liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (sheeeep)
[personal profile] liv
I really enjoyed the experiment of filling your prompts every day in January. Thank you all for coming up with such a good set of questions and topics.

It was very good for me to make myself find half an hour every evening to add the day's post. I found that surprisingly often, that time was taken out of time that I'd otherwise fill with something like surfing or playing silly games. Only a few times I was genuinely too busy to update and felt I was missing out on something I positively wanted to be doing because I'd committed to post every day. (That's partly because I deliberately chose to do the meme in a month where I was relatively less busy than some.)

It was also freeing not to have to think, I'd like to post but I don't really know what to talk about. And it was definitely a good habit to just go ahead and post whatever I could manage to type in the time I had available, rather than waiting until I had time to write something either long or well-researched. In practice, I can usually manage to extend my posts, but I very rarely get round to chasing up proper citations for everything I want to say; it's probably good just to post anyway, and if that leaves me open to challenge, well, I can always go digging for evidence reactively.

I felt like I was talking about myself quite a lot, because most people asked me about things like my favourites or my experiences. That's probably ok; I think in general I'd like to keep the balance more towards talking about topics of interest but I know I appreciate it when people give me glimpses into their lives. And I'm thinking of adding a link from my profile to the whole month because it's much better than most other periods of my blog for new people to find out about me.

I just had a look at my analytics and I definitely got more hits in a month of posting every day than I normally do with my couple of posts a week. 60-100 unique visitors every weekday in January, compared to the lower end of that range on days I post and a scattering on other days. (My PhD post from over a year ago is still 5 times more popular than anything I've posted recently, and that's not cumulative, that's during the month of January 2014. But there you go.) The problem is that it didn't really feel like I was getting more of an audience. I enjoyed answering prompts from people who primarily lurk, but I didn't get all that many comments. People have mentioned to me explicitly that the sheer volume of what I was posting (averaging almost exactly 1000 words a day for the whole month) made it hard to comment. I really appreciate the people who put smilies or hearts on my posts when they didn't have time for detailed discussions, thank you. But still, it's conversations that I really love and the daily posting seemed to reduce that, rather than increase it as I'd hoped.

That's partly because there's not very much to say if I simply tell you about something in my life; opinion blogging is much better for attracting comments. It's also partly because the daily posting meant I really didn't have as much time as I usually do to answer comments. I think on the whole it's better for me to fall back to posting a couple of times a week, and use the intervening days for discussing what I post. As well as for commenting on other people's posts; I have been reading my d-roll in more of a hurry than I often do, because I wanted to leave enough time to fill my prompts.

The other thing I haven't had time for is to make the posts I wanted to make; responses to articles that are being discussed all over the internet, book reviews (I've started reading again after not feeling much like it at the end of 2013), accounts of the fun things I've been doing such as the #croydonfunweekend, stuff that's in my head. So I probably don't want to repeat the daily posting thing at least for a while, and I'm glad I'm not trying to run this blog as a business (whether getting paid directly, or through adverts, or simply establishing my brand and reputation in order to get more paid work in a related area). But I am going to take forward some of what I've learned from this. If I have something to say there's a good chance I can find half an hour to do it. It's better to just post something timely than to wait until I have a complete or good post. Surprisingly many people are interested in my extremely random thoughts about whatever happens to cross my radar, and I have opinions even about topics I wouldn't have said I think about a lot.

I am also going to make a list of leftover stuff from January, so that I still have a bank of prompts for whenever I think, I should update DW but I'm not sure what to talk about. And because I do in fact want to answer your supplementary questions and continue the discussions I didn't have time for due to daily posting.
That should certainly keep me going for a while, especially with the backlog of everything that I wanted to post in January but I relegated to after I'd finished the meme!
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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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