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Why I unsubscribed from your blog

It’s a Friday Rant from OldSchool and while I’d love to rant about the Mayo Clinic and our disappointment in the care that they’ve given my wife, I won’t. I will stay on course and talk about good old SEO.

One of the things that REALLY annoys me is the “hey, I’m rich and I don’t have any education, but you are reading my blog, so I don’t care if I can’t spell or have poor grammar” attitude that I see in the blogosphere. I have seen this more in the affiliate marketing circles, but today I was reading an uber-bloggers blog and I just got disgusted. As a professional, it is such a turn off to think “how can this guy have this large of a following when he doesn’t respect his readers intelligence (or himself) enough to use a spell checker or a grammar checker”. It’s a little step, but it goes a long way in my opinion. Especially if you are not an A List blogger (yet); do you think a journalist would respect your work if they found it, or would they just pass it up?

And yes, the poor grammar in the title was intentional πŸ™‚

What are your thoughts?




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28 Responses to “Why I unsubscribed from your blog”

  • Absolutely, yes…
    Unless it’s the icanhascheezburger πŸ™‚

  • Agree 100%, Anthony. If they mess up on the details, how likely is is that they’ve got the big concepts right. Their slipshod behaviour will certainly lose a slice of their audience, including me. How could anyone allow a leakage of readers like that?

  • oldschool:

    @ Ann – Good one, agreed πŸ™‚

    @ Barry – Thanks for confirming that I am not alone in my thoughts.

  • I think its a pretty important issue. Especially when it comes to how you represent yourself or your business to others when used to produce revenue.

    On the flip- side, I also know a few bloggers who actually use the blog as a diary only and in essence are not financially penalized by every imperfect nuance of the site.

  • oldschool:

    @ Mobi – If they are using it for a personal diary, they probably wouldn’t be pushing it in Social Media Sites, right? Perhaps they would or maybe even allow people to subscribe to their personal blog – and that I would understand. I am referring to well known bloggers and one in particular today. I won’t name any names because I barely have time to blog, let alone have a blog war.

  • Anthony,

    I do know a few people who have other sources of revenue and though they also have a tremendous knowledge in a subject or vertical that they do in fact want to share with others or even art blogs.. Im pretty confident that some use social media and digg and all these tools and such as: hehe to be effective in getting out the message.

    In the case of well known revenue on the blog producing types..Oh yes there is no room for mistakes..

    That gotta suck.. πŸ™‚

  • But if you made it to the “A” list with bad grammar, you’ve probably earned the right to fall down in that category since you have to have something else really strong going for you.

  • oldschool:

    @ Todd – I see your point. I think people who choose to not strive for anything above mediocrity can certainly excel because society (and the blogging / SEO community in particular) let’s people get away with it. There is little to no accountability, just back and forth banter when someone does something that someone else thinks they shouldn’t. And that is exactly why I kept it anonymous.

    I feel the same way about someone dropping an f-bomb on their blog. Corporate America wouldn’t allow this, yet the same clown will rant on his or her web site why they didn’t get the f-ing contract and how corporate America sucks, etc. If we are real with ourselves, we will see why the industry often struggles with it’s reputation.

    The worst part is when someone who is seeking to learn the industry comes along and sees these things and they immediately judge the industry because this person who nearly everyone hails as a hero is misrepresenting the industry.

  • I think bloggers should pay attention to spelling and grammar, but I don’t think that should stop them from posting. Blogging is a fairly spontaneous form of writing that can be a real drag if you’re reading your posts over and over again looking for mistakes. I try to reduce mistakes, but I know some get through. I think it’s more of an attitude issue i.e. to say you don’t care if you’re sloppy isn’t the right attitude.

  • oldschool:

    @ Marios – I agree and I think you can tell the difference. The more you blog, the more efficient you become at automating tasks. For example, you could copy and paste your post to a Word Processor, or even better, you can have the spell check function built into your browser. Here is the funny thing, I don’t even remember how I got spell checker installed on my machine so that it works in every application – possibly through Firefox? (Hey, I am not really a techie anymore so I don’t have to know.).

  • I couldn’t agree with you more. If bloggers want to be taken seriously, they should do some sort of spelling and grammar check. I’m quite self-conscience about these kinds of things with my blog because I just launched it, but even I miss some things (want to know how I did on my first blog post? :D). In my opinion however, if you at least try to make an honest effort proof-reading your blog once, it could make a world of difference.

  • blah, blah, blah, ya know all you spelling and grammar nazi’s really need to get a grip. I mean really it’s freakin’ blog you get for free not a hadrcover book you paid $30 for. So what if there’s a few typos get over it stop being a nit picker already who cares if it’s there, their, or they’re bunch of elitist snobs the whole lot of ya. I could spend time polishing things to perfection or I could get the raw idea out there and move onto something else. It’s not striving for mediocrity, it’s not getting bogged down with the trivial details or sweating the small stuff.

    I am an admitted horrible speller and grammar abuser.

  • I am pretty lenient about spelling issues — Golden Rule and all. A good concept is the most important.

    Writing engaging, thought provoking content and writing 100% correctly are different skills.

  • As a general rule, I think it’s a really bad idea to criticize other people’s spelling and grammar unless you are absolutely positive your own writing is error-free. But maybe you meant to leave out those apostrophes … you know, for artistic reasons. πŸ˜‰

  • Many techies cannot spell even when they are writing some document other than a blog, so they have no option but to defend their ignorance. They probably come from the generation that was taught by teachers who can’t spell and who were not spelling nazis.

