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Nov 11, 2009

Blogger Bitching #3

Well, here's a winner of a post idea. It will either a) not appeal to you in the slightest or b) offend you in one way or another. Who knows, though, maybe there are some other options as well, like c) you'll agree and change your dastardly ways or d) you'll call me on my b.s.

Anyway, the crux of this hinges on one simple fact: I visit a lot of blogs on a daily basis. Regardless of my
LAMB shepherding, there are a number of sites that I enjoy reading frequently. I won't call out any specific names, but if some of these bitches apply to you, don't be too offended - just appease me and fix whatever the problem is.

Bitch #1 - Comment Subscription via Email
I'm not sure if the title gave it away or not, but this is just the third time I've done an entry in this Bitching series. And yet, I'm already repeating one of my bitches...

But it's with good reason. Look, all you people that still don't offer any comment subscription, I'm thinking of you more than me. You do want repeat visitors to your site, right? Right? Well, guess what? If I leave a comment and there's no email telling me when a reply has been made, there's an 82% chance that I'm not going to go back to the site later to check and see if my nugget of wisdom has been praised or panned by you or your other fellow readers. Compound that with my frustration that every time I leave a comment, I get pissed about your lack of email subscription option, and I'm now thinking about not returning to your site at all.

And before you start, don't even try to tell me to subscribe to your comments via a feed reader. The goal I set for my feed reader is for the number of unread items to read "0," a goal that I just about never achieve. The last thing I'm gonna do is start subscribing to comment feeds there, where the average per day for one site could be 30 or more, depending on the popularity of the site. No effing way.

Bitch #2 - Podcaaaaaaasssssstttts
It should come as no surprise that, now that I'm producing a podcast, I've become an insufferable bandwagon jumper as it relates to them. I've asked other LAMB sites that do them to let me know so that I might post a roundup of them there, but aside from being potentially beneficial to them and serving as a general public service to those interested in movie podcasts, I've come to really enjoy listening to them (I know - big surprise, huh?). I'll even be posting a lit of which ones I'm listening to regularly in the next few days.

Anyway, length. WTF, people? Some of these (and some with no more than two people on the podcast) are 2+ hours!

"But Fletch," you're thinking, "you could just fast-forward or not listen or listen in sections. Stop being such a whiny bitch."

No. First of all, no one puts chapters on their podcasts despite the availability (at least through GarageBand; I don't either). If you get into fast-forwarding through bits here and there, you really have no idea when one topic stops and another starts. But that misses the point anyway: as much as I like to listen to these podcasts, they are all amateur (yes, including the LAMBcast). No one is producing radio-ready content; either due to a lack of charisma, quality content or sharp enough editing, many are rambly enough as it is.

Podcasts in general should not be over 60 minutes, and only then if there's a glut of excellent content. If you've got that much more to talk about, break it up into multiple shows.

Bitch #3 - Stop toying with me, Technorati
I'm not sure how new it is (I think very), but Technorati now ranks apparently all of the sites in its listing by a set number of genres. Shockingly, BC is listed in the film section. But their top secret formula has me bouncing all over the damn place, and what's worse, it's inconsistent with their "main" Technorati ranking. I've climbed in that main ranking, but where I used to be in the top 200 or 300 for film blogs, now I can't even find myself in the entire list of 800+. What the hell, Techno? Are my magical authority points going up or down (I'd ask why but that's like trying to learn the location of a rainbow's pot o' gold)? Am I more or less influential than I was yesterday? I need to know these things...

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Got a bitch of your own, for me or some other (non-specific) site? Put your complaining pants on and let me hear it.


21 people have chosen wisely: on "Blogger Bitching #3"

Nick said...

I disagree with your idea of podcast length. I've said it in the past, but I've listened to certain podcasts that average on a 60-90 minute span every time and almost never go off topic (at least very far). And they're never dull/boring/whatever. Granted, these aren't podcasts with only 2 people (there's usually about 4-6 on any given show). But these are also popular podcasts with thousands of listeners and "voicemail/email question/comment" segments included.

Anh Khoi Do said...

I agree that the options regarding comment subscription are almost nonexistent with Blogger. However, from my personal experience, I didn't wait for Blogger to come up with a solution. This is why I decided to install a comment widget that allows comment subscription and has a "reply" option (no need to write @[name of the blogger] anymore).

