Friday, June 4, 2010

With Web Design and Typing Classes for All

I've spent the past few hours clicking "Next Blog" at the top of every page Blogger presents me. I don't know what exactly compelled me to start clicking, but like many things that involve clicking and the internet, it turned out to be mildly addicting.

It's kind of interesting to see what else is out there in the world of blogging. At times, it's also mildly horrifying. Having done some blog-stumbling, I feel like there should be some basic rules to which all bloggers subscribe.

First of all, a blog should be legible. I realize most blogs probably don't have very many readers, but you'll never get any readers if your blog is difficult to impossible to read. Yes, I know, it's incredibly fun to play with crazy backgrounds that make your blog unique and cool-looking, but please adjust your font size and color accordingly. Or, better yet, keep the crazy designs somewhat subdued when they'll be behind text.

Actually, generally speaking, just keep the crazy designs in check. I know they look cool. I'm glad you're creative. But aren't the blog posts supposed to be the focus of a blog? I mean, I could be wrong. I'm new to this game. But it seems to me that blog posts are a lot easier to read when the border doesn't take up two-thirds of the post.

Please don't think I'm being snooty because I took one little web design class this semester and I think I know everything. Far from it. I have plenty to learn about web design. I just think some things should be common sense.

Another rule--and really, this is just general web use, and really general writing--bloggers (and anyone else who writes or types anything that someone else will see) should proof-read. It doesn't take very long, and it saves you from countless stupid mistakes like leaving out words, adding random letters, skipping complete sentences, using double-negatives... You get the idea.

Along the lines of proof-reading--well, this one probably IS a case of me being snooty, but I honestly don't understand why some people can't seem to find the "Shift" key on their keyboards. Really? It's on there twice. It is just as easy to use as every other key. Yes, you have to push the "Shift" key at the same time as whatever letter you want capitalized, but even if you use the hunt-and-peck method of typing, that's not terribly hard to do (unless you only have one hand, but even then, you can usually stretch to at least one of the "Shift" keys).

Capitalization is just such a simple little thing that makes it so much easier for your readers. I don't understand why people by-pass it. If you know how to type--I mean really know how to type, and don't even look at the keyboard--then that "Shift" key just comes naturally. I have a hard time typing without capitalization.

In fairness, most of my family considers me some sort of freak of nature in terms of my speed of typing, and I tend to transcribe conversations in the room into Instant Messenger conversations, so maybe my personal experience isn't a fair measuring stick. But even when I'm typing with just one hand (which I often do for no particular reason), I use my "Shift" key.

I wasn't nearly so fast at typing before I took a typing class in summer school. "Mario Teaches Typing" just didn't do much for me in grade school. But now, these little fingers just don't understand why people choose to ignore keys that are specifically placed to be within easy reach.

I could continue my rant and wonder why so many people on the internet don't feel like they need full words, but I'll save that snobbery for another day. My real point at the moment is that the world of blogging could be much nicer if all bloggers studied a little web design and a little typing.

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