Just sharing some of my views/experience.
- Blogspot or wordpress
Though I publish on blogspot I think that wordpress is more systematic and more beautiful. It is true that you can change template and make your blog look whatever you want but basically, Wordpress is better. This is my observation only, so may not be 100% true. I hope bloggers who have published on both will share their views.
Blog readers like to read blogger's personal stories/experiences. Most of the people don't want much politics in blogs. The reason may be that mainstream media around us already carries 'poltical load' far more than anybody can digest.
I am saying this, not only from the comments I receive in this blog but also from the comments I receive while talking to some of my 'silent readers' (my friends or their family members). Sometimes people whom I don't know personally and who don't want to comment on the blog itself, e-mail to me.
Though I mostly write in Nepali, I think it might be true for blog in any language.
I know tech-blogs or any other 'specific-subject' blogs are different.
Too many widgets and animations 'slows' your blog. Some may cause irritating pop-ups. I used to use a 'site meter' widget from motigo webstats. (I had another one too. It was something like "Things remembered coupons--".) Some another page would open first everytime my blog was accessed. I saw this happening to other blogs and sites too which were using motigo webstats. After removing that widget, I got rid of the problem.
I think google analytics is enough for me. So I don't plan to have any other site-meter.
I also disliked the "Recent Comments" widget that I used until last week. It was making my blog 'slower' (taking long time to open). So I removed that too. It was easier to track new comments and respond with it though.