Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How That's My Answer! Could Improve

As a frequent commenter on a little Wordpress blog called That's My Answer!, I have some advice to both the moderators and the participants.

That's My Answer! is pretty active but it primarily a single-sided affair. Rarely do you get the regulars interacting with each other. The authors attempt to spur interaction by starting threads that require each poster to respond to the previous but that only goes so far. They don't really interact. They play the game and move on.

I have seen them post the occasional reader submission and I can see how that would instill a sense of belonging.

They really need to emphasize this aspect of the community. In the rules they specify that it is "Not a meme" but I don't see how this is a benefit. I think they SHOULD make it more of a meme to build a community. Once the people know each other they will return there to congregate.

Right now I post comments, I put thought into my responses with the intent to be at least a little witty or entertaining. Sometimes I post direct responses, suggestions or questions to the other participants and its like I don't even exist.

That is one of my pet peeve's. I don't put the blame solely on the readers though. The authors don't really encourage any form of amity.

So what would I do? I would post more questions from the fans. Emphasize the importance of commenting on the previous poster. Post questions that would involve users going out to the internet for answers and posting responses on each others blogs etc.

Simple questions and answers are fun enough but if there isn't any depth to it, its minimal design will ultimately result in a loss of readership.

Just thinking out loud.

7 comments:

Vicki said...

I do TMA almost daily and that's what brought me to your blog today. I usually click on a few participants pages, sometimes I leave a comment, sometimes I don't. I really don't see the difference between TMA and meme's. I view it as a meme, and I agree with you that we should visit each others blogs and get to know each other. I think that would make us look more forward to TMA everyday.

Indigo said...

Thanks for the advice, I think. I find your responses to be incredibly witty. I put your advise on That's My Answer, let's see what they say. For what it's worth, I've been running my blog for 3-1/2 years now and have tried many different things, but I have found (the hard way) that light suggestions work the best. I have gone out of my way to NOT be a ripoff of Michele's site (you can email me if you don't know who Michele is), but I think what you are asking for is what Michele used to offer daily. And due to copywrite and potential hurt feelings, I cannot take what she does and put it on my site and feel good about myself. Sorry.

Lea Self said...

I love your comments on my page, and this is a great blog. It's really hard to self-promote blogs though. Why is that? Because there are so many blogs like mine out there I suppose. I think people should get together and if they like a blog, or if a blog is similar perhaps to their own, they should cross-promote each other and share followers. But that's in a perfect world. Haha.. no, but really, I get irritated when I put effort into comments on blogs and the authors never message me back, especially the ones who think they own the blogosphere because they have 200+ viewers. Ego-tistical pricks. Haha.. okay now I'm thinking out loud.

http://leameetsworld.blogspot.com

Better Safe Than Sorry said...

here via QOTD

HektikLyfe said...

>Vicki: Yes that CommentLuv Wordpress feature is great. It allows people to see the title of your latest blog, which if intriguing enough could capture the attention of some readers. Since that was included there in TMA, I figured community interaction was what they were trying to inspire.

I found it when I was searching for Meme's but was a little disappointed at the Rules on the left sidebar stating in all caps that it's NOT A MEME. I like meme's and didn't think there was really anything wrong with them.

>Indigo: You're welcome, seriously. I wasn't trying to post anything like Why TMA Sucks because it doesn't. It's fun and I thought building a community around it would be fun too. From the looks of some of the more hermit type comments on your page though that might not be such a good idea. ;) I will e-mail you for Michele's info so I can check out her page. It may be exactly what I'm looking for.

>Lea: I can't emphasis enough how much I enjoy and appreciate community interaction. This is why so often you will see me post links to each others pages and entire blogs, such as this one, about other people's website's. I appreciate each and every comment, even when they are negative.

This is what differentiates us (the blogger community) from published authors. This is exactly what I was trying or suggesting to Indigo not to become.

I know some people who read this blog came from That's My Answer! which is why I posted it to begin with. I appreciate it greatly but I also want to give back which is what I was trying to do. I thought it might be nice to interact there too.

Bev Sykes said...

I guess I'm lucky that, though I participate in That's My Answer, you've never (visited?) left a message in my guest book. I don't know that I could take the uninvited criticism.

HektikLyfe said...

>bev: Funny this, a statement condemning critiques coming from a part time critic.

I wrote this blog post because I liked TMA. I wrote this blog post as a suggestion, not critique, and only because I enjoyed participating with the active members of the group. I thought I, and others, would enjoy interacting with each other more and it would help promote Indigo's fun site beyond the group of regulars.

Assuming that criticism is really a concern of yours, perhaps public posting on a Weblog is something you should reconsider?

I am really confused by these people. I understand their desire to come to the defense of someone they believe is being attacked but I don't really see where they see this hostility.

If you were to have read some of my posts before you would have seen that I frequently welcome suggestions. I take some of them and I don't take others. Good or bad, I don't get upset. Even when they are intentionally mean spirited. ;)

What I think happened is people just got caught up in the whirlwind of attacking a common enemy without even reading the content of the full statement. People should really read more than just the title.

I went through all 13 of your blogs but never found your guest book. Did you even have one before you came up with your snarky remark? Serious question.