So, I've been blogging a little over a year now, and if you follow my blog, I'd like to ask anybody who reads this -- even if, especially if, you don't blog yourself, for a favor.
Help make the Blog area more productive. I'm not talking about my blog. I'm pretty happy with how my blog is continuing, and I get productive comments and useful ratings. I'm fine. (So, no, this is definitely not a call for people to comment or rate this article.) I'm talking about all the other bloggers, the non-featured (and even the other featured) bloggers, who contribute meaningful and interesting posts every day but rarely get the notice they deserve.
Over the year, I've noticed some things that casual readers can do to encourage people to blog in a productive manner:
- Give a rating to every blog you read. Even if you didn't like the blog. Even if you are pretty sure you'll forget what you read as soon as you move on to the next one, give it some stars. Having stars on the blog does a few things. First, it lets the blogger know someone is listening to them, even if they don't like what they hear. Second, it flags the blog on the blog page as having been rated, which tends to separate the blog from the spam blogs, and the blogs specific to a group. If you like it, give it five stars. if you don't, give it one. If it's forgettable, give it three.
- Send a comment. If you have any stray thoughts at all, send a comment. You might get a response. You might even inspire the person to write another blog incorporating your ideas. But the most encouraging thing any blogger gets is a comment. Comments are better than PMs because they stick to the blog. If someone sends me a PM about my blog, I am grateful, but six months later, when I revisit the topic, that PM will be deleted and possibly forgotten. But the comments are all nicely arranged under the blog. Even if the blog seems a few months old, leave a comment. I know I periodically review my old blogs and read the new comments, and I'd guess most of the other bloggers do as well. Don't think your comment will be unseen just because you are commenting months after the article was posted.
- Link to articles. In your comment, you can add links to articles by using the code:
<*a href="" span="" style="color:#ff0000;" data-mce-href="" data-mce-style="color: #ff0000;">website path''>name of website<* a="">.
(Though you will have to remove the asterisks to make it work.) Do this as often as appropriate as it increases traffic to all articles and makes the website more useful to readers.
- Be respectful. Even if you hated the contents of the blog and everything it stands for, present your objections in a neutral tone. Try to find something you like about the blog before being critical. And if you are critical, be constructive. Offer a sugegstion for improvement; do not merely tell the person to pack their bags and go home. (And, yes, I am aware that I do not always live up to my own standards. For that, I apologize and promise to try to do better in the future.)
- Be concise. Long comments are a pain in the butt to read. If I have several comments to make, I break it out into several comments, though I have learned that some bloggers don't like that either. So choose your words carefully and be as brief as you can while remaining understood.
I feel that if these suggestions are followed, people will encourage to post more blogs, better blogs, with useful content, which will make this site a useful resource for the whole community.
If you have any additional suggestions for ways that casual readers can help encourage more people to blog, leave a comment!