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Try keeping it neat

tech reviews Updated: Jun 29, 2010 15:50 IST
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

Today we're going to deal with reader queries, that much neglected part of this column. Although, you guys have been fairly quiet recently, so either my columns have been so all encompassing that you don't feel the need to ask any further questions, or you're feeling shy. Either way, I'd like more email, so please keep writing in!

Today's question is from fifteen year old Sneha, who says:
“I want some advice for my blog http://www.oneinamillionsneha.blogspot.com/ . I want some ideas for the posts and even want to add some nice effects. Please suggest sites for adding any widgets.”

Now, Sneha, widgets are a devil's workshop. Sure, you start with just one, and you think, “Oh, that's not so bad, maybe I'll add another” and then you have two and then before you know it, you're the crazy cat lady of widgets, surrounded by them, and when your blog dies of old age, the widgets will crawl all over it, eating it up.

Be smart with widgets
There is always a risk you run with widgets that they will overwhelm your blog. My advice is to pick one, maybe two, and then when you get bored of them you can switch. Another piece of advice? Don't (by any means) choose one of those widgets that instantly play songs when you open a website. Those are beyond annoying. Now that my lecture's done, check out Widgetbox (www.widgetbox.com) for a whole variety of widgets. Also, when you're logged in to Blogger, go to the ‘Edit Layout’ section and then click ‘Add New Element’. You'll find a whole lot of Blogger affiliated widgets there.

On to your blog. Just clicking through, I see a lot of copy-pasted interviews with TV stars, Youtube videos and links and a short story about an American teenager that leaves me somewhat confused. I get the need to create fantasy worlds, I used to do it all the time when I was younger.

Write from experience
But the most important piece of advice I got, and which I'm now passing down to you, is: write about what you know. While your American teenager character is charming, I'm so not convinced by her life. Stick to writing about themes and people you’ve actually encountered in real life.

Scrolling down, I see the one thing that is all you in this blog — a review of the movie 3 Idiots. Stick to that. We want to see the person emerging. Try and use basic (boring) grammar rules, I know maybe writing 'lyk' instead of 'like' is a way of expressing your personality, but it makes it hard to read.

Meenakshi writes a blog at the compulsiveconfessor.blogspot.com. Send her your queries at meenakshimadhavan@gmail.com