In this day and age, people have shorter and shorter attention spans. Keeping a reader on one page for longer than 10 seconds is a challenge in itself. Should a writer decide to create a blog with no knowledge or technical skills with computers, he might find himself in a tough position. A good writer doesn’t need to know any programming to write a good story on paper, but bloggers need to customize their blogs with attractive visuals just to hold the reader’s attention. Aesthetics aren’t everything, but the chances of someone reading an entire blog post filled with nothing but words and white space are not very high.
To increase one’s blogging ability, I believe it is necessary to have a firm grasp on how to navigate and understand websites. This means adding tags and categories to help readers traverse the blog. Nothing is more painful than going through months and months of blogging content, only to realize the post was either deleted or moved. Keeping a blog clean and simple is extremely important. It is also a skill that comes with learning how to use a computer. A blogger needs to know where to keep things, when to update, how to reduce clutter, etc. A normal writer doesn’t necessarily know how to do these things on a webpage. Blogs both limit and unlock the potential of every writer because it adds a visual component that just isn’t available through standard black and white lettering on paper. At the same time, a blog’s host website can also confuse a newbie to both the world of technology and the world of blogging. I am personally fairly familiar with computers, but websites like WordPress still manage to boggle my mind. The dashboard setup is cluttered and confusing; customizing blog posts and blogs can be a nightmare at times; even the widget system can be frustrating. These are problems that technologically savvy people have. Imagine how hard it is for someone barely knows how to check their email.
Blogs in my mind are like paintings. One person might be able to put together a nicely drawn stick figure, while the person next him might make the next Mona Lisa. Having experience with technology might not improve the blogger’s writing ability, but it definitely makes reading a blog easier. Going to blogs that look professional and clean cause me to stay longer. I want to explore the blog because it is easy to do and the information is all there. People who have never touched a computer before will probably have issues organizing everything. Hell, even websites for colleges and universities are a pain to navigate. A strong sense of design and a little bit of coding can easily fix this. Still, I find that the computer skills only help me make everything look pretty, but mediocre writing will still be mediocre. To say a good blogger is a good writer would be wrong. While a good layout always improves the reading experience, I would still rather read a messy blog than a pretty one run by a four year old.