Everyone has their idea of the perfect holiday or Christmas card. In fact, I’ve been hunting for the perfect card for years, buying up simple but charming cards of tress covered in snow and snowy scenes of mountains. I admit that I’m not into the reason for the season aspect of the end of the year holidays as much as I am into the season.
This year, my friend, Leslie, had the best Christmas card I’ve seen in a long time.
While it hosts a Christmas tree – or rather a Christmas tree ornament – it is not your normal Christmas card with season blessings, winter snowy, stars, or manger scenes. Take a moment to really look at it.
Do you get it?
Not everyone figured it out. She got numerous reactions from her friends and family, people who know her twisted sense of humor well. Some thought it was an interesting work of abstract art. Her artsy-fartsy friends said “tre nouveau!” Others enjoyed it for its “realism of the modern Christmas” with more time at the mall than with the family. A few said it was daring and adventurous. One person said, “Oh, I can see the face!” Another told her she was “thinking outside of the box again.” Others smiled and said how nice. A few really bold types admitted they didn’t get it.
Did you get it?
“There’s nothing to get,” explains Leslie.
Indeed, there isn’t. It’s a Christmas tree ornament hanging from the mirror of her car in a shopping center parking lot. Nothing more, nothing less. It is exactly what you see. A form of WYSIWYG.
I took one look at it and shouted, “Blog post!”
Judging Your Blog
Are people “getting” your blog? Are your readers reading more into your blog than is there? Are you? Is your blog really “what you see is what you get” or do the readers and visitors have to dig deep to uncover the real story of your blog?
People judge blogs from three perspectives.
- From the blogger’s perspective.
- A visitor’s first impression.
- A regular reader’s familiarity built over time.
From the web design/visual aspect, a blog is much like Leslie’s Christmas card or any artwork. It’s judged by it’s looks, but also by its content, all the elements that fit within the frame of your web browser.
Search engines and feed readers don’t care about the pretty, impressed only with the words. While search engines don’t make assumptions nor decisions about whether or not your blog is worthy of a return, the visual and contextual nature of your blog can turn visitors into readers and keep your readers coming back for more.
People have a way of reading more into things than are there. Call it “reading between the lines” or making assumptions, a lot of people make snap decisions with little or no information.
Leslie laughs at the reactions of all these people, and even my reaction, trying to tie everything into my blog. “I liked the ornament, a gift from a friend. I put it on the car mirror because it was pretty. I took a picture of it to show my friend how I was making use of her gift. I liked the results so I turned it into my Christmas card. That’s it.”
Sometimes a Christmas tree ornament hanging from the car mirror is just a Christmas tree ornament hanging from a car mirror. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s what you put into the picture that makes it what it is.
Look at your blog like you looked at Leslie’s Christmas card. Do you see something that isn’t there? Or do you see what you get?