You broke my heart. So you leave me no choice: I have to break up with you.

Don’t get me wrong; it was fun while it lasted. You were always making me smile with your clever headlines and funny captions. And I’ll never forget all the times you thoughtfully gave me advice.

I thought we were a match made in heaven. I thought we’d be together forever. But you ruined everything. You took advantage of me. You weren’t faithful. You shattered my heart.

And now I have to dump you.

I’m sorry. Just know that I feel terrible doing it like this, so publically, so abruptly, and so callously.

But someone had to. Or else you’d keep on trampling on innocent hearts of other readers.

Not that you probably care, but my therapist said it’d be good to get this off my chest.

broken digital heart

Image: r00s

Here are the 10 things I hate about you (as a blogger):

1. You neglected me.

We used to interact every day. When I woke up in the morning, I knew I could count on you having something interesting to say. But then you sort of just disappeared. Daily conversations turned into weekly, then monthly, and now you don’t post with any regularity at all.

I’d @mention you on Twitter and bare my soul to you in your comments, but all I got was radio silence.

2. You made it so hard to stay in touch.

You just weren’t available to me – I couldn’t find your RSS feed button, there was no obvious way to sign up for email updates – you didn’t even have an about page. I wanted to reach out to you, but you were never there. And from now on, I won’t be either.

3. You lied to me.

I used to hang on every word you said. Every sentence was an a-ha moment I could take with me to work. But then I started to find out that your intellectual advice didn’t hold up in my practical world. You presented statistics without verifying their accuracy. You broke news that turned out to be rumor.

I trusted you and you made me look like a fool when I presented your best practices to the rest of the people at my job. It was humiliating. And you told me I should just get over it – that it’s only a blog!

4. You started to sound just like everyone else.

You used to be so unique. You had your own voice and you played by your own rules. You didn’t care what the suits had to say – you called it like you saw it. You were a rebel. But all the attention is softening you. The other day you used “leverage synergies” in a headline. It broke my heart to see you go so corporate.

5. You seemed so desperate for attention from other readers.

I can live with the fact that you might have a wandering eye, but you didn’t have to be so obvious about it. You know I’m a loyal reader but you keep asking me to subscribe with long, invasive forms, begging me to Retweet you and insisting that I share your stuff with my friends.

I used to tell them how great you were in my own way, but you wanted me to use that formal template on your website. It felt so … clinical.

6. You were too needy.

First you wanted me to subscribe, and that was fine. But then you jammed the ebook down my throat, wanted to charge me for access to your most intimate thoughts, kept interrupting our dates with pop-up ads, every link I trusted you enough to click on tried to sell me something, and you didn’t give me any warning!

Listen, I’m here to support you, but I’m not in this for charity. I need a relationship that centers on respect.

7. Your attention drifted.

When I met you, you were so focused, but you’ve drifted and now conversations with you feel like I’m flipping through TV channels and I don’t have the remote.

Why are you telling me about the 10K race you just ran and your recent trip to Target? I mean, it’s nice to know those kind of details, but don’t forget that I’m not a captive audience. There are a lot of other bloggers out there who will respect my time and attention.

8. You let yourself go.

I understand that you’re going to go through rough patches – maybe you’re having server issues or you tried something new and it didn’t work out – it happens to everyone.

But it’s just sad to see you with broken plugins, images that don’t load correctly, weird alignment issues with your fonts and ads running amok in your posts.

9. You only ever talk about yourself.

And not only do you only talk about yourself and never ask me about MY day or MY experiences, you just drone on and on and on and on. Our relationship has become a test of endurance.

10. I felt like I was talking to a 7th grader.

It started when you made some gross comments on Twitter. And then it leaked into your blog. And then you stopped caring about punctuation, spelling, and well, grammar.

Listen, I don’t expect you to be a polished as William Strunk Jr., but you do have a high school diploma, why not use it?

