Blog Review Blogs: The New Rage?
The thinly-veiled purpose of these sites is not to provide any true constructive criticism of the blogs “reviewed,” as becomes evident if you take some time to read the entries. They are just another form of publicity . . . yet another mechanism by which to drive traffic to the sites featured there. So, in addition to blogrolls, blog hubs, blog directories, backlinks, blog rentals – I even stumbled upon a blog that exists for the sole purpose of offering advice about whether or not to sign up for various blog directories – and all the other “tricks of the blogging trade,” we can add these new special-purpose blogs to the seemingly infinite ways that we strive to get people to read what we are writing.
Based upon what I have observed, it is too early to determine whether these niche blogs will have any impact upon what drives readers to a particular site. But I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Critique My Blog offers essentially the same service as A Links Blog: Exposure free of charge via a blurb thinly disguised as a “review.”
One site that offers a slightly more substantive review of blogs is The Weblog Review. A staff of four each review four blogs per month and rate them on a scale of 1 to 5. Readers can also register and then submit their own ratings. The site is well-organized, has a clear, concise layout, and the reviews I have had time to read so far are fairly well-written. While blogs can only be submitted for review on a fee basis, the price is low (under $5 or $10, depending upon which option you select).
You can submit your site to Bloggeries free of charge. They claim that they take the business of reviewing blogs “seriously” and their evaluative criteria include “content, uniqueness, activity, appearance, navigation.” If your blog is selected to be reviewed. Interestingly, I found no indication of the criteria employed in selecting blogs to review, however.
At Blogsrater you can write a 50-word review of another blog and, in return, get your blog featured for “24 impressions.”
The Great Blog Review — a pretentious name — is operated by an anonymous individual who calls himself “The Chairman.” Holding a degree in geography and traveling a lot supposedly qualify him as an expert on blogs. (Could he be more pompous?) I did not spend a lot of time perusing his site because, frankly, I wouldn’t recommend that you hire a lawyer who claimed to have once read a book about the law a few years back. Likewise, I am not going to waste my time reading “The Chairman’s” reviews. ((As of September 7, 2007, The Great Blog Review site is apparently no longer operational. The domain name is parked.))
I intend to watch this development in the blogosphere with interest to see whether more sites pop up, if they thrive, and whether or not functioning blog review sites prove to have an impact upon the way we, as bloggers, find each other.
What do you think about blog review sites? Have you visited any? Had your blog reviewed? Noticed any change in your readership attributable to having been reviewed? Leave a comment telling us what you think and about your experiences.
Originally published at Write Stuff.