Friday, December 21, 2007

Advice Sought

South West Rocks

Thinking about blogging directions this year and my small group of regular readers, I wondered what you would like me to post on more? What is the stuff you most value or find most interesting?

This blog is often all over the place simply because I am. While this will continue, I cannot help myself, reader feedback would be very welcome.

Back in Sydney

My thanks to those who have commented so far. I thought that I would respond in the main post, leaving it to readers to look at the detail of the comments.

Lexcen, I had not heard of FEEDJIT. Just how does it work?

More broadly, Lexcen made the point that it all depends upon the purpose of the blog. That's true, indeed.

Now here this blog is just my personal musings. However, I find that I have two very different audiences.

The first and largest group is those who come by search engines. The second is those who through their own arguable insanity actually read what I write as a matter of conscious choice! This is my target group.

Now Lexcen suggested that we had readers that we do not even know are regular.

For some reason, this computer keeps on freezing. I am going to exit and see if that helps.

Continuing, Lexcen is right. One of my great pleasures over recent weeks has been the discovery of some of those readers.

Take Winton Bates as the most recent example. Winton and I were co-editors of the UNE student newspaper all those years ago. Then we were in Canberra at the same time, although our paths were different. Now he has just become a fellow blogger!

When I look at the comments from Mike (Happy Xmas to you too), Ninglun, David ( and here), and Thomas, variety seems to be a key attraction. Let the thousand flowers bloom, so to speak. So I will continue on this line.

Mind you, David, if something is obscure, please force clarification.

Letting the thousand flowers bloom is easy at one level because there is so much to write about for someone like me who is both insatiably curious and interested in so many things. My problem is one of selection.

Just before I left South West Rocks I wrote down a list of more than thirty possible posts for this blog. And that was just a holiday week.

Should I write about evolving problems with volunteers in a world in which we have become just to busy to volunteer? What about the growing number of grandparents forced back into primary child care roles because of marriage break-ups? Or my eldest's response to The History Boys and what it says about current moral codes?

Then, too, what might I say about the response of my neighbour on the adjoining machine in the internet cafe when I was reading Marcellous's post on the latest child pornography matter, something that involved South West Rocks? Why did I stop looking at the post?

So much, so little time!


Travel Italy said...

Jim - I enjoy reading much of what you write. Many times I have no clue of what you are speaking but it intriques me.

Anonymous said...

Jim, my 2c is I enjoy the variation in your posts. From the serious to the sometimes whimsical, it's all good! Happy Christmas mate.

Anonymous said...

I think your title covers it. Just do whatever comes into your head on this one; you have the others for more systematic work.

Anonymous said...

The variety you bring to your blog makes it interesting Jim. Unless you wanted to write about a topic more often, write about whatever is on your mind.

Lexcen said...

Jim, you can write whatever you like on your blog. I'm amazed at how much each blog reflects the personality of the person blogging. Whether intentional or not, we put up ourselves for public scrutiny when we blog. As for goals and objectives, that depends on what you want to achieve from your blog. Do you want the maximum audience? - that's possible, or do you want to influence people? - that's possible. Do you want to discuss issues that are important to you? - that's possible. Do you want to voice an opinion about a subject you feel passionate about? - that's possible too. I have learned that comments are not a good measure of how many people are actually visiting a blog. A lack of comments is probably caused by people being reluctant to draw attention to themselves or maybe just too lazy to bother. I've recently added FEEDJIT a live traffic monitor which tells me what posts are drawing people to my blog. It surprised me to find that my most popular post is on body tattoos. I think that FEEDJIT is an excellent way to monitor your audience.

Anonymous said...

Just following on from Lexcen,WordPress has an excellent stats section which shows what posts draw individual reads (as against the majority of reads which are generic, that is people visiting the blog and just reading what is on that day). My most "popular" ones, as you'd know as I do tend to publish this, have been the ones on English/ESL that directly help HSC students. Other than that, my hottest post of all time has been one on Firefox timing out! (I have been tempted to delete it...) Other than that, I am very happy that those family history pages I have get a pretty thorough workout. The comments there just lately have been really interesting.

I'm amazed at how much each blog reflects the personality of the person blogging. Whether intentional or not, we put up ourselves for public scrutiny when we blog. Couldn't agree more, Lexcen.

Jim Belshaw said...

It would be fascinating from my viewpoint, Neil, to actually know which are the most popular pages. I get a superficial impression from the stats I do have, but its only superficial.

I am glad that the family history pages flushed out other Whitfields. I still have to extend the material on the Belshaws - and follow up on comments from family members.

And Lexcen is indeed right.

Lexcen said...

Jim, you can see FEEDJIT on the right side of my blog. Here is the link