With that said, the most known comment widgets are IntenseDebate and Disqus. While both of these comment widgets come with a few flaws, they certainly don't have the word verification thing. Besides, as for IntenseDebate, I personally didn't like its comment subscription function. In fact, IntenseDebate sends you an e-mail asking you to confirm your subscription while Disqus sends you an e-mail after a comment in the post you're subscribed to had been posted the last time I checked.

As for podcasts, as long as I feel the enthusiasm from those who produce it, I'll listen to it.

Fletch said...

Nick - it's the principle more than the reality. For starters, I'm talking about smaller podcasts, but even if I wasn't, you better put on a HELL of a show to be 90 minutes or more.

It's like those people that call sports talk radio (I know, you hate sports, but stay with me) and tell the hosts "Love today's show; great job, guys" when 90% of the time they're mailing it in and the show is no different from the preceeding days. Long story short: unless your podcasts quality is consistently in the 9/10 or better range over that extended time span, better to make a shorter, more concise and stronger show.

Having more people on them helps as well, as I think that keeps any one person from rambling too much and/or keeps it from getting dull.

AKD - It's ironic that you say that about Blogger; as with my previous bitch about this, I have no qualms with Blogger. They have comment subscription via email built into their commenting platform. Every site that doesn't hack out the pre-existing platform already has what I want. It's mostly WP and other platforms where the specific blogger has not installed something capable of what I'm looking for. I just can't imagine that it's all that hard to put in, yet I consider it an imperative piece of a blog that is all too commonly overlooked.

And while we're here, don't make me register/sign up to whatever comment widget just to get email replies back. I don't want or need any more registrations.

JLG said...

You're talking about the "email follow up comments" checkbox right?

I utilize that thing often. I'm desperate to know if anyone posting after me thinks my post is insightful. That is how I measure my self-worth.

However, how do I keep from getting emails years later when someone reads your old posts and comments them. Especially when I comment you, Fletch, months could go by and then I get an email saying someone commented you again.

Fletch said...

JLG - "I utilize that thing often. I'm desperate to know if anyone posting after me thinks my post is insightful. That is how I measure my self-worth."

I'm glad you see things my way. :D

You can unsubscribe from any comment thread. When you get an email from one of those posts that you're "done with," there's a line at the bottom that reads "Unsubscribe to comments on this post" with the first word linked to a page where you can do it. Of course, you have to either get one of those emails first (in which case you might deem it too late for you) or manually go to each post that you no longer want emails from (before you get said email) and unsubscribe then.

I typically only unsubscribe if a post is really old and I'm getting an influx of replies all of a sudden, though that usually only happens due to spam. If it's a one-off, I''m fine just deleting those.

Univarn said...

Good points, I have nothing smart to say so instead I'm going to nod my head in agreement while pretending to look smart.... is it working?

:). As for Podcasts though I couldn't agree more, though it's worse when it's a one person show. The reason I don't do a podcast is because I'm freakishly talkative, I'd probably end up talking for a month... :)

Fletch said...

Univarn - Yes, you look very smart other there...so long as you continue to agree with me.

I find it very hard to believe that the guy doing 3-5 posts a day is verbose. That is just beyond belief! ;P

The Bus Stop Boxer said...

Thanks for the tips there, Fletch. I'll be looking into comment subscription when I'm done commenting... But hey, our podcast IS radio-ready - it's FROM the freakin' radio and we are professionals (in that we're paid, not that we're any good). We're keeping it to around 40 minutes a post, and we also parse them out in bite sized bits for the highlights thoughout the week.

Fletch said...

Bus Stop Boxer - haha, I saw that name and thought to myself, "Yeah, but who the hell are you? I've never listened to your podcast!"

Then I clicked through and saw it was the Film Cynic himself. :D

Yes, indeed, you guys are on the radio (sidenote: it was a bit jarring to listen to the podcast the first time and hear you guys talking about going to a news break or something only to...not really go anywhere, though I got it quickly and all that). However, does being on the radio in remote Western Canuckistan really count as being on the radio? ;)

Kidding - I dig your guys' podcast and it's not in the crosshairs of this post at all. For those even pickier than me, it's cool that you do the "review nuggets," but I listen to the show in a full sitting, so to speak.

Speaking of your 'cast, I'd love to still take you up on your offer (the pressure, though! I've never been a real radio guest...) if it still stands. Email me the date and time and instructions and all that.

