May 182008
 

I found these questions ( from Darren Rowse Problogger) that you should ask when you are considering whether to keep blogging. ( Should I give up blogging? 20 Questions to Ask Yourself )

While I don’t think I have any intention of stopping Librarians Matter, I’ve noticed my posts are slowing down as I enter my third year. I’ve been spending more time twittering, on new work projects, blogging elsewhere , getting slowly interested in videoblogging – and even trying to go walking at 6am to spend some one-on-one time with Mr10.

My friend Con (Ruminations) has been feeling in a pickle about whether to keep up with her blogging, Morgan (Exploded Library) has recently restarted his blog after a self-imposed hiatus and Fiona (blisspix) has decided to give up her more personal library related blog in favour of continuing a couple of others. I’ve noticed a huge drop in the number of new posts appearing in my aggregator from librar* blogs.

I find twitter is filling the community/comment space that was once filled reading and commenting on blogs. I like Hugh Macleod’s illustration of the phenomena, from back in 2007:

history76156222-thumb.jpg

I also note with interest that Hugh actually deleted his twitter account on 10th April in a move that topped Techmeme – with the explanation:

It’s no big deal. I liked Twitter. But I found it too easy. I think my time would be better spent drawing cartoons and writing books..

The hiatus lasted exactly five days when he re-created his twitter account with the explanation:

“Short answer: Too many people I do business with are also on Twitter. Being off it was impossible. My bad. My Twitter page is here.:”

Anyhow, here are Darren’s Twenty Questions. I’ve tried answering those that I think are relevant. Problogger is concerned with making money from blogging. I’m not.

  1. What goals do I have for this blog? Are they being met? Am I getting closer to meeting them?
    1. GOALS: First off I wanted to just find out about blogging, then to connect with other library bloggers, and finally (as subscribers grew) to actually have something that made it worthwhile for my subscribers to keep reading my blog. BEING MET? I certainly know about blogging, I’ve connected with other library bloggers, but am finding it harder to find the time to have something original to say.
  2. Am I Interested in the Topic?
    1. Still passionately interested.
  3. Am I getting personal satisfaction from posting?
    1. When I do it – absolutely. (Bit like physical exercise)
  4. How Many Posts Did I write in the Last Month?
    1. 9
  5. Do I have time to keep the blog running?
    1. Not really. I’m consciously pulling back and making it a lower priority
  6. Is anyone reading my blog?
    1. Judging by the number of subscribers and the comments, yes people are reading
  7. Have I given it enough time?
    1. In the past, yes
  8. Do I still see myself writing on this blog in 18 months time?
    1. Not as intensely and intricately as in the last year
  9. Is the niche growing or dying?
    1. Growing
  10. Is the blog earning anything?
  11. Is the blog growing my profile and perceived expertise?
    1. Undoubtedly. Which is interesting, as there are many people, who are less findable that I am, who know a lot more.
  12. Are there any other benefits from this blog?
    1. Yes. Many times comments or emails in response to a post have filled gaps in my knowledge. There have been a couple of posts where I was really proud to provide the site where other people could share knowledge with each other via the comments. I find that often when I am asked about something at work, I have blogged about it months before and have a coherent response prewritten.
  13. Is the blog giving energy to or taking energy away from me?
    1. Taking energy
  14. Is the Blog’s traffic and income growing or shrinking?
    1. Traffic is growing steadily.
  15. Are readers engaging with the content?
    1. Yes. I’m still thrilled and excited when people make comments. The fact that most of them are intelligent and well thought out enriches the blog
  16. If readers are commenting – what are they saying?
  17. What are other bloggers writing about my blog ?
    1. I get about 3-4 incoming links from other blogs a week.
  18. Do I have anything original and useful to say on my topic?
    1. Yes I do, but original, well-crafted and researched opinion / speculation pieces take a lot more time than I have at the moment, so I have too many posts where I re-package other peoples’ content
  19. What else could I do with the time that I spend on this blog
    1. Connect with the family, exercise, use twitter even more :)
  20. What would the impact be of me not blogging? (on readers and me)
    1. I’d feel totally out of the loop and like I wasn’t giving back to a community where so many people are sharing their thoughts, knowledge and experience. I’d stop looking at much of my real life experience to see whether it is potentially bloggable.

