RSS Feed

the future of my weblog

September 5, 2005 by Saar Drimer

Truth be told, my weblog has not grown in terms of readers for the last 4-5 months. You 4 are the devoted friends that come to read my musings on a basis I can set my clock to. I thank you for your persistence.

No, I am not ready to give up yet.

You see, it is my fault. I think I am not providing enough interesting content. Maybe I can’t; should my ramblings be interesting to a wide crowed? However, I see the crap posted on other weblogs with great following and lively discussion and it makes me I wonder (a lot!) Maybe I censor myself too much so my content would not offend anyone. Maybe my weblog is too “intellectual” (i.e. boring) or perhaps I am not specialized enough. Or is it the frequency of my posts? It might be the vanilla presentation of this weblog, or lack of colors, features, ads and counters. Many things can contribute to lack of growth.

So I ask you, my dear readers, tell me what can I do to make this weblog better (and consequently, more popular… after all, my goal is to have a discussion and exposure to the things I write.) You all are avid readers and people I know have valuable input. I encourage you, then, to give it. Provide me with concrete advice and criticism and be as blunt as possible.


13 Comments »

  1. Kyle says:

    I think you need to ask yourself why you’re writing this weblog. Is it to gain a wider audience? Then focus very very tightly on one particular subject (ooh! a Sudoku blog!) and become a hub for that topic.

    But maybe that’s not really why you’re writing it — more audience is always nice, but not really the point, maybe. In that case, think about why it is you do write, and just do what comes naturally.

    More practical suggestions might include commenting on other weblogs (so that your name links back to your site), trackbacks, and even when appropriate posting comments on other weblogs that link back to a related post on your site. This of course requires discretion and discernment so that it’s really part of the conversation and not just spam.

    Mmm, I don’t really have a large readership — I’d like a *few* more readers, but then I stopped posting for nearly two months for totally unrelated reasons and so it became clear to me that I do what I do just because I like doing it. Readership is secondary (though hopefully I’ll get more).

  2. Sina says:

    Saar,

    What if I like the way your blog is? I mean I find it an honest informative blog leaning slightly more on highbrow topics. I am sorry that not many read your blog, but I like it as it is. Maybe Santa Cruz is getting to me, it seems that more and more I prefer small, organic stuff (movies, blogs, etc) .

    Wait till you start your grad school. I bet that you will report many interesting technical topics that will attract your scientist peers. Note that so far you mostly have written/commented about others scientific works. From now on, you will make the buzz in the field. So, you shall expect more technical readers in the future.

  3. Ditto as both above.

    I would strongly encourage you to write what you love and love what you write. Better does not necessarily mean more popular (just as with friends) let that develop as it does. You may lose all of ‘us’ as you evolve – but that is OK (unless you want to be a politician).

    I imagine that each of us comes here for a different set of reasons – I’ll list some of the blogging aspects that draw/repel me to a variety of blogs:

    1) Frequency of post (I prefer every few days – I can’t handle those guys that have a fire hydrant output – I just miss too much and feel like I lose touch)
    2) Personal touch (I like to get someone’s point of view and how it affects them)
    3) Length of post (Not too short [no content] – not too long [I buy books for that – and see above])
    4) Readability (Broader gives you wider appeal – too narrow and you lose us, do this too often we lose interest)
    5) Insight and relevance (has to be interesting and meaninful in some way on a regular basis – but doesn’t need to share my perspective)
    6) Intimate (means usually smaller blogs with high interaction, although I do read a few larger blogs because they really hit some of the points above)
    7) Raw (blogging is not meant to be too precious – too perfect – we’re all human, a mistake or correction is acceptable / the opposite is really marketingware or stiff)

    So – the scary bit: What about the Saardrimer.com blog?
    1) Great
    2) Great
    3) Good
    4) Usually very good
    5) Hit and miss
    6) Excellent
    7) Good

    I guess I will renew my subscription – where do I send the check? And is that in Shekels or Pounds?

  4. Helen says:

    I await blog entries from Cambridge. I am very interested in knowing your experiences there and in England in general. Don’t quit!

  5. Saar Drimer says:

    Folks,
    Thanks for the kind words and advice. I have mixed feeling about the real purpose of this weblog and why I blog. We’ll see how things pan out.

    Most of you commented about content. What do you think about the layout and presentation? How big of a role does it play? Any recommendations on that front?

  6. I like it – clean and easy to read.

    Some blogs are hard to read with goofy colors (red type on black, etc).
    Some try to make up for lack of content with gimmicks.

