Monday, March 17, 2008

Me and the Next Blog button

If you don't know what the Next Blog button is, just look in the upper left-hand corner of the page you're reading. Yep, there it is, right next to the search box. When you click this button, it will take you to another blog hosted by Blogger. It's an interesting way to see what is out there in the blogosphere.

I have to admit that I have some Internet habits of things that I will do or look at when I am just a little bored and want to surf for a while. A site I visit pretty regularly, for example, is and sometimes I even go to when I'm in the mood. I used to spend a LOT of time on Yahoo! Answers but not so much lately; it's not as interesting to me as it used to be. But the Next Blog button sort of hits me in the right spot; when you click it, it'll take you to another blog written by someone in the world. There's gotta be SOMETHING to see.

My experiences with the Next Blog button are kind of mixed. It could definitely get habit-forming if you're not careful. I mean, at what point do you decide you've seen enough blogs? I don't know how many there are, but I'm pretty sure there are more than I could have time to see. So what I do is I tell myself that I will push the button until I get to another blog in English. (There are actually a lot of blogs out there that I can read pretty well, either because they are written in a non-English language that I can read i.e. Spanish or because they have a lot of English interwoven with whatever it is. But I usually go until I see one that's at least mostly English. It takes a little longer and is therefore more fun that way.)

Theoretically, the Next Blog button could take you to something inappropriate. In practice though, this has only happened to me one time. Apparently the Blogger people are pretty good at keeping people off of the site with inappropriate pictures. If you see a blog that is inappropriate in some way, you can click "Flag Blog" and Blogger will check it out. They also have algorithms to search for spamblogs and keep those out of the possible sites that will come up on the Next Blog link. (In fact, my other blog "I'm Grateful For..." was flagged as a possible spamblog for a while and had to be cleared by the Blogger staff.) I can't remember coming across too many spamblogs while clicking Next Blog.

The more common thing that interferes with my Next Blog fun is when people edit their blog pages so that the Next Blog link does not appear. Come on people, I realize that the link at the top is stopping your page from being completely beautiful, but it's just a small banner at the top of the page... Happily it's easy to click the back button and give it another try.

I have found actually that Next Blog will tend to show me the same blog multiple times. For example, let's imagine that I click Next Blog 20 times on the same day. Maybe 4 of those might be the same one or two blogs. It feels sort of circular when this happens.

Yesterday, for the first time ever, when I clicked the Next Blog link, I saw a blog that had a picture on it of a person I know. That was kind of a weird feeling. Maybe the blogosphere is smaller than I thought it was...

Go ahead, click it!

1 comment:

felix said...

I get disgusted with people who remove the Next Blog button. It's selfish and egoistic, as if the blogger wants to force the surfer to pay attention only to them. How stupid. '-)