SHORT-FICTION BLOGS AT BLOG CATALOG
REVIEW FROM Mid- Dec 2008 to 1 June 2009
CONCLUSIONS FROM HALF A YEARS SCRUTINY
Prior to mid-December 2008 there were just over 1000 blogs listed by their authors on blog-catalog as having 'fiction' content in some format or other. Many were even by then 'moribund' with no activity for at least 4 weeks, some for many months, quite a few none after the first posting. I checked those then still active and selected what seemed to be to be the best short-fiction blogs. These I have monitored over the next 6 months to 1 June 2009.
I have also checked EVERY new blog registered at blog-catalog as having 'fiction' content from 1 January to 31 May 2009. In that 5 month period there have been about 300 new blogs listed and I have visited every single one at least once, more often 2-3 times.
So, I have visited a total of some 600 'fiction' blogs at least once and then followed the progress of a select few. From this basis I offer the following thoughts for other short-fiction bloggers to consider.
NOT ENGLISH AS BLOG LANGUAGE
Some 11% of the total did not have English as the language in use. Some claimed to but did not when I visited the blog. Considering the huge multiplicity of languages in the world, there should be many, many more not in English. So, if you can write fiction of any genre in other tongues, go for it, you may have a very receptive audience.
ADULT THEMED OR OVERTLY RELIGIOUS
This grouping comprised some 8% of the total and I avoid them like the plague, or should I say 'swine flu'? No further comment from me.
ACTUALLY ABOUT LONGER FICTION or NOVELS
Around 10% of the new blogs after 1 January 2009 were either serial novels or about novel writing in general. Nothing wrong in that, but not what I wanted to consider in this review.
PERSONAL BIOGRAPHIES WITH LITTLE FICTION CONTENT
Why the authors selected fiction as the category for these blogs is beyond my understanding. The 13% of the new after beginning of 2009 were predominantly personal bios, some exclusively so. Why call real life fiction?
BLATANT SELF PROMOTION OF PUBLISHED PRINT FICTION
I found this category, 14% of the total listed in the first 5 months of 2009, to be quite frustrating. If the author has achieved print publication, the 'holy grail' for many aspiring authors, why then leak chapters or excerpts other than to flog copies?
INITIALLY TOO HARD TO CALL, BUT MOST THEN DIED
I found some 20 of the new listing impossible to judge on first visit, so monitored them for progress, and they did not last for more than a couple of postings. Just another 5 in this category went on to blossom into good sites and are listed below.
JUST TOO BORING FOR WORDS
The largest category in my analysis of the new blogs this calendar year to date comprised a little under one fifth, 17% to be exact (to the nearest whole number anyway!) They were rejected by me as boring, extreme or just unintelligible. Some were quite frankly appalling in either or both of design and content. Avoid!
WHICH LEAVES THE crme DE LA crme.
I consider these 15, yes only fifteen, under 3 headings of;
Consistently good ( 7 )Initially unsure but came good ( 5 )
Still early days but promise showing ( 3 )
I initially endorsed 24 blogs as having merit and worth a look, and the lists are still available to peruse on the blog of Bill Fullerton, see below.
Numerous of these have fallen by the wayside through failure to post anything within the last month (May 2009). A handful never got beyond the first post, sadly.
Which leaves the following 7 short fiction blogs on blogcatalog that are well worth a visit and study for both their content and ideas how to get your message across.
Michelle's excellent to view and read blog about how to write short fiction with friendly helpful advice and some original fiction.
Naomi in Australia has a treasure store of short fiction of the fantasy type. Always worth a read but be prepared for the odd twist in the story.
Mike, aka as alantru, has invented a workplace serial blog drama set in a call centre. It is one of the best works of short-fiction for 2009, as shown in the high number of interactive comments.
A crisp and clean blog face with good original content.
A Christian faith derived blog and none the worse for that.
A Victorian Gothic resource, with links, ideas and original work.
Bill Fullerton, aka The Boss, has been publishing fiction on-line regularly since May 2005. He is now back in harness after some health problems, welcome home! His site is well worth a look.
INITIALLY I WAS UNSURE,
BUT THEY CAME GOOD
This blog has developed into a nice, bright, breezy venue.
Another older blogger, like me, doing some nice stuff in Australia.
A new, stylish resource with original work and prompts for others.
Another new blog with original fantasy short fiction.
This is a unique blog with a mix of fictional work. Check out the five second stories.
THESE VERY RECENT BLOGS REMAIN ENDORSED
This I like; flash fiction created to titles set by others. Neat front face, easy read, good fun. Well worth a look.
A neat idea, flash fiction about a small community. reminds me of the Lake Woebegone tales.
Mainly poetry with an interesting perspective on life. I fully endorse the 3 points made with regard to on-line fiction etiquette and wish others would follow the same philosophy in their actions. Go and read them yourself.
The initial blog face that greets the web-explorer who arrives at a new-to-them-fiction-blog is
Does it look different or attractive?(Has the creator of the blog taken the time to personalize the elements or
just gone with the basic offered by the wizard?) Have they used personal photos?
Does it contain the more unusual widgets, lulu screen, issuu format? Are there too many adverts or flashing lights?
Does it offer RSS to find your way back? Any interesting links?
Has the author made best use of the space available for posting their stuff? Is the effect just an interminable string of lines only covering a quarter or a third of the page?
Have they used a visible font colour (yellow disappears for instance)? Does the font style attract?
(Anything other then Times New Roman and Arial gets my vote!)Is the font size readable?
(Can be limited by the wizards, most seem to go for average 10/11/12,but a bit of tweaking can increase this.)
But can the poor reader actually see what you're saying without needing a magnifying glass to their PC screen?
Does the wordage jump off the screen and encourage one to spend time reading more?
This should help you create a good, re-visited, fiction blog.
To contact me, link to;http://hambocentral.blogspot.com/
THIS E-BOOKLET AND ITS CONTENTS ARE PURELY THE OPINION OF DAVE HAMBIDGEPRODUCED AND PUBLISHED ON 3 JUNE 2009