Friday Flashback: What Blog Readers (and Writers) Want More Of

Buried at the bottom of my right sidebar is a list of what, from my experience, blog readers want more of, and what I, as a blog writer, want more of (from readers). It was initially my most popular post, and still draws a fair bit of mail. It’s reproduced below, left.

The graphic below right is from another popular article I wrote back four years ago, on the Blogging Process.

Blog readers want to see more:
– original research,surveys,ideas etc.
– original,well-crafted fiction
– great finds: resources,blogs,essays, artistic works
– news not found anywhere else
– category killers: aggregators that capture the best of many blogs/feeds, so they need not be read individually
– clever, concise political opinion consistent with their own views
– benchmarks,quantitative analysis
– personal stories,experiences,lessons learned
– first-hand accounts
– live reports from events
– insight:leading-edge thinking & novel perspectives
– short educational pieces
– relevant “aha” graphics
– great photos
– useful tools and checklists
– prˆ©cis, summaries, reviews and other time-savers
– fun stuff: quizzes, self-evaluations, other interactive content

Blog writers want to see more:
– constructive criticism, reaction, feedback
– ‘thank you’ comments, and why readers liked their post
– requests for future posts on specific subjects
– foundation articles: posts that writers can build on, on their own blogs
– reading lists/aggregations of material on specific, leading-edge subjects that writers can use as resource material
– wonderful examples of writing of a particular genre, that they can learn from
– comments that engender lively discussion
– guidance on how to write in the strange world of weblogs
Blogging Process

Since I wrote the ‘what blog readers/bloggers want more of’ piece, I haven’t changed my mind much. What my readers love best, and what I love in other blogs, pretty much stays the same.

My blogging process has been streamlined since I began writing, though, because my readers now do much of this work (the stuff in the red and blue boxes) for me. They point me to news and blog articles they know will be of interest to me, so I only need to check out an ever-changing short list of blogs that are ‘on a roll’. I confess my blogroll is hopelessly outdated — there are over 100 dead links on it, and another 100 newer blogs I check out from time to time that are not yet on it. I read all my e-mails and blog comments (which are sent to me by e-mail) though I acknowledge I rarely reply to them. I just don’t find them effective conversationalmedia, so I prefer to engage my readers in IM or Skype conversations.

I’m hoping to get back one day to being part of a real blogging community. Maybe with Gaia.

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5 Responses to Friday Flashback: What Blog Readers (and Writers) Want More Of

  1. Melisa Christensen says:

    Update your links, the has always bothered me.

  2. Siona says:

    Oh, Dave. Say more about what a ‘real blogging community’ means to you! I’ve been a part of a few versions of just that, but I’ve not had chance to think about them recently; neither what constitutes one nor how rich and meaningful they can be. It would make a wonderful post.

  3. Guy Cross says:

    Hey Dave.guess what – two things – one, I have just managed to find a more interesting line of work within my own organisation… (remember i email you about self employment) and that is helping me focus on what I want to do and what i can offertwoI downlaoded this very blog to my PDA the day before you reposted it… how cool/weirdgreat blogging as alwaysguy

  4. Jon Husband says:

    I understand your orientation re: comments and email, as you’ve often stated it (increasingly so, these days, which may be an interesting signal).here’s what came to mind this morning .. maybe you’re a one-way guy at the meta-level, expressing what you have to say via broadcasting one-to-many on the blog, but a two-way guy only atthe micro, granular level.The disadvantage of only rarely responding to comments (you do, sometimes, and I like it when I see that … I cannot speak for any of your other readers) is that of course no “visible” exchange of points of view occurs, except when two or more of your readers respond to each other.Rather, it becomes each of your readers firing something off to the “you” behind the screen, which you get to read and process in your private mind and world.That’s the part that I think is unfortunately not offered to all of us here and, incidentally, you as wel. Responding to comments visibly does, I think, hold more potential vulnerability and is more difficult to “control”, but (speaking ONLY for myself) has offered me significant learning because of the visibility and public-ness it creates.

  5. Jon Husband says:

    Oh, and just in case .. please note that I am not offering the above as criticism, just as observation and interpretation. And I’m quite likely to be wrong in that.Chacun a son style” is the principle, of course.

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