Back in April, OregonLive.com asked me to do a bike blog that covered the Portland bike scene. At first it was fun because I was just learning the ropes. But as I delved more deeply into the blogging scene, researched blogs at length, and gained more blogging experience, I began to realize that the Bike Fun blog was lacking in many important ways. I believed a Portland bike blog had vast potential but the Bike Fun blog - because of its limited functionality - was not allowing me to achieve it. So on June 28th I left OregonLive.com and started BikePortland.org. In a recent email, my former editor at OregonLive.com - perhaps wondering why I decided to leave - asked me this question; "what is your idea of the perfect blog?" Here's my response.
The perfect blog should have...
- Open comments (easily moderated, edited, deleted by the author).
- Trackback links.
- A loyal following that leaves frequent comments.
- A cross-browser compatible design.
- Easy feed (RSS) sign-up buttons for major services (Bloglines, MyYahoo, MyMsn, etc...).
- Ability for visitors to sign up to email updates.
- Some sort of photo-sharing capability.
- Three column layout.
- Integrated search (not Google-based like this blog).
- Custom designed theme.
- Intuitive URLs.
- Posts with many outbound links.
- Well-written post titles.
- Proper posting etiquette, format and style.
- A well-defined niche topic and credible author.
- A tastefully integrated revenue stream (text ads, banners (no animation), merchandise, etc...)
If you're considering starting a blog, you might use this list as a starting point. If you're already a blogger, feel free to add your ideas because I'm sure I've left some things out. In the coming weeks, I'll take a closer look at some of these items. I'll explain what they are and why I feel they're so vital to the success of a blog.