Quality vs Quantity

Despite the fact that I became a part of LAMB (The Large Association of Movie Blogs) a while ago, I started to appreciate its benefits much later as my confidence as a blogger grew. One could say that summer 2012 was a lot about me growing up as a person and as a movie lover which lead me to be apart of LAMB on a higher capacity. Last Saturday, Joe posted an interesting piece of news on LAMB’s main site which got me thinking about the quality and quantity of movie blogs. More specifically, there are 1422 movie blogs! and I can’t help to think that sadly just a small portion of those are worthy of my attention.

This could be either a moment of revelation or digging a grave for myself, because when we start to think about quality some of you might think I lack of it on many levels. But, to my defense, I do feel like most of my technical downsides are due to WordPress’ restrictions since I don’t feel rich enough to give them money to upgrade. Content is something I’m working on and a lot of effort is put into BOT because I also see myself as low quality when it comes to the range of movies I watch – but knowing your flaws has a certain value as well. Anyways, my point being, I think that out of those 1422 I could be considered as a quality blog rather than quantity and mostly because of the time and effort I have been putting into my slowly developing baby. As my reader, I hope you agree with me and continue reading this post because I do want to end up with an idea at some point.

The number of blogs I follow is relatively low because I’m a very picky person when it comes to blogs. I not only look at the content but I find visual elements to be crucial. Think of it as a process of watching a movie, a blog is supposed to have all the right elements working together in order to give the viewer the best kind of experience. Blogs like movies take a lot of time, effort and commitment,  and the combination of those is the first thing I notice when I open a new blog: 75% of the time I close the blog right away and it might seem cruel and mean, whatever, but I have no doubt that many have done the same with my blog. Why would I waste my time on a blog that doesn’t capture me on the first glance? Yes, it sounds like a prejudice but continuing my thought of comparing blogs with movies, loving everything you see is impossible.

Reason why I’m building up this topic is actually because I find it super hard to sort through quality among the amount of movie blogs that are out there. I feel as if the quantity is taking over quality and more and more good blogs suffer and are left out from my reading schedule due to my inability to recognize them among the *cough-cough* trash. Call me evil, call me a b*tch – I’m just being honest and stating that there are a lot of movie blogs that aren’t worth to be bothered with. Since there are so many, I have noticed in my behavior that I sometimes even dismiss blogs just because they don’t have “continue reading” because a lot of time would be spent on just scrolling to find something that interests me. I find it cruel yet I see it as an only possibility amongst the quantity – to be ruthless. When it comes to content, I see myself going for the blogs similar as mine which is completely understandable, yet I still want to be challenged by different bloggers but I simply can’t find them anymore. In the beginning it was all about going and reading the “popular” ones but now, as I’m motivated to follow more, I’m simply lost. Plus, popularity doesn’t always mean quality but it is the main factor at LAMB but then again, how can new-comers make it to the top if I can’t find them?

Another question I want to raise is, how to make quality stand out more from the pile of movie blogs as the time goes on? I appreciate the enthusiasm of people becoming movie bloggers and yet, I feel like not everybody are up for the task. Again, I might be digging a permanent hole in the ground for myself because I might not be “quality blog” in some circles. Still, I’m ready to take the chance and say it as it is, there are people who are passionate about film and thrilled to be writing it all down, and then there are people who are movie bloggers. The difference being, while some write long and analytical essay types of posts others go for the short reviews stating that “the movie sucked” with no apparent explanation. I prefer the former where as the latter for me falls under the “commentary culture” where people have the interest but lack passion and execution.

At this point I feel like I’m raising a more serious topic than just sorting out LAMB’s and giving them a certain qualification of some sorts because now I’m beginning to think about Lammy’s. Are the movie blogging awards about actual quality or popularity? If I’ve been active now for couple of months, on a more higher level, yet, I’m not as let’s say “popular” as some of the others, does this mean I lack quality or is it just because I’m lost in the quantity of 1422 blogs? Either way, I do think there is a need to do some spring cleaning because as an avid fan of quality, the quantity is making my head hurt as much as the plot line of a romantic comedy – which is a lot of pain!

