How does the best blog look like?

I like ~ blog (by “meden agan”) so much, that I consider it the best blog I’ve read; details below.

Update: the blog was closed. :(

Contents:

A. What blog posts I liked best?
B. What other blog posts I liked?
C. How did I discover the blog?
D. What do I like about the blog?
E. What could be imprvoed?
F. Final thoughts

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A. What blog posts I liked best?

Let’s get to business, shall we?

I fully recommend these five articles on the blog; as you see, there’s no differentiating title, the URLs contain numbers, so they don’t say much either:

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B. What other blog posts I liked?

Besides the blog posts above, I also liked quite a lot:

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C. How did I discover the blog?

I’ve probably read this article on Mihnea MĂRUȚĂ‘s blog when it was posted, in July 2009:
Starletizarea politicii, agenda presei şi vânzarea conştiinţelor“.

I probably haven’t read the link to the person who writes the blog, and about which Mihnea MĂRUȚĂ wrote:

Romanian: “[…] blogul unui intelectual român care nu vrea să-şi dezvăluie identitatea (semnează “meden agan”) şi care, dacă am înţeles corect printre rânduri, trăieşte undeva în vestul Europei, probabil în Franţa. Nu-l interesează traficul şi nu permite comentarii. Şi sunt convins că această “modă veche” îi asigură liniştea.”
English (my translation): “[…] the blog of a Romanian intellectual who does not want to reveal his identity (and signs “meden agan”) and, if I correctly read between the lines, lives somewhere in Western Europe, probably in France. Not interested in blog traffic and he doesn’t allow comments. And I am convinced that this “old fashion” ensures him a peace of mind.”

Time passed, and Mihnea quotes “meden agan” (in ancient Greece, the temple of Apollo at Delphi bore the inscription Meden Agan (μηδεν ἀγαν) – ‘Nothing in excess‘ – via Wikipedia):

Romanian: “[…] mizantropul domn care ţine blogul soirs.wordpress.com […]”;
English (my translation): “[…] the misanthrope gentelman who runs the blog blog soirs.wordpress.com […]”;

I’ve started reading “meden agan”‘s blog and wrote a ultra-positive comment about “meden agan” on Mihnea’s blog, to which Mihnea replied:

Romanian: “[…] Citeşte-l şi, dacă poţi, rămâi detaşat. Viaţa e mult mai luminoasă, totuşi, decât o vede el.”;
English (my translation): “[…] Read it and if you can, don’t get too attached to it. Life is, still, much brighter than he sees it.”.

I’ve read about every article on his blog. I should mention that I didn’t look at his YouTube clips, nor have I read most of the articles he links to (perhaps I’ll do this later, but I’ve found that, although a bit strange, I can live with just reading a chronicle, not the work itself).
When I’ve read the blog, I’ve noted “Ah, I like this blog post, let’s put it down”. Due to the fact that his language is sometimes harsh, I’ve reread, at the end, all of the blog posts linked above, to make sure there are no such blog posts included.

OK, now you know how I’ve discovered the blog.
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D. What do I like about the blog?

I have two favorite books – I strongly recommend “Essentials of Understanding Psychology” by Robert S. Feldman (in English). In Romanian, you can see “Happiness Diary” by Nicolae STEINHARDT.

I like Le Notti di Cabiria (another comment on the movie of mine).

I like some people (read about some of them here).

Where does “meden agan” fit in this? Well, his writing is better than anything I’ve seen. I like it a lot. On the other hand, he’s not a personal model to me. I just like his deep thoughts a lot. To me, his writing is better than that of my two favorite books. His style is better, I get better ideas from him. But since he’s not a model to me, I’ll just mark him as “Best blog read”. Let’s just say that he’s very smart, I perceive it as funny, and I like a lot of his ideas.

He makes me laugh so much, I found myself reading a very serious blog post and bursting into unstoppable laughter. And how does he make me laugh? Two solutions – he makes me get an insight (“oh, now I see it”) and he has a way of saying things that usually are left unsaid (“wow, did you really say that?”). Voluntarily or not, his humour is great.

I like his courage of saying tough things – very unusual.

He sometime mentiones people who are important in world’s culture. I enjoy it very much to see the way in which he can approach them – yes, with respect, but also with an ability to still say the things that cross his mind. Quite brave in this aspect, also.

Also nice to note is his style: very good grammar, hardly any typo, a classical perspective on things.

I like to read blogs. I read friends’ blogs, strangers’ blogs, it doesn’t matter. I’ve made a small calculation – out of the 586 articles (currently) on his blog, I like about 90, and I consider other four to be exceptional, life changing. That’s a ratio of a bit more than 15%. So, I like about 15% of the blog posts on his blog. That’s a huge ratio, liking 3 articles for every 20 blog posts on his blog. And the exceptional blog posts are, to me, just that – exceptional. I have yet to read a blog giving me so many insights.

From time to time, I read a blog post and think “wait, but …, but …, that’s me!”. (OK, don’t think that I’m as good in writing as he is, but merely that he can describe and put in words feeling that I already have)

Sometimes, he seems old fashioned – he likes old architecture, mostly classical movies, he prefers literature over other arts, he can appreciate a good (alcoholic) drink, he seems untouchable, he prefers loneliness, he looks back with a melancholic look on the past. My reaction to this?

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E. What could be imprvoed?

You may note that his blog theme is dark, and his style is somewhat dark as well (negative perspective on things, lack of happiness/contentment, negative outcomes expected, very critical with current situation). Also, he doesn’t allow for comment on his blog (yet blog comments are fine), and there’s not link to get from an article to the homepage, you have to manually set the URL for this. Yet these are, all, minor things. I can easily overpass this.

His blog is rather simplistic, only with an archive of messages, the blog posts have no titles (other than “~”), he offers no “About” page, no categories box, no search functions. On the other hand, you might notice that his blog posts are very meticulosly categorized, each have their own labels, and, with a little knowledge, you can do a search on his blog.

Sometimes he does use a rather tough language (not impolite, but still brutall), so this is one thing which I would appreciate less.
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F. Final thoughts

This is, by far, the best blog that I’ve read. Great insights, funny (by my standards),

One final comment: “meden agan” had a survey on his blog. As this seems to happen rarely, I’ve answered it (he asked if he should allow comments on his blog), and commented that I would love to be able to write only positive comments about him, he’s so great (I was enthusiastic that I was able to say something about him) etc. Prior to my answer, two other people have answered that it’s best not to allow comments on the blog, and gave more “meden agan”-style explanations for their choice. Soon after I posted my comment, the poll was deleted from the site. Perhaps I should know my audience better.

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

3 Comments

  • iulian

    8 March 2011 - 02:55

    I think the best blog look like your mynd soul and circumstances, meaning.. the real personal one, between journal, news, poetry, photography, lonliness, happiness, succes, trouble, winning, loosing.. meaning.. LIFE.. this is your blog.. this is your life.. no fakes, no lies..

  • Olivian BREDA

    8 March 2011 - 07:37

    Nice concept.

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