Tuesday, 10 March 2020

How to write most boring blog in the universe

Just suppose that, for reasons only you might know, you decided to create the most boring blog in the Universe, what would you put in it? This may seem like a very strange question, but it was the subject of a surprisingly interesting conversation that I had with a friend on Saturday night. The conversation was nailed down on the subject of what actually constitutes boring. There is an old saying that one mans meat is another mans poison. Whenever I write a blog about football or local history, those with no interest in the subject clearly would find them boring, but if the content was interesting to those with an interest in the subject, then clearly a niche following could be built up. In fact when i started blogging about Barnet Council I did wonder if I'd found the secret of spending hours writing blogs no one would be interested in, but strangely there was a huge response. I can predict almost to the last view, how many people will look at any particular blog, before I post it. Things about local history, Barnet Council and the Tweets of the Week get a big readership. The blogs on Cancer are highly unpredictable, as sometimes they will go viral a year after I wrote them. This is usually because prostate cancer is in the news. My poems get a relatively small readership, but since I combined them with the culture round up, they have become significantly more popular.

So that is what is interesting. I try very hard to make my blogs interesting, but what is the opposite? I have to confess that in the course of my research, I've found that several blogs I've read are extremely dull. But what I find dull, isn't always what other people find dull, so again we are in the one mans meat is another mans poison. Some of the blogs I find dull are simply written in a way that I find uninteresting, but the information is there. So I find it hard work to read, but it is worth the effort.

So I would make the case that anything, no matter how badly written or mundanely presented, cannot be truly boring if it has information that is interesting, if badly presented. So if you are aiming or hyper dullness, whilst bad writing is a part of the package, it won't win you the title of the most boring blog in the universe. Putting mundane information on the blog is also not a guarantee. I read a story about students at a major university setting out to make the most boring website in the world. They found that the Coke machine in their common room could be monitored on line. Coke had a feature so they knew when to restock it. The students hacked this and set up a whizz bang website, dedicated to how many coke's the machine sold every day. You could look back over the last few weeks, months etc. Who would possibly be interested. Much to their surprise, the website started to get a huge following. How could this be? The mystery was in itself rather mundane. People were betting on the number of cokes being sold.

It is a fine example of one mans meat. There is always someone who finds something interesting. Or is there? Just suppose that the blog was not only very niche, but told you something you would almost certainly know, if you had any interest in the subject? You'd have to be careful not to present the information in a new or novel way, but this surely is the way to go. Of course the one sure way to really put the cherry on top is to give meaningless statistics about boring information, that cannot be verified and do not come from a trusted source.

So if you want to write the most boring blog in the Universe, here are the rules

1) Find mundane information, that is already common knowledge to anyone who might have an interest in the subject.

2) Present the information in a dull, wordy manner, including badly collated, unverifiable statistics, that are by and large irrelevant.

3) Make sure that you keep yourself anonymous. That ensures that no one will ever dig up any interesting, verifiable data about you or your blog.

4) If you really want to make the blog uniquely dull, include badly framed photographs, with no artistic value and garish, low definition screen grabs from other sites. Make sure that the colours used in the blog are dull and add nothing  to the visual attractiveness of the site.

5) If it is ugly and clunky to use that is also a highly important feature of the dullness, so that people give up before they've actually got to the page they want to see, so direct them through a sequence of links. If the final chain is broken, that is even better.

You may ask why anyone would want to do this? That is a question I ask myself, as if I was nasty, which I'm not, I could give links to fine examples of such sites. But why would I want to waste your time? So instead, have a look at the blogs in the sidebar of the web version, these are all rather good!

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