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31 thoughts on “Quality vs Quantity”

  1. Extemely well written and well stated as usual Mettel. As someone who has struggled as of late with having time to write reviews lately (that’ll change soon as my job situation changes), but I’ve never thought of myself as having fantastic quality. I do what I do because I enjoy it, and I love movies. I may not always find the right words to express my love of film, but my passion for the art has never wavered (even during the influx of crappy found footage films). I have become much more active on twitter and try to be an active participant on the LAMB forums though. I do think that there’s a certain bit of ‘house cleaning’ needed, because I think there are entirely too many members that joined just in the hopes of increasing their traffic and don’t participate in the slightest.

    Regardless of the outcome, you should never doubt your quality and you shouldn’t worry about being just a number. Write because you love to and write because you love TV and film. Those that do come, visit and appreciate what you’ve provided will come back…as for everyone else, you won’t even miss them.

    1. Thank you so much and yes, I think passion makes a big difference an some, sadly, don’t have it as much as I would expect from a blogger.
      You are absolutely right, I shouldn’t doubt the quality as much but I couldn’t help to wonder in this post.. I will now put that thought aside and keep continuing to do what I love.
      PS: Thank you, Joe, for coming back time after time!

      1. You don’t have to thank me, the pleasure is all mine. I may not comment all the time, and usually that’s because: I don’t have anything to add, I just wanted to enjoy what was written, or I just don’t have time (sadly too often the case).

        I recently had a conversation with someone else in which I told them that as someone who works full-time, is married with 3 young children, plays/coaches basketball, now does a weekly podcast, and tries to see at least 2-3 movies a week, my time gets away from me very easily…BUT, if I did have the time, I’d do nothing but watch and review movies and TV shows all day long.

        1. I don’t comment on your site as well but I do visit, so I don’t expect commenting from everybody anyway.
          You know, I envy you a bit because it seems that the more you have to do, the more time you seem to have. I feel like next to my studies a lot of my time is just wasted… and yet, by the end of the week I have done at least 3 posts here, so my blog is a good place to spend my time when I don’t have much lectures or tasks.

  2. Great article! I must say for me the most important factor is the quality of writing – hell, my favorite blog out there is just a standard blog, it doesn’t even have a fancy header but the reviews are so much fun to read I don’t mind any of that.

    I usually try to look at at least 10 posts in order to determine whether I’ll come back to the site and read it – if those posts don’t interest me, I move on. At times and it’s very rare the design is such an eye sore I can’t bring myself to even do that, I’m fine with simple design but if there are many elements on the site all in different site and colors and it just looks horrible, there is no way I could focus on the posts.

    1. You know, a lot of the times, I don’t read black blogs. I find white text too bad for my eyes which get too much computer time anyway! I do read some black blogs regularly, but most of my favorites are white. Haha, it sounds like I’m a blog background racist.
      Sometimes the writing is also the factor when it comes to having the same views.. like, if some new blog I read hates on Looper, I won’t read that blog – ever.

  3. If you’re digging a hole I’m with you in it. I too dismiss many blogs within seconds of staring at them, but that’s only natural when we’re facing billions of data every day. It’s the same thing with advertising, if you think about it. It’s harsh, and I wish it weren’t that way, but we lack the time the invert the process. So yes, I judge on looks most of time, just like I judge a book for the first paragraph. Unless it’s someone who commented on my blog or followed me — in that case, I’ll take the time to explore their blogs, of course.

    Either way, you’re in the quality pile for sure. I prefer someone who doesn’t write as much but when he/she does, it’s with a clear arguments, passion, or at least intent. I understand the lack of time because I’m that way, too. I also agree that quantity arises competition, it inevitably scatters the audience’s attention, thus making it harder for our blogs to stand out. But like Joe Giuliano said, it’s about loving film and showing that in every post. You do that wonderfully and it ensures that those who identify themselves with your passion come back. And with time that will surely bring more and more attention to your site.