I know I should be posting this comment on your blog's post about that podcast, but how could you have not even mentioned Kilmer's Doc Holliday as one of the top sidekicks? For shame.

The Bus Stop Boxer said...

Hilarious, dude! I'll drop you a line about the whens for the show, we'd love to have you on.

Doc Holliday... better than Donkey? Perhaps...

Moviezzz said...

About podcasts, as an ex-podcaster, I have to be honest and say I don't listen to them anymore.

While I'm sure there are a lot of great ones out there, and have heard some good ones in the past, I find that it takes enough work to keep up with the well over a hundred blogs I follow that listening to an hour or two hour podcast gets to be difficult.

It all comes down to time. At two hours, you are longer than most films. Plus, I'm rarely on my computer that long.

I used to do a podcast, and tried to keep it short. When I had guests, and it ran close to an hour, it was fun to do, but to be completely honest, rather indulgent. I think we were having more fun recording it than anyone was listening to it.

With a blog, you can skim over something you aren't interested in. With a podcast, you can't. You are stuck listening.

Fletch said...

Moviezzz - though I can definitely empathize with your thoughts about keeping up with blogs, I don't feel that pressure at all when it comes to podcasts. I listen to them in the car or at work on my iPod and do it solely because I want to and I find I'd rather listed to Adam Carolla or Bill Simmons or any number of film bloggers than sports talk radio or (god forbid) corporate radio.

That said (and endorsing my initial bitch), having more shorter ones to listen to > fewer longer ones.

As a current podcaster, I too worry about the whole "having more fun doing it than those listening to it," and while there most likely is a general truth to that, a) What would be so wrong with that even if it were true? (I think we'd still do the LAMBcast even if no one were listening; it's good to chat with fellow geeks and it's a great way to get to know each other) and b) I've found that that can't totally be the case, as I really ennjo listening to some of the ones I've heard.

Daniel Getahun said...

Definitely with you on comment subscription, though I'll add that one of the things I do like about WP blogs is that if you are subscribed, you can manage all of the subscriptions in one place, at any time. Prevents what JLG is referring to.

The new Technorati is all over the place right now. They completely changed their formula for authority and and have a lot of explanations up about it, but I'm not sure what to think yet. Incidentally it's never been a great source of traffic for me anyway, but it would be nice if it were consistent in some way.

Fletch said...

"one of the things I do like about WP blogs is that if you are subscribed, you can manage all of the subscriptions in one place, at any time"

Very good point, Daniel - I agree. That seems like an easy thing for Blogger to institute.

Oh, I don't think I've ever gotten really any traffic from Technorati, and that's okay - I'm just a stat geek and will become obsessed with what my authority and rankings are.

By the way - congrats are in order: Getafilm has been in the Top 100 for Film lately. Meanwhile, I can't find my site on a list of 800+, where it was in the top 200 as recently as two or three weeks ago. Weird. So take from it what you will.

Daniel Getahun said...

Well thanks, but like I said I have no explanation for the place or movement of that ranking. Based on their old formula (or their new one) I definitely don't have as much authority as most blogs (BC included), so it's pretty strange how they determine the rankings. Unless you're in the top 10 or 20, though, I'm not sure if it's anything to get all too excited about.

Moviezzz said...

I just checked and my blog is 21 in the film section, and I don't quite understand what it means either.

Vanessa said...

Please add to your list, blogs who only allow you to use your google account identity when commenting! Not everyone has a google blog!

Fletch said...

Daniel - random rankings that one is high up on are always worth getting excited about. :D

Moviezzz - likewise, (fake) congrats!

Vanessa - I hope that's not intended towards me. In fact, I wasn't even aware that Blogger/Google blogs had that option. So far as I know, they all take either a Google account or Live Journal or WordPress or TypePad or AIM or just a name/URL or Anon. In other words, anything.

Fletch said...

Update: to show just how goofy Technorati is: I'm looking at the film blog rankings this morning, and I'm at #42, The Dark of the Matinee is #1 on the Risers thing and is #46, The Cynical Blog is #40, and Getafilm is #103.

Weird.

The Bus Stop Boxer said...

Heyyyyyy, that's the kind of wonkiness I can use. Technorati has never made much sense to me. Saranomics turned me onto it, but I've never gotten a single referal from it. I get more traffic from Blog Catalog actually.

azzulviolet said...

feel simple, i like it man