Monday, May 09, 2005

I have a " pure" blogging question for all the readers and fellow bloggers out there.

What is your reasonable expectation, in general, for the frequency of new blog postings ? I've always been an erratic poster and frankly do not expect that to change given my temperment, esoteric interests and hectic schedule. I write in spurts and the type of posts I tend to do varies in length and analytical depth so I fit neither into the bi-weekly long essay format, of say, the Belmont Club or the news of the hour blogging of a Glenn Reynolds. Nevertheless, I'd find your input helpful.

What is best in ( this blogospheric) life ?
Hmm, on my personal weblog I like to average once or twice a day. But on my "professional" weblog (http://caffeinatedsecurity.com), I've just started, and I'm internally debating the same question: lots of brief posts, or fewer and more in-depth? I've learned that regularity is key, and that more frequent posts do lead to more traffic, but I'm more interested in what people actually prefer to read.

So I'm interested in the responses as well.
It's a hard question. In my case, I get uncomfortable posting less than daily (one reason I haven't blogged in a while). I tend not to check blogs that post less than monthly. I would rather read out well thought-out posts than link-fests, though, so I prefer fewer, longer postings when I'm reading.
I think it depends on whether the person subscribes to the RSS feed or just visits the web page. As I do only feeds, it's not as important to have daily postings as I don't spend any effort looking for them, they come to me.

For people who check the actual page, I'd say frequency is more important. Nevertheless, once a day is usually the expected average. Once every two days isn't bad either.

However, I think for you with your notoriety and high quality of posts you aren't in as much danger of losing readers if you post less than once a day.
I think it's important to take the readers into consideration--the ones who like your writing enough to check frequently to see if there's a new post up. I've tried to put up little notes to the reader if I can't post the next day; e.g, "Check back tomorrow after X Zulu time" or something like that.

It only takes a couple minutes to post that kind of note (and they can be deleted after the new post goes up). I venture that such notes to the reader help keep continuity and let readers know you appreciate their time.

As for the larger questions-- again, I venture that continuity and predictability are more important than the frequency of the posting. I say this as a reader of blogs as much as a blogger. Provided I know to check back around a certain time (e.g. after noon) and day, I can adjust to the blogger's schedule. If I have no idea when to expect another post, and if there's a lapse in daily posting--then, I tend to fall away from being a 'regular.'

As for the preference between being a link artist and essayist--let those who can do what they do best. Some bloggers are really skilled at trolling the net & finding lots of cool links. If you don't have the knack, then stick with essays.

I don't have time to follow linky "news clip" blogs, even though I enjoy them and wish I had the time to read all the cool stuff.

If I want 'instant' analysis of a news story, all I have to do is go to Google News and click on links. I am looking for in-depth stuff that doesn't follow the herd. I am willing to wait days or even weeks or longer before a blogger comments on a news trend/story that is of importance to foreign policy (my interest).

One other point. If I had a dollar for every news item I've wanted to share with readers, I'd be rich. I've learned to sit hard on the "lookee what I found on the Internet today!" temptation. This means my readers have missed out on lots of (what I consider) funny stories about critters but I assume they visit my blog to read my thoughts on fp-related matters.

This said, I don't mind if a favorite blogger goes AWOL for a few essays--writes about stuff that is outside my interest. However, time again is the culprit. If the blogger strays too far and too long from my interest, then regretfully I stop visiting on a regular basis--no matter how much I like the blogger's style and POV.

I try to post at least once a day. However, maybe I should chill a bit. Sometimes I'll post stuff even when I don't really have anything interesting to say, just out of the obligation I feel and for fear of derailing the steady increase in readership I've had over the last five months.

One of theese days I'll probably be forced by professional obligations to cut back.

I'd have to say once every day or every other day is probably a good frequency to shoot for.
Hmmmm lots of food for thought here. I appreciate the quick accumulation of responses. I also like being regarded as
"notorious" ;o)

Ideally, I would like to post every day since I tend to have a loooong backlog of subjects scribbled in my planner or on scraps of yellow legal paper.

My overall schedule makes this impossible. I a have some posts, like one on Albert Wohlstetter, that have yet to reach maturity even after several months because the research time has been rationed. There are also times when I can't seem to get back " in sync" with the blogospheric " decision cycle" of some debates that I find important or interesting.

I hadn't considered that RSS feeds changed blog reading habits from the old days. Pundita and I are sort of " old tech" in that regard and that does relieve the sense of urgency to post daily to a degree.

I'm not certain I would change my current posting habits until I need to - but I forsee that time possibly coming in the next year where a schedule might have to be imposed - but fewer, longer posts here might leave some time to comment more frequently elsewhere or write for other venues
If you're going to build any kind of readership, I think it's pretty essential to post at least daily. That's why I do my Catching My Eye feature. It has all the little comments I might otherwise make individual posts all collected.

I try to do some kind of real essay work at least once a week. I'm not always successful.

Thanks for asking this question. I have found the other comments very interesting.

What I have found is that professional obligations keep me from posting on a regular basis. I have been somewhat successful with short posts, usually very "linky", that gather some comments but I find that it is the essays that get the links and really insightful discussion length comments.

Personally, I blog to express ideas that interest me and to see if the same ideas interest others. I worry that infrequent posts will cause some readers (and potential commentors) to loose interest. WitNit tends to keep me interested with multipart posts. Maybe I'll try that.
WhirledView has three authors, and we've averaged one post a day. But we don't particularly coordinate posting times, so sometimes the posts come in clumps.

Traffic does increase with posting, so if that's important to you, post frequently.

We post long and short, with lots of research or quick reactions to a news story, or small things that we like. We want variety.

We generally go for quality before quantity or rapidity. As someone noted above, we miss out on some of the ripples in the blogosphere because we just don't get in sync. Note that I am late to this thread.

I don't like things coming at me, so I don't subscribe to RSS feeds. I have a group of blogs I check every morning and others that I check when I can. This correlates somewhat with the posting frequency on those blogs, but also with my interest in them.

But ultimately, much of the value in blogs is the variety of viewpoints and styles, and posting frequency is part of that.

“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”
- Herman Melville

RSS is the way of the Future...
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