Better Blogging Mini-Series Conclusion

Over the past four weeks, I've worked on a mini-series all about bettering myself as a blogger. I wrote about usability and your blog, writing for your blog, connecting bloggers, and creating networks. Reading the assigned text gave me insight to some concepts I never thought of before. It made me realize that my presence on the internet is not going to be well-known unless I work for it. I want to "link up" to some of my classmates so you, my dear reader, will get better insight to the topics I brought up in my mini-series. 

Rosalinda Writes gives a thorough book review of Steve Krug's, "Don't Make Me Think!" which is a great introduction to creating and maintaining usability on the web. As bloggers, it's important to remember that we create the user experience. Readers come to my blog for a specific reason, whether it's because they know me and want insight to my life, or they are strangers and want a peek into my life via pictures and some text. Understanding your audience is the first step to creating the reader experience. 

Cheyenne Independent does a great book review of "Aim for the Heart" by Al Tompkins. Speaking of creating the user experience, Al Tompkins discusses the need for the journalist to give the reader a chance to be interactive with the news story. In the context of blogging, it's important for readers to have options on my blog: commenting, jumping from story to story with ease, clickable links, photos and text. The reader should be able to come to my blog and have options. Easy enough, right? Actually, no, this is not easy. It takes some thought! 

LaVida News and Reader Inspired deliver with insight on the importance of connecting with others and how closely linked we all really are. "Linked" by Albert-Laszlo Barbasi is a difficult book to digest, the concepts are complex but LaVida News and Reader Inspired do a great job of breaking down the important points. LaVida News discusses how information is passed from one person to another by using "The Party" as a great and easy to understand example. She writes, "at a party with ten guests, none of whom initially knows one another, social ties form as the guests start chatting in small groups. At first, the groups are isolated from each other. Indeed, though there are social links between those in the same group, everyone outside of that group is still a stranger. As time goes on, three guests move to different groups and a giant cluster emerges. Although not everyone knows everyone else, there is now a single social network that includes all the guests. By following the social links, one can now find a path between any two guests." See the importance of linking up? Reader Inspired touches on the weak vs. strong links. Weak ties are important in the blogging world because these ties are where we find inspiration and new ideas. Strong ties are the people at home that support your efforts on the internet but weak ties are the bloggers you create online friendships with and discuss link up opportunities. Linking up will give a blogger better presence on the internet. 

The ending chapters of "Linked" are a lot more difficult for me to wrap my head around so I decided to pick the two writers who sum it up in an understandable fashion. Great Basin Photography narrates an example of the power of hubs and online placement. He mentions that his comment on a news web board went viral due to the placement of his comment, he receive a lot of likes which kept him at the top of the comment series. Think about this in terms of networking your blog and creating relevant link ups. You will sit high on a search engine if the search engine doesn't have to do much to find you. If his comment is your website and the people clicking are people "searching" the web for a keyword on your site or clicking on you from another site, then you continue to gain "popularity" online. Bernard's Blog writes about how everything is interconnected and that we as humans, have always been forming social networks. As human beings, we recognize the "network" and how we interact within that network. He makes a great point by stating, "if we can get our networks in shape and understand how they work, how to feed them and how to keep them healthy we can create great opportunities to succeed in getting our information into the place we intend them to go." In terms of blogging, this means we have to recognize the network in which we want to reside and work to build those weak ties mentioned by Reader Inspired to ensure a strong network. The strength of your network dictates the strength of your blog. 

5 thought(s):

  1. What a great wrap up of our student body's work, Kristen. You are obviously a seasoned blogger. You seamlessly weave relevant links into your work, demonstrating just how much you absorbed during the class. Nice work! As Gary Villeneuve discusses in his review of Barabasi's book, "Linked," which can be found at http://cheyenneindependent.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/linked-review-ii-nodes-networks-hubs-and-other-talking-points/ you may end up as a hub for like-minded bloggers.

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