So for now, I’m going to see other bloggers. I hope we can stay friends and maybe there’s a future for us. But are you willing to change?

I’d love nothing more than for us to have a happy future together, but you need to be willing to make it work.

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About Andrew Hanelly

Andrew Hanelly

Andrew is SVP, Strategy for McMurry/TMG and for one semester in college, was a sociology major. He writes at Brain on Digital, as @hanelly on Twitter and here on Google+.

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://fbml-templates.net Tim Soulo

     Hey Andrew! The post is excellent! :) Hope everyone will learn a lesson out of your irony! :)

    • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

       When you get dumped as often as I do, you better have some learning to share!

  • Nilofer Memon

    Hi Andrew,

    I like this blog very much!! Its really useful tips for a blogger…

    Regards,
    Nilofer
    http://nilofer-memon.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.secretsushi.com/ Adam Helweh

     Excellent post Andrew. Made me reflect quite a bit.

    • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

       It totally wasn’t about you :)

      • http://www.secretsushi.com/ Adam Helweh

        Ok. I feel a lot better now. Haha 

  • http://insightsandingenuity.com heatherrast

    Clever as always, Andrew. Wish I’d snagged the idea first, doh! Maybe I’ll pull a #4. :-)

    But truly, you chose a very entertaining route to remind bloggers that people ARE paying attention. As long as we hold a place in the publishing ecosystem, our stuff – and all its glory (or not) – is on display. Content quality, style, and presentation all contribute to experience. Will we create good experiences for our readers, or so-so ones? People have choices, and if they’ve chosen to spend some of their precious time checking out our stuff, then it’s important to let them know that time and attention is valued.

    • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

       There is no monogamy in blogging, we just need to embrace it and be the best partner we can when it’s our moment in the sun!

      Thanks for the comment, Heather!

  • http://kikolani.com/ Kristi Hines

     I don’t feel bad about breaking up with another blog.  I don’t send an elaborate Dear John letter though, I just sneak out quietly in the night and unsubscribe.  They probably don’t notice I’m gone until I’m well on my way, canoodling with a new blog to fill their place.  :)

    • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

       Heh… this does read like a “Dear Blogger, it’s not me it’s you” letter.

    • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

       Ok, so your comment was funnier than my entire post. You win! :)

      You’re right though, most times you don’t get the courtesy (or learning experience) of a Dear John. You just lose the reader forever.

      Thanks for a great comment!

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

    Andrew, this was funny. I’m not a ‘blog Daily or else!’ reader, but so long as there is consistency and notice, I’m cool. Tell me there’s been a change, look for new stuff biweekly and I’m cool. I think #4, 5 and 9 are my deal breakers; when it’s too much about rankings and scores, stats and vanity numbers.. that’s when my attention drifts. And #4, hope it never happens to me.. unless that payday is big enough. ;-) FWIW.

  • http://www.businessesGROW.com/blog Mark W Schaefer

    Here is one I have wondered about. “You blog too much.”

    I have som many ideas that I could literally put something out there every day. But I think that can get overwhelming for people. I’m putting out good stuff but every time somebody unsubscribes from my blog (in theory of course) I wonder … was it too much?

    This was a superb post Andrew. Great job!  

    • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

       Dude, thanks for the comment. I think that’s #11. Sometimes people talk just for the sake of talking – same with blogging. Every once in a while you just want to say “you know, silence is golden.” I know I’m guilty of this (if not in blogging at least in real life).

      I appreciate your kind words, Mark. Take it easy!

      • http://www.businessesGROW.com/blog Mark W Schaefer

        Funny I have never really seen any research on this. What is the ideal blogging schedule? Lots of opinions, not much meat on the bones. At the end of the day it probably comes down to great content. If you can keep up that high level I think maybe you can win people over but it’s an interesting topic. 

        • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

          That’s what I think of some of these daily filler posts Mark, “that’s it, where’s the beef?” Don’t think there are any hard and fast rules, numbers on optimal blog scheduling other than consistency, so your readers have a clue. There are times I struggle with my ‘less is more, quality over quantity’ approach so no way I could blog daily. Power to those who can keep the content level up there, day after day. 

  • Anonymous

    haha great post Andrew – every blogger should have this posted on the wall next to their computer (or tattooed on the back of their hands) so they never become a bad get into this situation.. 

    Being a novice blogger myself I can see how point 7 can easily drift in – once you’ve written more and more posts it gets harder and harder to stay focussed on the same topic while remaining interesting. But I guess that’s what separates the good blogs from the bad!

    • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

       I think drifting is fine if done in moderation AND if you bring it back to the main point of your blog. That said, some blogs are great precisely because they drift. I guess this break-up letter isn’t *really* dumping everyone.

  • http://www.socialmediawannabe.com Todd Lyden

     Been  ”breaking up” quite a bit lately. But I REALLY doubt people notice

    • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

       Oh one day they’ll notice, Todd. They’ll turn around when the lights fade and the music stops and they’ll look for your embrace and it won’t be there. They’ll feel cold and alone. (Too much??)

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  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    Great post Andrew and loved reading it. I loved #7 drifting one which usually people tend to do and find it difficult to gain back their concentration. 

    Shilpi
    Singha Roy

    http://www.obvainc.com

    Facebook fan page – http://on.fb.me/i9Oifw

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  • arvinrazon

    Hey Andrew! First time to drop by your blog… Is it sad that I think this post is personally more guilty-provoking than funny? :/

    Arvin
    http://www.arvinrazon.wordpress.com

    • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

       Well, don’t feel too badly, I got the inspiration from all the things I do wrong personally.

  • http://www.ellefactor.co Ms.elle

    Wow! I love this post. I’ll add it to my favorites to check in on as a reminder to myself for what NOT to do for my social community sites: http://www.ellefactor.co and http://www.urbanista.co

    -Ms. elle

  • http://twitter.com/beyondroom108 Melanie Boyd

     Very clever post! Nothing turns me away from a blog faster than pop-up ads.

    • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

       Amen to that.

  • http://richardrbecker.com/ Rich Becker

    Andrew, 
    Great list. I have a working theory that as people let their passion drift from original intent, they loose any semblance of what sparked the initial attraction. 

    It would account for much of the missteps you’ve included. Excellent. 

    Best, 
    Rich

  • http://www.ventureneer.com Geri Stengel

     Hilarious! And right on. I bet he kept whispering sweet keywords in your ear, too.

  • http://oldschoolteach.wordpress.com/ Lisa M.

    Great read, very funny. I’ll print it and put it over my laptop every time I post on my blog. Thanks.:)

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  • http://inspiredtype.wordpress.com/ Sue Alexander | Inspired Type

    I love this! Great way to self-critique if a new post is living up to what I really want it to be. I’m new to your site and new to social media, so I have so much to learn. Thanks for making me smile this morning :~D

    Sue

  • http://twitter.com/janesheeba Jane Sheeba

     Taking too much about oneself is the most boring thing I have ever experienced. I could not resist a boasting blogger and a selling blogger. 

    Jane.

  • http://www.sfihomebizz.com Kavita

     Great read . This is the first time I have visited your blog from Krist’s Friday Mashup Series. Blogging is a place of sharing and networking. Hence self-centrism is a strict no for bloggers. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanCritchett Ryan Critchett

    I especially align with not sounding like everyone else. There are probably over a million people doing things that are not replicable. : I think it’s important to know what can’t be duplicated so that you’re not wasting your time, and it forces you into creating a different angle. 

  • Margie_church

    As an author, we’re encouraged to blog like fiends, but I subscribe to the notion that people are busy and if I don’t have anything worthwhile to share…that you’d want to spend your precious free time on, don’t bother. Thanks for validating that. Lots of other great points, too.

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