Monday, July 10, 2006

Complaints and compliments

Now this is the sort of complaint I wouldn't mind hearing more of. Folio magazine's Tony Silber is upset that I don't publish this blog more often. It would seem that Tony thinks this blog (and one written by my friend David Shaw) are "excellent" but "way too infrequent."

I'll admit to having fallen behind in my productivity of late. Heck, I'll admit to having fallen behind in everything. Since the birth of my daughter a few weeks ago, I sometimes go the entire day without even washing my face. I'm learning the hard way that 47 is far too old to be a first-time father. So I wasn't even aware of Tony's remarks until my friend and fellow blogger Matt Mullen posted a comment to this blog to tell me about it. (It was Matt who graciously suggested that I could take an infrequency "complaint as a compliment, i.e. readers actually read your stuff and want to see more." And I decided to adopt Matt's glass-half-full interpretation.)

So what is the frequency of this blog? and does it matter?
A quick look at my publishing software shows that I've posted an average of 17 items a month to this blog since it began in late 2004. That's a pretty decent level of productivity, I figure. But those numbers have dropped considerably in recent weeks. In May I posted only nine items. In June I posted only seven.
Now I can argue that quality is more important than quantity in blogging. And some of the items in recent weeks have been pretty good, if I do say so myself. But user stats don't lie, and it's clear that the drop in frequency has an impact -- page views in the second quarter were 15.4% lower than in the first quarter.

David, Martha Spizziri and I will be speaking about blogging next week at the ASBPE National Conference. I'm sure that frequency will be among the topics we'll address.
In the meantime, I'm going to have to face one key fact -- I have too much going on these days. Something is going to have to give. But I promise it won't be this blog.

For David's reaction to the Folio piece, click here.
To see what Rex, who has no problems with frequency, said, click here.

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  1. AnonymousJuly 10, 2006

    I'm also a member of the "there are no rules" school. For me, "reading" and "blogging" and "watching" are all done in the same window (I happen to use the RSS newsreader Net News Wire) -- if I surfed around to blogs, I don't think I'd have time to blog. It's a very nuanced thing that I can't explain. However, the sheer volume of blogging that I do is (after five years of it) still, more than anything, me making mental notes of things I want to remember -- and that I'd like to share with two or three people I know. That there are dozens more who may find that post of interest is still fascinating to me. (That's not my approach to the magazines I publish, however.)

  2. Re: frequency vs. in-frequency

    I would think that if you had to choose, quality should come over quantity. I’m not sure about others’ reading habits, but I base my decisions on which blogs to keep following based on quality of posts and relevance to my interests. Of course, increased quantities of quality posts is ideal.

    Right now, I’ll freely admit, the quantity, quality and relevance for my blogs are questionable. This goes back to the whole time thing. But I’m working to fix that.

    My plan for now is to inject a little more of my personality and work to put more in-depth original reporting in there. That will mean cutting out some other things and working a little harder. We’ll see what happens…