  7. Arik says:

    Hi Saar, all

    Well, I like you just the way you are.

    Seriously, when you blog about yourself, you can expect to have some friends come over and the occasional googler here and there. The subject of your blog is you. People who are interested in you are, well, your friends and peers. People who you generally know.

    And like every rule has an exceptoin, I’m the exception here, because I came to know you from your blog. The way I got here was through Bruce Schneier’s blog. Which is probably a good way to get some more readership – post to blogs of well-known people in your inerest group. I think the most hits I got on my blog were this way.

    Speaking of Schneier, he’s a well known media, er, personality. I don’t think everyone should be Bruce Schneier, I certainly don’t, not at this stage at least. Maybe later. One of the reasons I like your blog is because it is more personal.

    — Arik

  8. U know Who says:

    Personally, I don’t understand the appeal of blogs at all. Maybe I haven’t found the right one yet (of course yours and my wife’s are the only blogs of which I have read more than a single entry), but I think that my problem is more systemic. Unlike other content on the web, blogs are unique in that they are entirely individualistic contributions and so lack the filtering by groups and institutional policies or the collaborative development process which characterizes other media types. I imagine that the appeal of blogs comes from this individuality. I suppose that blogs range from highly specialized/topical blogs (i.e.Schneier), where the individual becomes a spokesperson for a particular agenda, to the highly personal life story accounts. Personally, I can’t get into the topical blogs because I observe that the highly packetized nature of blog content precludes the fully organized and cohesive presentation of the material which I enjoy. And while I know that I would find myself tempted by the personal blogs, I find the experience too voyeuristic to enjoy those of individuals whom I don’t know personally. This feeling is exacerbated when the blog has the feeling of being a personal diary of sorts. I suppose that there is also the fact that I only know two individuals with blogs that I would be interested to keep up with their lives. And one of them (yours) has less personal stuff (gee, go figure…) and more social commentary. Also, since I know you, I am still trying to accomodate your blog voice and your real voice.

    Most likely, the number one reason why, out of millions of websurfers, only a handfull peruse your content is the lack of efficient blog search. I suppose that will change soon with the new Google service announced today.

  9. Saar Drimer says:

    I know who,
    Stop analyzing things to death :)
    (yes, I should talk…)
    I’m glad to have you around here… Emily never gave me the address to her blog… is she still upset over our email exchange???
    cheers.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Don’t kid yourself, she thought it was funny. She isn’t as sensitive as you think.

    http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=emilymr

    Filled with all the family crap you can take….

  11. Em says:

    Hey, Dirk just told me about your introspective-blog, so I’ll add in my decidedly less-analytic comments (there can be only one analysis geek in this relationship!! haha). The only way I got anyone to read me is 1) by starting a blog in response to my friend’s blog (that’s reader #1), 2) by commenting on someone else’s (that’s reader #2), and 3) by harassing my mother into opening up a xanga account so she could write comments back to me — and that involved step-by-step instructions and lots of browbeating when she (repeatedly) tried to give up and ‘do it tomorrow’. That’s reader #3. ;) So you’re doing better than I am. I know I do have some friends/family who read my blog but don’t comment. Overall, I’m blogging because I think it’s good to keep up my writing skills and because I don’t want to forget some of the funny things that have happened with Micah; I’d love it if I got tons of people to read/comment on my site because then I’d feel Important and Popular, but since that probably entails my spending time and energy commenting on other people’s sites, I’m guessing it’s not going to happen. ;)

    My site is at http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=emilymr and no, I’m not upset over our email exchange (and never was) — I just ran out of time and energy to write back a suitably withering comment!! Plus, I didn’t want to hurt your feelings… hahahaha

  12. Jarocki says:

    Hi Saar,

    Can’t say I’ll become a regular reader (too busy, you know), but I recognized your name in a post on Schneier’s web site and had to click through to your blog. I enjoyed what I skimmed over as I came out of my post-lunchtime haze; yet, in the end, this sort of thing is really of you, by you, and for you.

    Besides… it brightened my day to play Three Degrees of separation:

    Password Safe Help -> Schneier’s Home Page -> Your Blog

    cheers,
    –john

  13. Saar Drimer says:

    Emily,
    I would comment on your weblog if I could without registering. I think you should move it to a more comment-friendly place. Thanks for your thoughts!

    John,
    Welcome. Good hearing from you. We talked over the phone a few times while I was at Xilinx. I hope all is well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.