May 27, 2008

An Interview with Avi Abrams of Dark Roasted Blend

Dark Roasted Blend is probably the most addictive blog I have ever had the pleasure to read. Featuring "weird and wonderful things to complement your daily coffee ritual", this amazing blog is ranked among the top 400 blogs according to Technorati and at number 8 in the most popular Blogger powered blogs.

I've had the pleasure of an email interview with Avi Abrams, the founder and writer of Dark Roasted Blend, to discover more about the site and his experience using Blogger.

I hope you will enjoy reading Avi's answers as much as I did!

Amanda: I love the concept of your blog: "weird and wonderful things to complement your daily coffee ritual". What inspired you to develop this idea?

Avi: The fact that I was spending most of my coffee time hugging computer and the internet, finding great stuff - so I just wanted to share it.

Amanda: As you're probably aware, Dark Roasted Blend is one of the most popular Blogger blogs in the world (and ranks very highly in Technorati!). What factors do you think have contributed to the popularity of Dark Roasted Blend?

Avi: We update every day, we seek out unconventional content (from international sites, not just English-based), we highlight very unusual and rare technology and art - sprinkled with a liberal doze of humor and funny pictures. Plus I have to commend our audience - they are truly the stars of the site, with their knowledgeable comments, suggestions and interests. A lot of growth comes from our RSS subscriptions, which tells me that perhaps DRB is pretty addictive (viewers beware!)

Amanda: Your blog design and set-up are amazing: visually the design perfectly complements the theme, while the links all draw readers further into the archives to read previous posts. Did you design your blog's theme yourself? Also, how long did it take to create this blog design?

Avi: The design is a work in progress, as I constantly try to improve the experience. Generally I designed the site so that people could have a comfortable, almost coffee-shop-like time and stay as long as they like. Our archives remain popular for long time, as we try to keep the quality of posts uniformly high, with content not easily available on other sites. Just recently we changed to flexible layout so that we could display larger images, and there are more design enhancements coming.

Amanda: What are your favorite (or most popular) posts from Dark Roasted Blend?

Avi: This page lists the most popular articles from DRB in 2007.

Our Dangerous Roads Series remains very popular (despite being the oldest).

People also seem to like our "Futurism" section and "Abandoned Places" section.

Amanda: Most of my readers use Blogger to publish their blogs. Could you suggest one really useful tip to help Blogger users improve their blogs?

Avi: Don't ever think that nobody reads your blog, even if the number of readers is low. Keep posting good content, and the right people will eventually see it (even if they come from Google search). I also keep Science Fiction Book Review site and it always has readership, even though I do not spend any time at all to promote it. Generally, write only when you can not keep yourself from writing - something you're passionate about. There will always be people who will share your excitement. Oh... and don't forget to feed your hamsters, if you have any.

Amanda: Thank you Avi for sharing your experiences with us :)

If you've never visited Dark Roasted Blend before, do pop over to take a look. I'm sure you'll agree it's one of the most addictive and interesting sites you'll ever see!

I'd love to know your thoughts about Avi's interview, so please feel free to leave your comments below.

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