Happy Sunday, everyone! Today I’d like to kick off a new series of posts where we sit down with a cup of tea (or coffee, if you prefer) and talk about what’s going on with our blogs at the moment.
I’ll use this post to share some thoughts, ideas and viewpoints from my side, then you can post a comment and tell me how everything’s going for you.
Some of your comments might prompt me to add a follow-up comment in a future edition of Morning Tea. Or I may just reply to you here. We’ll see.
So – let’s begin!
Seasons aren’t the only way to run your blog
I did sit down and plan my usability posts, it’s just that when I came to write the posts, I found that not all of the ideas would turn into great posts.
At the same time, I came up with a few post ideas that didn’t fit the blog usability theme, but could make excellent posts. Stuck in the middle of a season, what could I do?
I run my own blog – as you run yours. I can change the rules at any time. So I’m temporarily putting the blog usability season on hold, and will be writing some different posts starting on Monday.
There are still plenty of reasons to use blogging in seasons – and that rhymed, so must be true! I like theming my posts and building up a strong collection of information, instead of posting a mixture of disparate topics. In time, the blog usability portal will grow to include more posts and an eBook, just as blogging in seasons did before it.
I recently revisited blogging in seasons with a new post: How to Avoid Starting Too Many Blogs. You don’t only get one try. You can always come back.
What do you think? Is it good to free yourself of the “shackles” of a hyper-organised setup? I want to keep posting on Mondays as I have done for the last few weeks – it just won’t always be a seasonal post.
Writing posts when you have the idea
Blog usability has given me a reminder that if I come up with an idea, I should aim to write the post there and then. If I add the topic to a big old list, I may never actually write the post.
I want to crank out a few of my recent ideas as blog posts, which I can’t do if I force myself to write eight posts on blog usability.
How about you? Do you have a long list of topics to write about? Do you sometimes throw them away as the topic doesn’t feel as strong as it did when the idea came to you?
How lenient are you with comment spam?
This week I noticed that a few of the blogs I visit have removed the URL field from the comments section of their blog. Now, I’m no stranger to spam, but disabling URLs for regular commenters is not something I’d like to do.
I’m very, very strict on spam. I know I’ve rejected a couple of semi-legitimate comments where the author had a questionable URL or it felt like what they said was very generic. All of the other comments I reject are quite obviously spam (to me anyway), although I’ve been surprised that some of the same people have been approved on other blogs.
I can’t help feeling like the slightly more lenient approach to spam on some blogs might be causing issues with Google, as I know Google is cracking down on irrelevant links in guest posts (e.g. a “real estate” link on a post that is about something else entirely).
I also want to help other bloggers by pointing out when a spammy comment has ended up on their blog. But I can’t manage their blog for them. And I’m not going to potentially get into arguments about what constitutes spam and what doesn’t. We draw the line in different places. You need to manage your own spam.
I’d be interested to hear what you reject and where you draw the line.
That’s all for this week
Hope you enjoyed our little morning tea session. I can’t promise I will have something to say every single week, but I do have a few more things to say that I’ll save for next week – so there’s definitely going to be another post next Sunday. If you’d like to suggest a topic for a future edition of Morning Tea, or you’d like to join me for a text-based chat via Skype IM, let me know and perhaps we can make this a bit more interactive. Thanks for reading!