    All the same, I would not unsubscribe from a blog because many of these people do have something valuable to say – perhaps the solution is a browser plugin that corrects spellings for the viewer?

  • oldschool:

    @Guin Sun – I think some people miss the point, but you nailed it. People can tell if you make the effort.

    @graywolf – Hey Michael, thanks for your input. Ironically, I like your blog, and you aren’t one that I am referring to. From what I have seen, you put enough effort into the process that your message actually gets communicated, in spite of the fact that you feel to seem you are somehow lacking.

    @ Carlos – I am pretty lenient myself, but at some point, if someone wants to be a professional, they need to step it up a bit.

    @ Adrienne – I didn’t criticize anyone in particular. I think the survey results make my point, and I will never have perfection on my blog or any of my writings, BUT you will see me make the effort and even make corrections when needed. And, hey I’ll give even more leniency for apostrophe’s as long as it has spelling and reasonable sentence structure.

    @ Ash – This is a bit different. If someone is paid to produce written documents and they don’t have writing skills, a hiring manager made a mistake.

  • It’s a blog, not a formal publication. It’s also free. If an ignorant computer illiterate newbie can’t start with a blog, where is she supposed to start?

    I’d rather read the rant about Mayo Clinic.

  • @oldschool if I had a penny for every person who ever wrote me an email because I misspelled something, used the wrong tense, or switch from first to third person, I’d be a very rich man πŸ˜‰

    So people who complain about my bad english skills are one of those pet peeves that sends me into a tirade, I’ve just gotta get off my chest and outta my system, and then I feel much better.

  • When you write something for the public, you just have to pay attention!
    You get some bloggers that don’t have very good English but still write in English because they want to hit a bigger audience than just the Philippines or Mongolia: I don’t mind this, as long as they have interesting things to say. People who have English as a first language should pay attention, but what annoys me most is getting badly spelt emails (especially when they want my money!). By the way, I am French and I try to avoid spelling mistakes and bad grammar on my English languge blog.

  • Rae:

    I gotta admit, I am not the best at grammar, though I’m not horrid either. That said, I find it funny that someone with a grammar/typo in a post (http://www.oldschoolseo.com/2008/01/24/to-guest-blog-or-not-to-guest-blog-that-is-the-question/ – see reasons not to blog, #2) on his own blog a few posts before this one would say “when he doesnÒ€ℒt respect his readers intelligence (or himself) enough to use a spell checker or a grammar checker”. Hey, sorry, LOL, but I had to.

    >>>do you think a journalist would respect your work if they found it, or would they just pass it up

    They seem to respect graywolf’s error riddled posts (love ya GW).

  • oldschool:

    @ john andrews – one day, I will get to write about all of our medical experiences. It has been a very challenging season, but the moral of the story is that you need to be your own pharmacist/doctor and check the potential side effects of your meds, so that they don;t treat the symptoms of the meds with meds that conflict with the original med that caused the symptom (which was a side effect).

    @ Internet Junkie – It’s interesting that you should mention foreign bloggers and I think that sort of makes the point even more. If English isn’t someone’s language and they can manage, how come we can’t?

    @ Rae – Thanks for contributing to the madness. I never claimed to be an English major; don’t miss the point (once again, the poll tells the story). The point isn’t prefection it is making the effort. I am glad you read more of the blog looking for errors; I will take free editing whenever I can get it – I’m not too proud πŸ™‚

  • @rae error riddled LMAO!

  • Rae:

    @oldschool actually, I didn’t… I looked through to blog because this post being twittered was the first time I ever saw it – the error simply stuck out as I was reading and I couldn’t help but be amused at the irony.

    >>>point isnÒ€ℒt prefection it is making the effort.

    I doubt graywolf “attempts” to be error riddled (again, love ya gw). But, he is also extremely busy… so I’ll take an error riddled gem over a grammar correct rehash bullshit post anyday :)… but that is just me… I also don’t try very hard with my blogging efforts, so maybe I think like the minority.

  • oldschool:

    @ rae – glad I can provide amusement and twittering excitement all at the same time πŸ™‚

  • Maybe they’re optimizing for misspellings?

  • oldschool:

    @ Linda – cute.

  • Interesting debate old school. Now here is my point of view. I couldn’t get the mechanics down growing up. I struggled with that aspect of writing and I still have problems not providing strong thesis statements in papers at school. However, I think if I have the saving grace of good grammar and spelling to fall back on that I will be taken seriously when people come to my blog to read my material. I write tutorials from time to time and I do not want a typo in there. Even tho it would not matter much when making the numerical adjustment part of the tutorial but in order to provide the optimal benefit to those who use tutorials especially design tutorials correct spelling is crucial. If I told someone to go to their ey gropper tool instead of their eye dropper tool they would think I was some newbie blogger and designer and go on down the road to another better written tutorial author.

    I am not a spelling and grammar Nazi nor am I a snooty upper crust A list blogger, I am merely someone who believes in doing the best job I can do to get my point across effectively to my readers.

  • oldschool:

    @ Joe –

    I am not a spelling and grammar Nazi nor am I a snooty upper crust A list blogger, I am merely someone who believes in doing the best job I can do to get my point across effectively to my readers.

    I am with you here — I think some of the folks thought otherwise of me which is why the “debate” started.

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