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10 reasons people hate our blog. October 26, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, homesteading, Uncategorized, wit and wisdom.
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10 comments

Our friend Ben loved the recent post by Nell Jean of Secrets of a Seed Scatterer, “Ten Reasons I Like Your Blogs.” They were eminently sensible reasons, and our friend Ben even learned something I didn’t know (people have background music on their blogs?!!). Read them for yourselves at http://seedscatterer.blogspot.com/.

Unfortunately, just as “Everybody Loves Raymond” presumably spawned “Everybody Hates Chris,” reading Nell Jean’s post instantly brought to mind the many reasons Nell Jean might hate our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac, which in turn was a springboard to why everybody else might hate it, too. Making my infamous “Ben Picks Ten” lists as I often do, how could I resist playing on Nell Jean’s post to find the top 10 reasons people would hate our blog? Readers, feel free to contribute others, but keep it civil, please. And Nell Jean, thanks for inspiring a little fun over here. We appreciate it!

1. It always looks the same. One of the things Nell Jean mentioned in her post was how much she appreciated it if people changed the look of their blogs from time to time. We’ve noticed that a lot of the blogs we enjoy do change things every few months, maybe adding more seasonal photos to their head or changing their typeface and background color or even the total look. We, by contrast, will never change anything. Being Luddites and terminally tech-challenged, we can’t tell you how grateful we were to find a header design that actually looked almanac-like. Whew, what a lucky break! If you’re looking for change, you’re looking in the wrong place.

2. There are no photos. Not only do we not have music blaring in the background (well, we often do, but not here on the blog!), we have no photos. Not even one. Our blog is text-only. If you’re reading this and are surprised that anyone ever comes here, we are, too. We assumed when we began Poor Richard’s Almanac that nobody would ever drop by more than once, and then by accident. Being Luddites, we can’t take a decent photo to save our lives, much less post one. And please don’t ask us to learn! There’s a lot we still need to learn in life—Spanish, for example, and guitar, and pot-throwing, and decent watercoloring—and we still have many novels, poems, and songs to write. There are so many great garden photographers out there in the blogosphere that we don’t think our pictures would really add anything appreciable, anyway. But we always love seeing yours!

3. There are lots of us. In addition to the three regular blog contributors—our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and Richard Saunders—we have frequent guest posts from OFB’s and Silence’s puppy Shiloh, our clueless cat Linus, and even the great Dr. Franklin himself. That’s a lot to keep track of. Who are these people, and what are they doing on this blog?!!

4. We tend to go on. Silence insists that I mention this, and is looking at me very pointedly while insisting on it. Some of our posts are in fact relatively concise, but, ahem, others aren’t. We say what we feel needs to be said in the amount of space we feel it needs to be said in, if that makes any sense. For those folks who truly have the fabled 5-second attention span, other options are only a click away.

5. We’re all over the place. It’s no accident that our blog is called Poor Richard’s Almanac. Besides paying tribute to the great Dr. Franklin, we wanted to create a blog that would let us talk about whatever we want, be it Sherlock Holmes or summer squash or Saag Paneer or successful pirates. We think blog creators need first and foremost to have fun with their blogs, whether they’re posting photos of what’s in bloom in their gardens or introducing readers to their favorite books, music, and movies. But as we understand it, some people don’t like blogs that cross topic lines. We know of at least one really wonderful blogger who basically stopped blogging because people criticized her for posting  about things that had nothing to do with gardening, even though her blog’s name should have signalled to all and sundry that she’d be posting about many things. Trust us, we are, have been, and will be, too.

6. Maybe folks don’t like our topics. What, people don’t want to read about Colonial or mediaeval or Renaissance habits or herbs or history or recipes? Nobody wants to know more about chess or marbles or numismatics or dinosaurs or archaeology? People aren’t interested in parrots or chickens or music or pets or Ben Franklin or pirates or movies or Anne Boleyn’s sixth finger or Amish friendship bread or… ?!!! Gee, what a shame.

7. Homesteading ain’t Hollywood. Reading headlines about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian (not to mention the innumerable other Kardashians) and Angelina Jolie while waiting in the grocery line, our friend Ben and Silence perceive the Grand Canyon of interest dividing folks who want to read about anything meaningful versus the life and times of the “celebutantes.” On the one hand are the millions of people who frequent celebrity gossip sites, buy celebrity-focused magazines, watch celebrity reality TV shows; on the other, a few thousand people trying to learn real skills and build real community and create real families. As our friend Ben sees it, for now, anyway, never the twain shall meet.

8. Silence is vegetarian. And she’s vegetarian because she doesn’t want to eat her fellow creatures. Silence often posts recipes, and of course, they too are vegetarian. But she’s not one of those holier-than-thou types who blasts away at anyone who isn’t exactly like her. In fact, she’s the only vegetarian contributor on Poor Richard’s Almanac, and somehow she manages to survive among the rest of us. Her philosophy is that it’s what you do for the greater good that matters, not how closely you adhere to what she’s doing. But we’ve noticed that vegetarianism is a real hot button, and can cause more furious justifications of “why we’re NOT vegetarians” than pretty much anything else. Cool it, folks. You’re not vegetarians, neither are our friend Ben or Richard Saunders. It’s fine. You’re doing something else for the good of our planet. Relax. We seriously doubt that the cow or goat or sheep or chicken or fish god is going to be waiting up there to slap you around.      

 9.  We’re organic. Oh, yes, we are that. No chemical fertilizers/pesticides/herbicides/fungicides and etc. on our property, thank you very much. We love the cycle of nature and beneficial insects and bees and monarch butterflies and toads and songbirds and earthworms, and would prefer not to be annihilating them and sterilizing the soil and our earth for our stupid, short-sighted purposes. We feel the same way about the greed that insists on patenting plants and the agribusiness mentality that keeps people from patronizing small family farms that sell, for example, raw milk. Oh, we are opinionated here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. And oh my, some people seem to hate firmly held opinions passionately expressed.  

10. We aren’t Poor Richard’s Almanack. We once received a furious comment from a student who’d been researching the famous almanac founded by our own hero and blog mentor, the great Benjamin Franklin, and wasted at least a second of his very valuable time being directed here to us, presumably because he left off that all-important “k” at the end, rather than to Dr. Franklin’s famous work. Never in our collective lives have we been subjected to such a violent, virulent, and vulgar tirade. In the time it took the kid to type all this, he could have gone to and read several pages of the “real” almanac. Yikes. At least he didn’t leave off the “k” at the end of the word he used most often.

Okay, that’s it for us. Your turn to say what you love and hate about the blogs you read. Speak up, please. We may learn something!