vent session where every word you claim to have said is now “funny” and on-point and important makes us laugh at you in a bad way you do not intend.

18. Use regular-sized fonts. We don’t want to struggle to read you.

19. Have a clear structure for navigating your blog. Don’t make us guess where to click for more information. You are not an interactive design genius we came online to discover. Just show us where to click and don’t make us keep wondering what’s wrong with you.

20. If you insist on providing music or video on your site, give us a way to immediately turn it off. The KILL button should be bigger than the Play button.

That’s it for Mr. Grumpy, Round Three! If you have anything we missed in the first three rounds, let us know and we’ll add it to the upcoming Part IV!

38 Comments

  1. Ahoy, Mr. Grumpy! :mrgreen:
    I have to disagree with the poetry nitpick. There are a couple of sites I visit in which the authors are excellent poets, and I enjoy reading their stuff. Plus, on my old site, I did post a poem or two. If a writer wants to post what he/she has written, then he/she should do so – whether it’s a novel, a short story or a poem.

  2. Ahoy, Mr. Grumpy! :mrgreen:
    I have to disagree with the poetry nitpick. There are a couple of sites I visit in which the authors are excellent poets, and I enjoy reading their stuff. Plus, on my old site, I did post a poem or two. If a writer wants to post what he/she has written, then he/she should do so – whether it’s a novel, a short story or a poem.

  3. I’ve been known to do #7, #8, #11 probably, #13 obviously but I haven’t outright begged for anything, and #20 a couple times but the music was worth it.
    About the categories…it’s occured to me recently that maybe I should have setup my categories a little better. What do you think? Any suggestions? Yours are clever, mine have been irritating me for a while.

  4. I’ve been known to do #7, #8, #11 probably, #13 obviously but I haven’t outright begged for anything, and #20 a couple times but the music was worth it.
    About the categories…it’s occured to me recently that maybe I should have setup my categories a little better. What do you think? Any suggestions? Yours are clever, mine have been irritating me for a while.

  5. Carla — Grumpy is as grumpy does!
    Robin — Thank you for your confession. Mr. Grumpy will carefully consider your punishment.
    :mrgreen:
    #7 — is common but you are above that kind of post because they will only come back to haunt you later in a bad way.
    #8 — Carla joins you and Mr. Grumpy gets grumpier!
    #11 — This is the most abused of them all. People LOVE to choose multiple categories for single posts. I understand if you’re setting Technorati tags or some other kind of search tag you want as many associations as you can muster, but Categories beg specificity by their being. Either provide that niche hook or hide the Category option. My first suggestion on your Categories is to make them more specific. “Random” and “Inspiration” and “Loving” are awfully general and not click-me enticing. Also — decide if you are capitalizing the first letter of your Categories or not. Be consistent.
    #13 — Mr. Grumpy disagrees that an Amazon Wish List is not begging.
    #20 — We hope you gave us a mute button or a volume slider!

  6. Note taken and considered. Although as far as the capitalization of the categories I was in the process of making them all capitalized but hadn’t finished. I had made them all lowercase before from the old template.
    You know David; we can all only hope one day to be as magnificent of a blogger as you. We all strive to blog as brilliantly as you 😀 (why isn’t there a sarcastic smilie?)

  7. Note taken and considered. Although as far as the capitalization of the categories I was in the process of making them all capitalized but hadn’t finished. I had made them all lowercase before from the old template.
    You know David; we can all only hope one day to be as magnificent of a blogger as you. We all strive to blog as brilliantly as you 😀 (why isn’t there a sarcastic smilie?)

  8. Actually to be more accurate honestly I usually don’t assign more than 1 or 2 categories at most to each of my posts but I do think I need better categories. Lately I’ve tried to do more of the tagging thing.

  9. Dave!
    You make some excellent additions and we are stealing some of your thoughts for Mr. Grumpy’s Part IV coming soon to a blog near you.
    :mrgreen:
    I agree the blog assassins — that’s what I call them — who provide a vicious forum every day for opportunities to cut the throats of those who dare to disagree with a narrow blade of unsupported opinion provide no real human benefit.
    Those assassins do not teach or provide positive community forming. Those blogs are white noise without the benefit of creating a soothing sound.

  10. I take it in no offense. Some things I agree with while others are just not something that annoy me but then again I do it so I have no right to be annoyed if others do. I’m all for making my blog more enjoyable and less annoying.

  11. I take it in no offense. Some things I agree with while others are just not something that annoy me but then again I do it so I have no right to be annoyed if others do. I’m all for making my blog more enjoyable and less annoying.

  12. I take it in no offense. Some things I agree with while others are just not something that annoy me but then again I do it so I have no right to be annoyed if others do. I’m all for making my blog more enjoyable and less annoying.

  13. The suggestions are good. I’m always looking for ways to improve my blogging, so it helps to read ideas from other bloggers. Even if some of the ideas are tongue-in-cheek, they are ideas worthy of discussion.
    I’ve been thinking about getting rid of adsense on one of my blogs. Or, hiding it in the comments so it isn’t on the front page and displays more relevant ads. I still have dreams of becoming a pro-blogger that earns thousands of dollars a month from advertising so I have mixed emotions about getting rid of it.
    I like blogs that are clean and simple. I need to take a look at my blogs to “clean out” features that detract more than they help focus on the content.
    I’m with you on item #3. Too much javascript ruins a blog.
    I always wonder about the people who buy templates with cartoon characters. It’s a little creepy to see a 40-year-old guy posting to a blog with an elaborate superhero motif. I won’t even get to the first post because I’m thinking about some guy living in his mom’s basement surrounded with comic books.
    I won’t listen to music on blogs. I have my own MP3 player. If I want music, it will be my own music. Same thing with video. I don’t want to watch it, especially at work since it takes up valuable bandwidth and time.

  14. Hi Chris! —
    I run Adblock on FireFox so I rarely get any ads anywhere — but sometimes I need to use IE and I see all this advertising on blogs that screams at you and distracts from the writing and doesn’t really fit with the overall tone of the blog. I know some people can make $50 a month from Adsense or some other program but, for me anyway, I prefer to protect my readers from money making advertising schemes from third parties. This blog is a safe haven filled with self-promotion, thank you! 😀
    I, too, prefer a clean and simple design.
    Ah! The Superhero/Cartoon designs! I’m adding that one to Grumpy Part IV! It is sad and strange. There is a certain design philosophy overused caricatures and cartoons and they look like they’re all drawn and designed by the same person!
    It is interesting how many blog owners love to share their musical tastes on the web and play it at an incredibly loud volume. I’m glad some blog exchanges like Blog Explosion allow you to adjust your surf settings to NEVER SHOW blogs that play audio. It helps.

  15. Hi Chris! —
    I run Adblock on FireFox so I rarely get any ads anywhere — but sometimes I need to use IE and I see all this advertising on blogs that screams at you and distracts from the writing and doesn’t really fit with the overall tone of the blog. I know some people can make $50 a month from Adsense or some other program but, for me anyway, I prefer to protect my readers from money making advertising schemes from third parties. This blog is a safe haven filled with self-promotion, thank you! 😀
    I, too, prefer a clean and simple design.
    Ah! The Superhero/Cartoon designs! I’m adding that one to Grumpy Part IV! It is sad and strange. There is a certain design philosophy overused caricatures and cartoons and they look like they’re all drawn and designed by the same person!
    It is interesting how many blog owners love to share their musical tastes on the web and play it at an incredibly loud volume. I’m glad some blog exchanges like Blog Explosion allow you to adjust your surf settings to NEVER SHOW blogs that play audio. It helps.