What the heck is swampige?! You're asking that right this instant, aren't you? Well, my friends, "swampige" is a handy term that my partner, Marty D. (Coffee with Marty) coined for all the endless buttons, links, gadgets, widgets...and...swampige that clutter up people's blog pages! We were discussing the whole phenomenon several weeks ago and he ended up posting a comment on a discussion board thread with the word swampige being the crowning effective end to the statement. I thought it was a perfect slang term for this visual overload that exists rampantly in blog page format.
I'm sure you know of which I speak - you've probably clicked to pull up someone's blog page for the first time and found yourself visually assaulted by the equivalent of screaming neon signs in gadget/widget/button format. I know I've experienced it. As with my opinion about posting blog articles every single day, I'm also not a fan of cramming buttons, widgets....SWAMPIGE....into every last little available square inch of your blog page. The fact is, I'm not there to bounce elsewhere continually on a widget induced frenzy - I'm there to read your blog content. Yes, peeps, I do read content, and if I like said content, I will probably want to follow your blog. UNLESS there's so much swampige in the way that I can't find the follow option!
Case in point, earlier today I read a blog that I sincerely enjoyed, so much so that I wanted to follow that blog immediately. This particular blog is in Word Press format, and I have to say that I find swampige to be more prevalent in WP blogs. This is just an observation, not a written in stone fact. At any rate, this blog had so much swampige cluttering the whole danged page that after scrolling up, down and sideways all over the page four different times, I still couldn't find the follow option. Needless to say, after that much energy wasted, I gave up the ghost and moved on to other things. I am the first to admit that I'm not the strongest IT literate blogger out there, but seriously, if the swampige gets in the way that much, you have a problem! It was like the proverbial Town Crier was on the church steps, screeching his lungs out about everything but the blog content and following option. This is my personal dislike for swampige - it just gets in my way of accomplishing what I visited the page to do.
I also prefer for the design of my personal blog, Healing Morning, to reflect the overall personality of my content. It doesn't make sense for me to have a lot of visual distraction going on all over the sidebars when my focus is on communicating and discussing topics regarding peace, healing, spirituality and holistic issues. Your blog may be about technical content, computer-related issues, or something that does suit the visual presence of every bit of flashy, snazzy swampige you can wrangle onto your page. The good old Theory of Relativity kicks in and rules the day on this topic. It is an individual choice.
I am not saying that I think gadgets, widgets and buttons should cease to exist. To the contrary, there are many of them that serve a valuable service. I will also say that as I learn more about the useful little creatures, I grow in my appreciation of them. I do, however, think quite seriously about which ones to incorporate into my blog format. I do not want a blog page that is so visually chaotic to the viewer that they cannot concentrate on the actual blog posts. I am willing to bet that people who do embrace the "more is better" principle with this find that they have slower traffic to their blog page, and much shorter time spent per visit. Think about it - if you're being bombarded by endless bells, whistles, buttons....swampige...on a given blog page, is it easy for you to concentrate on the blog content?
I could be wrong on this - maybe I'm one of the few who does experience sensory overload and who finds it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand...reading content....if the page is crammed with swampige. You may feel just the opposite and find all that visual activity enlivens your blog page, gives it movement, personality and excitement. My personal taste runs to the calmer, more quiet, visually clean type of marketing. There's a reason why my personal blog title is Healing Morning, after all!
So, weigh in on this topic! Post a comment and tell us what you think and feel about the reality of swampige. It is a phenomenon that is here to stay, I can say this with absolute certainty. How do you choose to design your blog page format - with a select few judiciously placed buttons and widgets? Or do you like the busy feel of visual activity created by swampige? As always, there are no right or wrong answers. I just thought it was the next logical progression of conversation on the heels of Blog Frequency. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on swampige!
Author, The Authentic Blogger blog
Author, Healing Morning blog
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