[fr] Proposer à mes lecteurs de voter sur les sujets qu'ils aimeraient que je traite ne semble pas fonctionner pour moi. En rendant ma liste d'idées publique, je l'ai en quelque sorte stérilisée -- je m'en suis dépossédée. Et je blogue mieux de façon un peu impulsive qu'en suivant un programme.
Two months ago I stumbled upon Scott Berkun’s blog and thought his Reader’s Choice series was a really great idea. (I’m reading his book “The Myths of Innovation” right now, by the way, and highly recommend you do so too.)
I decided to give it a try myself, and quickly created a slinkset account for CTTS which I pre-populated with my long list of blogging ideas, which had until then been sitting in a note in Evernote (I’m still in love with it, by the way). The idea was that I would pick the most popular topic twice a month and blog about it, which I have done twice so far.
So obviously, this isn’t really working for me. The fact I mismanaged my commitments for May and June (which means my calendar is bursting at the seams) clearly doesn’t help me keep the schedule, but I’ve noticed another side-effect: moving my “blogging ideas” out of evernote and into slinkset has actually killed that list for me. I think it’s made it scary. How come? I can think of a few reasons:
- the list is now in big bold text
- it’s not as easy to edit: each idea now feels like a commitment, rather than a quickly-jotted-down note
- it’s public, so I self-censor (not much, but I do a little)
- ideas are rated, so suddenly I feel that I’m blogging more for others and less for myself (blogging mainly for oneself is, in my opinion, one of the keys to a successful and long-lasting blogging career)
- I’m supposed to pick the more popular idea twice a month, so I don’t feel free to explore the other less popular ones in the meantime.
So, all in all, I’m not sure making that list public was a great move for my blogging. Also, I think that pre-populating the slinkset list (an attempted “improvement — hah! — on Scott’s original idea) was the best way to kill community-generated contributions. (Plus, of course, my readership is somewhat more modest than Scott’s.)
Where do I go from now? I like the idea that readers of this blog can suggest ideas and vote on them. On the other hand, I’m aware that CTTS readers form a “following” rather than a “community”, and I think this kind of system is more suited to communities than followings.
I think I need to put my blogging ideas back in Evernote to reclaim them. I’ve always blogged best when I do it on impulse rather than schedule (I get an itch, which then becomes an urge to blog about this or that).
Do you have any thoughts on all this? I’d love to hear them.
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3 thoughts on “The Good Idea That's Not Working [en]”
It’s been a fun experiment – my biggest problem is actually with slinkset, rather than the idea. It’s free and simple, but it’s also spam friendly and I can’t integrate it into my site.
I think I’d get more activity on it if it were part of my own domain, and if the UI for adding /voting were even simpler than it is.
Anyway, hope you find a way that works for you.
Thanks for stopping by, Scott! I’ve been thinking a bit more after I wrote this, and I think that for me there are two issues:
Maybe it’s just not that good an idea for me. On the other hand, I write a weekly column in French, and I’ve taken to asking people on Twitter what they’d like to hear about, and that seems to work. I guess because that column is in a more “ordered” space (stable audience, similar format, every Monday, etc…).