How Should We Improve Blogging Diversity on Neatorama?

I've been blogging for 5 years now, and throughout the years, I haven't paid much attention to blogging awards - the Webby, the bloggies and so on - especially as the same usual suspects keep on appearing on the list.

So I was pleasantly surprised when Marilyn (AKA The Nag), sent me the link to the 2010 Canadian Blog Awards (yes, she's a finalist and yes, I voted for her).

The blogs that appear on this particular award remind me of the good ol' days of blogging, which involve browsing a lot of obscure blogs to find the nuggets that end up as posts on Neatorama.

It's *a lot* of work going through all those blogs, and over the years, many bloggers (yours truly included) have developed a list of "go to" blogs and websites to find stuff to post about. Efficiency goes up, but the downside is that I feel we lose a bit (or a lot) of variety (James Mowry of Techi complained that the reason the blogosphere is sooo lame is that everything is the same).

Indeed, there's a pressure to cover whatever is hot at the moment, even though it's been covered everywhere else. Sometimes things that we found go viral, so it seems like we did a me-too post. I don't know if everything *is* the same on the blogosphere (a survey would be interesting), but it sure feels like it sometimes (some of you've had lengthy discussions with me about the evolution of Neatorama's blog posts and the diversity of our sources).

So Neatoramanauts, let me ask you what you think: what can we do to improve diversity and highlight good (but obscure) microblogs? Should we create the Obbies (the Obscure Blog Awards)? Or is blogging diversity good enough on the blog and we should leave things as they are?

Links: Canadian Blog Awards by Jonathan Kleiman, where you can vote for Nag on the Lake if you want to; the list itself is worthy of browsing (that's where I found XOXO Jess, the source of the post below). Good luck, Marilyn!


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I usually don't post as much as I used to, however, I try to make this up by getting into contact with artists and filmmakers across the globe such as my new friend Samuel Cockedey with his Timelapse works. I think by having us branch into areas that usually don't get picked up or creating more original posts by getting professional authors, artists and so forth agreeing to making Neatorama exclusive things would be awesome...it'd really give us the edge on our competition for sure. :) And we'd be garnering more visitors and perhaps retaining our current folks by offering more original creative stuff.
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I think there is no way out. The only solution is to not blog at all really, but rather to produce one's own material from scratch. You can either make things or talk about things. Making things is infinitely better.
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glinglin wrote:

I don't mean to say that you should alter the scope of your blog, I just think you should have some necessary criteria that a post should meet before it gets posted. Out of every 10 posts there are 2-3 pointless ones that apparently serve as filler.

One practice that I've adopted is that before I hit "Publish", I ask myself "How is this neat?" If I can't immediately think of a good, specific answer to that question, I don't post it.

Neatness, I find, is very subjective. If you can offer any specific criteria to define neatness, it'd help.
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While I appreciate the randomness of your blog, Neatorama, I feel that you guys could use a little more focus. I don't mean to say that you should alter the scope of your blog, I just think you should have some necessary criteria that a post should meet before it gets posted. Out of every 10 posts there are 2-3 pointless ones that apparently serve as filler.

I also agree that web awards are overused and you should stray away from the idea of creating your own. But some sort of badge system you could incorporate into your posts would be interesting. Certified Neat....Science something or something.... or for the really lame videos, like that lady stupidly falling off her guard rail, they could be called "giggle worthy."

And now, since it sounds as though I'm telling you how to run your blog, I'll stop typing.
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