Without any CSS or fancy design, this site is pretty ugly. As the current ugly kid on the block I cry myself to sleep every night and my wife consoles me by saying that it’s what’s on inside that counts. Google likes your content, just ignore those mean kids, one day your CSS will change and then they’ll appreciate you for who you are, she says. I sort-of believe her and resolve to finish my design by the end of the month, but the same thing will just happen tomorrow. The thing is, I just can’t help but ask myself, self, does your content suck or is social media just that shallow?

Here’s the thing, I’ve submitted three of my articles to Digg, one that I thought was pretty funny, one that was pretty technical, and one that was just on a whim to see what it would do. I followed the rules and didn’t blindly submit every post, I think I wrote a decent description for each, and my analytics account says I had some people click through. So, I managed to generate some interest, but, once they were there, they spent an average of ten seconds and then bounced immediately! I know for a fact that the posts took longer than 10 seconds to read, so what happened?

Speed shouldn’t be a factor, I’ve benchmarked the site, since there’s no CSS or JavaScript to download and process, and very few images, it’s really just a matter of downloading the content. I even have wp-cache installed and enabled so this site should be as fast as static HTML. Does that mean people are just so disgusted by my 1995 design sensibility that they can’t even stand to read an article they were interested enough in to click on? Would I be better to enable the default Wordpress theme? Is it a readability thing? I know I’m not using 80-character lines, but I don’t think it’s that hard to read. Or maybe my content just sucks and I should go back to being a mindless programming drone.

Social media I implore you, answer my question. Are you too shallow to vote for posts on this site because they’re ugly?