Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christy Dena's Leederville Talk 

A few weeks back I promised Simone and Iris that I'd tell them what I learnt at Christy Dena's talk on blogging.

Most of what Christy covered would be familiar to regulars at blogger meetup. We saw how to set up a Blogger account, how to check statistics using SiteMeter (both services I use), and talked about some of the diverse subjects covered by bloggers.

I took away two ideas to consider. One is to investigate more social networking sites. Christy signed up for as many of these as she could as part of her study and when she recently deleted accounts (too many to manage!) she noticed that her Technorati rank dropped. I don't want to have so many accounts I can't manage them but I'd like to check out more of what's out there, and maybe become a little more engaged and visible.

The other idea is to place links at the end of posts so that interested readers won't be distracted and click away before they've finished a post. I'm not sure that will work so well in a personal blog - sticking addies down the bottom might mess up the flow a little - but I'm trying to do this when it feels right.

Kinda weird being at a blogger do with people who don't blog. Found myself chatting to people about why I blog, mumbling that I only have a personal blog, and discovering that I know more than I think I do about blog culture. Out of the few people I chatted to over yummy finger food (for free, how's that? - Strawberries!), a couple skived out of speech night to learn what their students get up to online, two wanted to be up-to-speed for work, and another wanted to promote a service she enjoyed on the net and which I didn't quite understand. Christy was open and friendly - a good person to have talking about blogs!

Simone and Iris, I hope this is useful! You can read more about Christy Dena at her blog, Cross Media Entertainment. Thanks to Tom from AFTRS / Australian Writers Guild in Leederville for organising the talk!

Thanks Dee!
Of course I was meaning to ask whether you had gone, but obviously yes!

I'm signing up to more social networking sites because of social networking, but yeah, I guess it can't hurt my ranking elsewhere, ha ha!

Links at the bottom, well, I have started doing this, but mainly so people don't click away from my blog in the first sentence!

thanks for the writeup!
Hey Simone, Yeah, I meant to mention it at meetup, or blog about it earlier but I'm one of those easily distracted types who could click away at a moment's notice (although dialup discourages this!).

The other good reason to have links at the bottom is that it makes them easier to find. You can save the reader from having to make decisions till the end of the post too and I guess it could also act as a bit of a summary, which would also make the content easier to remember.

Hmm, my comments are getting longer than my posts! Why is it easier to comment!
Hello Deanne, thankyou for coming along to the talk and covering it. The issue about where to place links is more of a rhetorical one. I actually think it is OK to have a few links in a post, but that you make it clear at the end what you would like the reader to do. Do you want them to stay and read another post? Do you want them to start with a particular site? I think it helps provide guided point-of-entry to the greater web. How many links you have depends on the goal of the post. Are you intending to be resource or to get a point across, or a bit of both? For me, the issue is that hyperlinks are an invite to act, to move, to go away from the current page. Is your post written in such a way that they are ignored, put on hold until the end of your post, or do they excite activity before your time with the reader is over. These sorts of ideas. Rant Over. :)
Hi Christy,

Rant away! I haven't worked out the point of my blog yet, let alone the point of individual posts, and it's something I should keep in mind, even if the target reader is mostly me in the future. :-)

Thanks for taking the time to speak and to comment!
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