  11 Responses to “When should you stop blogging ?”

  1. This is a really interesting topic for reflection. I started my technology blog, Hecuba’s story, specifically for the 23 things and I still use it basically just for that – completed Thing 60 this week. I once thought about a general library/technology blog but made a conscious decision not to do so. There are plenty of people out there doing it well – and who come into my Bloglines every day.

    I have tried different ways at passing on info; recently I have found that mostly I post the info to my Facebook profile. This means it’s a bit of a melange of things I’m interested in – breast cancer, archaeology, libraries, bookselling, food etc – but those communities are all represented in my friends on FB. I Twitter regularly too and we have a couple of work Nings that I pass info along in. I have also got into the food and cooking blogosphere and spend a bit of time on my blog there and in a couple of social networking sites. People in that blogosphere also Twitter so it all comes together. And I have a history blog and a couple of work blogs….

  2. Hi there Kathryn,

    Thanks so much for a very honest look at a very interesting topic. I too started my blog because of the 23 things and use it basically as an information tool about the things that interest me – including library info.

    For me personally, your blog has pointed me to much information that I was previously unaware of, and made my learning journey just that bit more thorough. The Edna worksop I attended in Brisbane was due to the post on your blog. I have just completed a digital photo story about my library using some of the skills I learnt at that seminar!!

    http://www.vimeo.com/1028299

    So thank you. Quality over quantity anytime!

  3. [...] you could try the 20 questions Kathryn has listed on her [...]

  4. Hi Anne and Jo.

    Anne – I feel almost like a fogey for still having a blog when so many people are distributed all over the net :)

    Jo – Your clip is just brilliant. I love the way that you look like you are human and enjoying yourselves. And I bet your community really appreciates the way you grounded it with the images of the place at the start – made it very special to me. Gave the message that it wasnt’ “just another library”.

  5. Hi Kathryn,

    I have also questioned why we keep blogging as I also noticed many of us going quiet. But in life, it’s good to question why we do things and evaluate if we want to keep doing them, as it shows us if what we are doing has purpose or not.

    I am like Jo, your blog teaches me so much, and it’s hard for us to communicate with each other, as you are in Perth and I’m in Melbourne, so your blog allows us to connect and share information.

    Please keep blogging, if it still feels right for you, as I get alot out of it and I’m sure many others do too.

    Jill

  6. hi Kathryn,

    Great post. I have asked myself this question many times over the last few months, why keep blogging. Who’s reading?

    Funnily enough I realised just last week that the habit of blogging and diary writing was filling a personal need.

    I went to Sydney to care for an 86 year old aunt who’d just got out of hospital. While there, and without internet of course, I felt compelled to keep a daily diary recording all the ups and downs of her life and my life as short term carer.

    So, I think for me, the blogging has set patterns of behaviors in place that will no doubt have other manifestations, later.

    Anyway keep blogging, Kathryn. We do enjoy reading your take on libraries and technology.

    Julia

  7. [...] this so perhaps Twitter is the way to go? In line with this thinking Kathryn Greenhill asks ‘when should you stop blogging?‘ I know a lot of people who’ve gone off Facebook recently, although that said [...]

  8. [...] When Should You Stop Blogging – Kathryn Greenhill discusses why some people stop blogging [...]

  9. 9 times last month? That’s pretty good. I started not long ago with the lofty goal of writing every day. Now I’m lucky if I get to it every week!
    Keep up the good work…please!
    -Michelle

  10. I’m a librarian, but not a librarian-blogger. My content has shifted over the years, which I think is one reason why I’m still going strong, at least one post a day. My traffic has dropped off considerably, but I’ve made a lot of cyberfriends through blogging.

    In the evenings, I go through a list of sources that provide pretty regular content for me to link to/work from. That can get a bit tedious. But doing so lets me, when I suddenly get inspired and passionate about something, speak to an audience on short notice.

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