Messages in blogs may be cutting edge, but not perfect

Posted on June 1, 2011 by

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An observation that is probably more apparent to those who blog than those who read… and, that’s not meant as a slight to those who aren’t bloggers… again, just an observation…

While I still consider blogging a very effective tool in getting historical information and/or discussions out to a significant (and, likely, a more diverse/broad audience than that which typically limits information consumption to books) audience, there is something about blogging that strikes me as significantly problematic. I may have written about this before, but, in my opinion, the “splash and dash reader” (a person who reads a blog post, responds… and that can be in a comment, or in an unseen/unrealized reaction… to the single post, and moves on, possibly never to return to the blog) may not be getting the full impact of the blog, and/or the bigger picture when it comes to the blogger’s position on that particular topic of the day. Furthermore, it may be that those who respond to a post outside the blog (in extensions of the blog, in Facebook or Twitter), may be even more detached from the overall amount of information that rests somewhere deep in the catacombs of the blog. In my 3.5 years of blogging, I’ve encountered this on more than one occasion… one rather recently. It’s evident that this person commented based on what was read in a single post, when, in fact, the topic had been a point of discussion, at various times, as far back as that first few months in which I started the blog.

Granted, there are tags and categories that can lead the reader back to those earlier posts (even a key word/phrase search can be conducted), but, are those things really intuitive? I’d be guessing if I gave a percentage, but I believe that, prior to commenting, the trend is for most readers not to check deeper into the blogger’s position, through earlier posts.

So, what are your thoughts? How often do we find readers responding to single blog posts, without an apparent benefit of knowing that the conversation/discussion is well underway/ongoing? I’m throwing out a number here, but guessing that approximately 15-25% of the readers who respond to a single post do not gain the benefit of understanding the blogger’s position on that particular topic of the day. Apart from the standard tags, categories, and search tool (or even providing a long list of hyperlinks to all those posts that have covered a particular topic at an earlier time), is there a more effective way to address this?

*In the title, I said “messages in blogs”, but mean “information delivered through blogs”. Even so, despite what I say in the title, I’m not so sure such things would still be considered “cutting edge”… spreading as a tool, yes… but cutting edge… eh…

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