This is an offshoot of the original Liam & Janet blog. That blog has become overrun by Liam's inability to keep his mouth shut when something annoys him. The serious rants there seemed incongruous with the humor columns. The plan for the humor columns continues to be to post a new one every Friday, plus occasional extras when the mood strikes.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Deal for Blog Explosion Battle of the Blogs folks

Battle of the Blogs is frustrating. Most of the winning blogs are those that look immediately pretty, because most people don't take the time to actually read any content before voting.

That works to my detriment, because this blog is all about the content. Now, it may be that my essays really aren't that funny. And if I knew that, it'd be good information.

But I think SOMETIMES I lose just because the other site is prettier.

So I'll make you a deal: If you're reading this in a battle of the blogs, and you want to vote against me, go ahead. But then come back and actually read one of the essays and leave me a comment. The reason I participate in Blog Explosion is to get feedback, to see if I'm really any good at this or not. I can deal with honest criticism. I just go crazy not knowing if losing a BotB means I'm not funny, or just that I don't make as good a first impression.




Blogger Zube said...

I am in absolute agreement with you with regards to the Battle of the Blogs deal! And, I wish you luck. Oops. I almost wished you 'lick'. Hell, I wish you that, too!

Monday, June 27, 2005 9:35:00 PM

Blogger carrie said...

didja notice that they've made some great new changes?

Monday, June 27, 2005 9:36:00 PM

Blogger JOE B said...

I also agree, I am almost to the point of actually paying someone to give my blog face lift.

Monday, June 27, 2005 9:39:00 PM

Blogger Liam said...

Zube girl, thanks for the luck, especially since I was up against you. Let's see how it plays out. And I wish you, er, lick too. :-)

And Carrie, yes, I've seen the changes, but... One blog I've seen on here that I think is pretty consistently very funny is Tony Calabrese's "Fagettaboutit" (spelling approximate). It's a stitch, if you give it a shot, and yet whenever I see him in one, even today, he loses.

I've watched him go through three of them today. All losers, and I voted for him.

Ah well, it's just a game. I'd just like some comments on my actual writing. If I get that, I don't really care if I lose the points. :-)

Thanks for stopping in!


Monday, June 27, 2005 9:40:00 PM

Blogger Liam said...


I've considered the same. On the other hand, I'd like to think that I'll find enough people with the same sense of humor I have that I'll get a following of people who stick around just to read the next one.

But I suppose that still has to be true even if I get a prettier front. They may ask me out if I make myself pretty, but they won't ask me out again unless I'm nice, too.


Monday, June 27, 2005 9:42:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll admit that when voting in BotB, I merely give a cursory once over to the contestants. The reason is simply because I know that if I stop to actually READ the blog, by the time I remember I was there to vote, the competition is over. But I do try to base my decision on more than just aestetics. I'll at least read a few sentences of the top entry, and "skim" the blog so that if something catches my attention, I can come back later.

BTW, I voted for Zube Girl in this contest. Not because I didn't find your blog good, just that I liked hers a tick better. Hope this helps.


Monday, June 27, 2005 9:46:00 PM

Blogger Liam said...

Thanks, Phil. It does.

As I said, I'm not offended if someone votes against me. I just want to know if I'm being voted against because I'm really not worth reading or for other reasons.

I agree with you, though, about the time available. And the more points the battle is for, the faster you have to vote, because you want to get a shot at a share of the voters pot.

Thanks for the comment!


Monday, June 27, 2005 9:48:00 PM

Blogger Zaphriel said...

Battle is all about look, they don't give you time to read. I stopped battling because of it.

Monday, June 27, 2005 10:05:00 PM

Blogger Liam said...

Yeah, but sadly, it's also addictive. :-)

Especially when it's 85 degrees and 95 percent humidity and the chances of my falling asleep are about the same as my chances of spontaneously combusting.


Monday, June 27, 2005 10:09:00 PM

Blogger Zube said...

Liam- You won. And you deserved it. I do think, though, that folks don't read. I've struggled with my HTML challenged self to change the appearance of my blog, but every time I try, it ends up looking stoopid. Or, stupid, which I guess is a bit more respectable.

I had one guy who was all pissed off because I beat him and didn't have pictures on my blog. Just words. And a standard blog template which looks like baby poo the more I look at it. Oh well. I have a few See Dick Run books that he's more than welcome to peruse!

Write on, I say!

Monday, June 27, 2005 10:23:00 PM

Blogger hjksghks said...

Actually it's not just about "the look" or "the content" or anything like that really. There's sometimes a seedy underside to it all. Check out the following URLs for more info:

And for a funny "overview" of how Blog Explosion works:

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 12:34:00 AM

Blogger Jay said...

I've found that, many times, the really dressed up blogs have nothing in them worth reading. Often, people put a lot of bells and whistles on their site to mask the fact that they don't have anything to say.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 8:43:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"First impressions are lasting impressions" vs. "Don't judge a book by its cover", I agree.

At least the 15-vote format allows some reading and commenting. I mean, hey, I'm battling you right now, and will probably be able to finish this by the time the contest is over.

