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New BlogRush Categories Hurt Your Blog?

Posted on November 03, 2007 by Blog Design Journal

I eagerly awaited the promised new blog categories at BlogRush. Now I’m really disappointed! The new categories have really hurt some of my blogs. As bad a fit as some of the overly general categories used to be, some of my blogs no longer fit into the new BlogRush category scheme at all!

Why Should We Care About BlogRush Categories?

BlogRush now apparently filters your posts and decides whether or not to sydicate them. So if you categorize your blog as being about, say, Painting, and you make a post that is mainly about drawing (which of course is an important aspect of most paintings), your post may not be syndicated (listed in the BlogRush widget). As near as I can tell, it would now be considered to be off topic!

By getting too specific with categories (and get rid of general categories as an option), they are crippling the more general blogs and also the specialized blogs that do not fit into BlogRush’s new, very narrow specific categories. Following are examples from my own experience.

No *General* Health & Medicine Category

New Health Ideas (http://www.newhealthideas.com) is about health news of all sorts, from medical discoveries to alternative therapies. BlogRush no longer has a general health category, just “Other”.

I think blogs categorized as “Other” will be generally ignored. Who looks for “other”? We will be effectively eliminated from the main categories.

Missing Major Art Fields

Art Fun Cheap (http://www.artfuncheap.com) is about drawing and painting and collage and origami and paper arts and mixed media and art journaling and artist trading cards and keeping a sketchbook and cheap or unusual art supplies and more. It is about adults (mainly) having fun doing real art without spending a lot of money.

I get most of my traffic from the search engines and achieved a Google Page Rank of PR4 in just 7 weeks. Clearly there is a market for exactly what I’m offering on Art Fun Cheap.

Yet people can’t find my blog on BlogRush anymore. It does not fit into any of the few, narrow art categories they offer. It is relegated to the black hole called “Other.” Clearly the people making up the categories knew little about art and nothing about current art trends.

Anytime you mix any two art materials, such as pen & ink with watercolor, you have mixed media. Artists do that all the time. If you glue anything onto a painting, or put color on a sculpture, or almost anything that artists do nowadays, you are doing mixed media art. But BlogRush doesn’t offer a category for Mixed Media.

Yet mixing media is clearly the hottest art trend of the last dozen years. It includes collage, computer graphics, assemblage, drawing, painting, and so much more. Huge glossy magazines are devoted to mixed media these days (for the last 10 years at least). Check your newstand: Popular, expensive magazines are devoted to each segment of the mixed media field.

There is no general Art/Artists category in BlogRush, and no Mixed Media category. Yet there are thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of mixed-media art blogs in English. Clearly the category is needed.

But also there should be a more general category for people who do not mix media but blog about several separate art forms. Even drawing and painting are separate categories in BlogRush.

No *Society* or *Social Commentary* or *Language* Category

Talk Like a Texan (http://www.talklikeatexan.com) is a blog about how people talk in Texas. It is sometimes humorous. It includes social commentary on Texas slang, manners, customs, and a tiny bit of history. BlogRush has no place for it at all.

People everywhere are interested in language, slang, and cultural differences. Texas is a cultural icon with some fairly famous slang. Talk Like a Texan gets a modest stream of traffic from search engines and from Web 2.0 sites like BlogCatalog. I had hoped that BlogRush would help promote it.

Not only is Talk Like a Texan stuck in the deadly noncategory of “Other.” Even worse, there is no truly relevant main category to put it in. Or it could fit into several, which is just as much of a problem: Which one?

Am I the only person in the world writing a blog on regional language, manners and customs? Surely not! The fact that metropolitan daily newspapers include nationally syndicated columns on such topics indicates that people want to read them.

Newspapers pioneered market research over 100 years ago and still spend many millions on it annually. Whatever does not bring in readers (to bring in more advertising dollars) does not get printed. Period.

If a topic supports syndicated columns in major metropolitan newspapers, you can be sure that many, many people blog about them, too.

No Place for Dreams

My newest blog, Dream Visions (http://www.dreamvisions.info), is about exploring and understanding our dreams, including the medical research on dreaming, dream metaphysics, and the mental health therapeutic aspects of dreaming. It was rejected by BlogRush for being too new, so it is currently not in the system.

When I have made the required 10-12 posts and DreamVisions.info is at least a month old, I could resubmit it—-if there were a category for it. There isn’t.

There is no general category that includes dreams, the mind, the brain, or thinking. There is no general category that includes metaphysics for that matter. (Have you ever looked at how many books are sold on those topics at Amazon? Trust me, those are popular topics.)

Dreaming is a medically accepted and well-researched fact. The dream process is much written about in mainstream and alternative medicine, self-help, and metaphysics. The field of dream research involves physiology, belief systems, mental health, brain function, spirituality, meditation, and much more. BlogRush has no place for it.

What Is Your BlogRush Experience?

Am I disappointed in the new BlogRush categories? You betcha! And now you know why.

How about you? Do you promote your blog(s) with BlogRush? Have the new categories helped or hurt your blogs? Please leave a comment and let us know what you are thinking?

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