    1. Aww. I like how this post unintentionally became like a shout out for praise because this is what you and others are giving me. You have no idea what it means to be among somebodies quality list, especially when one is inspiration when it comes to not only writing but with blog design.
      I do to check out blogs that have followed me with more attention but I don’t see it as a “follow back” a lot of the times, I feel like when I follow it has to mean something as I, like the post said, am all for quality and less for quantity.
      Thank you again!
      PS: I’m already excited about Portugal but I have no idea what to pack, I assume the weather is excellent there?

      1. Well, you certainly deserve it. Agreed, following just because (or in the hopes that) someone follows you back is no good. I don’t like it when people do it to me, and I’ve actually unfollowed certain blogs that stopped commenting once I followed them.

        Right now the weather is pretty unpredictable, (one day it’s raining, the next day it’s a clear sky, that’s autumn). But in terms of temperature, I’d say it’s mild. It never gets too cold around here. So… t-shirt, cardigan, and something for the rain. But do this: visit this website (http://www.meteo.pt/pt/cidadeprev10dias.jsp) before you pack. It tells you what the weather should be like for 10 days. Of course it’s not entirely accurate, but it gives you an idea. It’s what I do every day, ahah.

        Oh, and bring flat shoes for walking around here — our sidewalks are NOT okay for heels. They’re beautiful and unique, but so unfair to women. So, bring pumps for nights out only!

        1. Yeah. But sometimes I’m happy when people follow me back if I really like their site.. but I don’t do it for the purpose of getting follow backs.
          Thanks for the Portugal info, I already took into account your first recommendation regarding that beautiful place I should visit. It’s in our plans. And that means I have to buy new shoes, I don’t have decent shoes anymore.. only boots and platforms. Oh well.

  4. If I really like the blog I won’t unfollow, in fact I follow and comment on blogs who don’t follow me back. Oh, and one thing that I do if a blog interests me but I don’t have the time to check it out or am not sure if I want to follow them, I add them to my bookmarks bar and periodically check them out.

    You should have at least a pair of tennis shoes or flat boots, yes. I wear a lot of… well, it seems in english they actually them “flat shoes”. We call them sabrinas… But yeah, anything that’s flat is your friend around here. You see, Lisbon is all up and down, and for sidewalks we use these small, square shaped rocks, that most of the time are not aligned.

    You’re welcome, ask anything, any time!

  5. I agree it’s very hard to distinguish from all the generic looking blogs out there. Even if some of them might be full of impressive content, it’s easy for them to get lost in the crowd if they don’t do something special to stand out. I used to try to discover at least 5 cool new blogs to follow every month, but with the insane amount of new entries to The LAMB lately, it’s been an overwhelming task even to pay each one a visit.

    I think the most important thing one can do to get noticed isn’t hard work, cool design, or brilliant writing. Simply taking part and interacting with other members of the LAMB on a regular basis (as you’ve discovered) will expose you to lots of other cool bloggers who maybe don’t all have blogs we want to follow or emulate, but usually all have similar goals in mind.

    1. 5 new blogs a month? Almost impossible, although I have found couple of new ones this week and previous week but the amount of LAMBs I went through to get to those was insane.
      And getting notice by noticing others is one thing but I can’t help to wonder if that still is enough in the end. But despite this, I will of course keep posting and writing because I love to do it.. sometimes the traffic just makes me contemplate.

      1. Well no it’s probably not enough by itself, but I think it’s key for getting ‘quality’ traffic. I guess it all depends on what your goals are and more importantly how much time you have.

  6. Very nice read and I think it’s something every blogger is struggling with. I’ve subscribed to many blogs, so I receive lots of mails each day, but out of those I pick the ones which interest me most. As for selecting new ones to add I do sometimes get put off by the look of a blog (or if it is blog on blogger the hoops you have to jump trhough to leave a comment).