A big improvement and bodes well for us ugly content geeks. I've certainly done better today at least. :-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 11:52:00 PM

Blogger Liam said...

Zube Girl: Thanks for the kind words. Whether you honestly believe I deserved to win or were just being nice, that's incredibly gracious of you!

Speckled Band: I've thought of that myself, that I could easily create a batch of users and just vote for myself repeatedly, but what would be the point? I guess there are probably some people who have to win at all costs, but after all, the point of blogexplosion is to get more people reading your blog. I like winning as much as the next guy, but I don't mind losing either, if it gets people to read my stuff. That's why I put that comment on the top, to try to get people to come back and read an essay or two, even if they do it after voting against me.

Jay: I agree. I also find a lot of the blogs that people have self-classified as "humor/comedy" aren't remotely funny. In fact, I've only found one that I really think is: Tony Calabrese's Fugetaboutit. But then again, as bloggers, we are pretty much a self absorbed bunch, writing our words into the ether as though they really made any difference to anyone at all.

Michael Jones: Yeah, the 15 vote format (and not letting people know how the voting is going until it's over) does help. I think it'd also be nice if they added a 30 second timelimit. It'd be a pain in some cases (there are certain blogs I've come to know well enough to know how I feel about them, and don't need to spend 30 seconds re-reading in order to vote fairly), but it might help some.

How did our battle come out? Right after I started it, I got distracted by Real Life. It's not still going on, but I haven't yet gotten an e-mail reporting the results. Belatedly (since I haven't opened Schroedinger's box yet, so I don't know if the cat's dead or not) good luck!


Wednesday, June 29, 2005 1:38:00 AM

Blogger puremood said...

I vote based on what I see as I have very little time to get my vote in. When I vote, I do read some content, but not much - just whats on top.

If something is written and it's long, not many breaks, etc... it's hard for me to read - hard on the eyes. I'd more likely read if it was not so hard on the eyes. Maybe that's my issue and not yours LOL I think you blog is good... I only give one opinion, it'd be better if you had a way to break up some of your entires so they dont' all blend.

I think most vote on what they see - or popularity or because of past won/lose ratios. Don't take it personal. I would say it isn't about your content is you don't win a challenge. I think most are just wanting credits and don't really consider the site, just consdier which one others will vote for, too.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 12:48:00 AM

Blogger puremood said...

excuse the typos...

Thursday, June 30, 2005 1:36:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted for you ;) (because I do take the time to read).

Thursday, June 30, 2005 2:34:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't automatically vote for the prettiest blog, but I admit that it does influence me. Your writing is funny, and I much prefer your originality to many other styles out there. Since BOtB is based completely on opinion, you won't win all the time, even if you KNOW you're the better of the two, but while you are playing, even if you lose the battle, you are still gaining visitors to your blog, and some of them will very likely become regular readers. You really can't lose, you know?

And I voted for you, by the way :-)

Thursday, June 30, 2005 2:36:00 AM

Blogger Eric said...


Thursday, June 30, 2005 2:44:00 AM

Blogger Liam said...

Wow, lots of comments this evening. I should check back more often. :-)

Puremood: I would like nothing better than to have little cartoons to go with each essay, sort of like Dave Barry had with his column, before he went on hiatus. Unfortunately, I have no artistic talent, and I haven't really thought of anything else I could do to break things up a bit.

Cassiopeia: Thanks!

Suzi: I fall back to the prettiest only when the content doesn't truly distinguish the blogs. Thanks for the nice comments on the essays. And you're right. Now that I have this comment at the top of the blog, I think I'm getting a lot more people to stop and read, which is my goal. They can have the points, if I can just gain some regular readers. :-)

Thanks, everyone for stopping in!


Thursday, June 30, 2005 2:47:00 AM

Blogger Courtney said...

I normally try and read at least the first post. There's not enough time to read anymore than that. I think BE should have a mandatory 30 second requirement for the battle, too, especially since credits are at stake.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 8:07:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sometimes people vote based on win/loss ratios with who they think will win, w/o even reading/looking at the blog. i know because i've lost in this way. to a blog where the text was white on a background that was a photo that was mainly black, with speckles of white so that it was hard to even read what this person posted.

i voted for you because the other site wouldn't load. but i also like your posts. i don't know how it actually compares to the other site though, since that did time out.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 8:08:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right- before I finished my redesign, my site won about 60% of the time- now that it's all brand spanking new and shiny I'm in the 80%. Content hasn't changed a bit- but what can you do. You do write some thought provoking stuff- sometimes I vote your direction sometimes for the other guy. Just depends on who it is kwim?

Thursday, June 30, 2005 8:08:00 PM

Blogger Ryan Franklin said...

I think the amount of comments in your post here is proof that people actually do read eh? ;) As far as the dilemma of looks vs. content, I vote for content 100% of the time.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 11:17:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're battling each other right now and I have to say...I do think you're funny. I like your site a lot. Mine's not too pretty either - pretty bare bones.

Friday, July 01, 2005 8:45:00 PM


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