The OF Blog: Guest Blogging?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Guest Blogging?

I took the day off today. It is rather odd looking at this screen on a workday morning and not having it on educational/news-related sites, or hearing dozens of student voices. It is a reminder, however, that I really haven't had as much time these past couple of months to devote to blogging (particularly reviewing, which I haven't done in full since June) as I would have liked.

Every now and then, I ponder whether or not inviting people to write posts for this blog might be a good or bad idea. Although this blog technically is a "team" blog (there are four others who have access to posting/editing here), for the past year and a half, I've basically flown solo. But perhaps there has been a stagnation that has set in as a result; the work demands might just be an excuse. That is something that does worry me on occasion, since I would rather have a "conversation" than a "monologue" here. Maybe new voices would inject more life into this blog, ignite discussion/controversy on occasion, and just make this blog more worth people's time to visit.

Or maybe the opposite would take place. Perhaps the person/people chosen to make guest posts would be dull and their commentaries and reviews would detract from the overall focus and feel of this blog. Possibly having this could be a monumental mistake that would weaken this blog and its appeal to its vast readership that has swelled into the mid-hundreds in recent months. Or maybe not. I just am undecided right now.

So me being me, I thought I'd just float this idea out there. There's a poll available now regarding this idea (nothing is confirmed or set in stone as to which direction I'll go), so feel free to vote on it. Most curious to see how the vote goes.


Neth said...

In all honesty, I'm not a big fan of guest blogs, blog tours and all that. I read blogs for the content of the owner/auther behind the blog. And I understand the principle behind having guest bloggers, but the reality is that I almost always skip a blog by a guest blogger. My time is limited and that is one place where I have chosen to draw a line.

So, count me as someone who says no to guest blogs. It's fine to have a blog where you only update it once or twice a week (or less when your busy) - heck that's where I am. Sure, there's a drop-off in readership, but it's not big enough for me to care.

Lsrry said...

Yeah, there is that, Ken, which is why I've hesitated before on considering this, much less doing it. I just like interaction and I hate that I don't have the time necessary to devote to it as much as I would like. Such a set of conflicting impulses to deal with, I suppose. With any luck, Jake might be able to make a few occasional posts in the next few months - that would be the ideal situation.

Anonymous said...

Mine is a "maybe". I don't mind guest blogging, but indeed guests might turn out to be boring. I like your style so I'd much rather read your posts less frequently than read more frequent boring things.

If that makes sense.

Mulluane said...

I'm sorta like Neth, I rarely read a guest blogger but there are exceptions. If the "guest" is a recognizable published author or other well known authority on the subject being posted about, that will grab my attention and I'll stop and read it.

The other exception would be content. If its something that grabs my eye, I'll read it regardless of who the author is. But if you plan on just inviting someone else to do reviews then nah, I'll pass it on by and wait on you to post.

Lsrry said...

I wouldn't be inviting anyone in to do reviews. I myself rarely write out full reviews anymore because of the time/energy involved. If I do it, it might be something of a solicited fashion, where I'd request a specific topic addressed by someone who might have something of interest to say.

Mihai A. said...

It goes both ways, I think. You might end up not liking what your guest blogger writes. So it's not just your readership, it's a question about yourself too.
As Mulluane said I read when an author or artist writes the specific guest post, otherwise I admit that doesn't attracts me. I think that a blog is interesting as long as it has the unique voice of its blogger behind it. Even though if has scarce posts.

Anonymous said...

I think I may be the dissonant voice here, but I´d like to give my two cents, anyway. I agree with the question of different voices: my guess is that you should be inviting only people with whom you identify yourself - but, if you really want to give a shot at it, I think it can be a healthy, interesting experience.

Or course, I´m talking from the POV of a former guest blogger. Blogging at Ecstatic Days was a good experience for me - even if I felt that, like Neth said, most of the regular readers probably skipped the blog. But I wonder - do we want to unite as reviewer/writer bloggers? If we do want that, then we should do this sort of thing once in a while.

n.fonseca said...

As always, it depends on content and results. Most times guest blogging turn out "empty" posts, with virtually nothing interesting save for specific readers of the gust-bloggers, and most of the times not even that.

I think if you manage to have some definite notion of whom and what, it can be a valuable experience for you and us readers. I'd go for it...but maybe with clearly defined subjects it could be interesting.

Lsrry said...

Right now, what I'm considering doing is emailing a few select people (including some who have commented here) and having a "conversation" of sorts about a specific issue that this other person specializes in doing on his/her blog. That way, it can serve as a spotlight of sorts and not be "empty" at all - after all, I'm a teacher and I like to ask difficult, challenging questions ;)

Charles said...

I think it can be pulled off. You need to be careful though about the frequency of such guest blogging and the participants you choose.

Lsrry said...

I'm thinking about no more than once a week and it'd be with a specific topic in mind, Charles. That way it wouldn't be too much of a departure from the normal discourse here, plus the topics would be in line with the norm here, just from a different perspective. It certainly wouldn't be having people review books here, since that's not going to be a very attractive thing for many to read (especially if opinions and how they are expressed might differ greatly from my own :P)

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