    1. Yeah! Sometimes the extensive clicking just annoys me, and also the restrictions of commenting with those codes and stuff.. Blogs who are very good can afford that but some I just want to visit shortly and test out, with those it will become a bit annoying.

      1. Yeah, those codes are so easily switched off, but a lot of bloggers don’t know about it. I also usually stop visiting blogs if they don’t respond to comments. I took time to read and respond, I would at least expect a short reaction. Maybe there should be a “How to be a good blogger” course everyone should follow 😉

        1. Hah, there have been a lot of stuff been written on the matter but I never read those.. I just, saw blogs that I loved and tried to aspire towards them.

  7. On the subject of “following”, I find the easiest way is to add the sites into google reader, that way you don’t get bombarded with emails and you don’t have to keep checking back for new content. There are several GR IPod apps too which are handy. I agree about the bloggers who simply write “this movie sucked” but equally there are just as many who simply say “this movie’s awesome” and have no critical faculties. I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss a blog on poor design as I often find the most badly designed are the most well written. It’s rare that a good writer will have a great head for design and vice versa.
    PS I hope my site doesn’t hurt your eyes too much lol, though technically it’s grey on black, not white on black.

    1. Yeah, I do think that there are hidden gems but with the amount of blogs out there, I have to choose my niché and go with a selection process that works for me. I do miss out on many blogs but I can’t be going to everywhere anyway.
      PS: Your blog doesn’t hurt my eyes that much cause I always prepare myself when I come there – meaning, I read yours during the day.

  8. I’m actually really bad – I follow a lot of blogs, but I don’t really read most of them. If a post interests me, then I’ll read it. It comes down to timing issues – I really am the worst blogger out there!

    Posting is a big thing. Another big thing is people who write without personality. I want to get to know people instead of just hearing their ‘thoughts’ on movies. Design is always nice, but the content has to be just as good. I dunno, I kinda just go with the flow when it comes to other blogs.

    1. Oh I wish I could go with the flow.. I guess I have developed too big of a personality to just go with things. Or I’m just rude. Either way, I probably sometimes skip very good blogs. I didn’t skip yours though!

  9. Interesting take on the whole movie blogging experience. It was a good read.

    Personally, I have a rather bland looking blog (and it’s features the dreaded black background!), though it’s looks much better than it used to. I’ve never felt that the style was that important, only content. Also, it sort of goes with my whole theme of being low budget and out-dated. Anyway, your point is valid, though, and I get where you’re coming from.
    But, as a few here have said, often you’ll find someone who is big on style and the content is only so-so.

    I joined LAMB to try to drive traffic to my site, but I don’t think it’s worked the way I thought it would. I’ve found a small niche of blogs that I passionately read and enjoy, but I’m not active in the community or whatever. So, I might be one of those who is a drain on the whole thing, but my time spent online is generally dedicated to posting on my own blog, not others. It’s the unfortunate by-product of not really having anytime to myself/having a three year old!

    1. Going to be honest, your design of the blog is not the worst out there. It is actually very simple and understandable – there are blogs that are way more stuffed with things and hard to understand.
      Content matters of course but I like to spend my time in blogs that offer me content and design, there are those out there, you know, and that’s the way it’s going to be. There are so many blogs in LAMB and I would know, I will start introducing them from Monday so… I’ll see first hand all the new LAMBs and don’t have to sort from them afterwords.

  10. Good read! I’m also a relatively new member and there are definitely a lot of blogs.

    When it comes to posts on my site, I try to have a consistent 1-2 posts a week rather then shove quantity down people’s throats. I’m sure there’s a lot of inactive LAMB members, perhaps that is why the number is so high?

    There would definitely still be a huge amount of blogs though, at least 500, which is staggering now that you’ve pointed it out!

    1. No I actually think that from that 1400 a lot are still valid to be apart of LAMB since the window of not posting is a year…
      Some post after months of being gone and it’s just how it is.. I feel a bit sad for those who come to LAMB now since it does seem like too much but I will give every one a chance.

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