2.1 Meet Ellen
Interview with: Ellen
Her Blog: The Reign of Ellen
Location: United States of America
Genre: Family Life /Cartoon Blog
First post: The Reign of Ellen–May 2005 / Sugar in the Raw–May 2003
Her audience: easy-going, funny, non-judgmental readers–moms; dads; college-aged women
Things to note when you visit: the open spirit of community; the royal gallery; the multiple kinds of interactivity; the connection between Ellen and her readers; how the open, friendly design supports the concept; the features and unique ideas
Ellen’s an American blogger, a graphic designer interested in cartooning and music. Her blog is a team effort. Queen Ellen reigns in blogdom, and Jason, her husband and self-proclaimed serf, manages behind the scenes.
Ellen’s interview is important because her blog shows how personality, content, and visual design can be seamlessly integrated into a one-of-kind blog. The closer you look into this blogdom, the more you’ll find corollaries to a sitcom, a game show, and a brought-to-life comic book. I kept getting the feeling that I was watching people on TV.
Though it’s called the Reign of Ellen, Ellen’s not the only royal on this blog. Each king and queen is honored with a portrait and a coronation. Read through an interview–THAT is reader participation. The comments show that folks who hang out here are not only having fun, but that they consider the blog part of their extended family. It’s easy to see why Ellen’s readers come back every night. It’s nice to be with her. She’s the real thing. Just listen.
Ellen, what would you call a successful blog?
When I was starting out in the blog world, I would have said “honesty.”
If you are always being Miss Merry Sunshine, readers are going to get irritated or bored. I still believe honesty is important, but I think stepping it up to the next level requires including your readers in your world. I think that community is key. And I think that you need to like your community.
I know of several well-known blogs that would probably be considered “successful” due to the amount of commenters that they get. But some seem to have gotten to this level by being negative, bitchy, elitest and controversial. They spend half their time yelping, ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã âWell, stop reading my blog then!ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬? to anyone who gives a dissenting opinion. Do readers tune in because they are invested in the writer’s blog, or just to lurk in on the many catfights? Is this really success?
I’m not sure. Honestly, I’m not sure what defines a successful blog. Blogging is such a new phenomenon–time will probably weed the successful ones out from the others.
Two weeks ago, Indie said,
. . . I never posted anything that I did not think was up to my standard of quality. In this respect I can call my blog a success.
What three words would you use to describe your blog?
Community, quality, content, honesty, information, authenticity, humor, accuracy, creativity, value, personality . .
–ME “Liz” Strauss