Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Comment: How Much Should Bloggers Self-Promote?

Etan Smallman, one of the TH!NK bloggers, is continuing to impress with his well-argued posts and original interviews. His latest post is here.

[EDIT: It turns out that this post isn't actually an original interview by Etan. Whoops! Still, his last post DID have original interviews in it: here]

I left this comment:

Is this another original interview, Etan?

If it is - then I have a piece of criticism for you (in an otherwise excellent post) - you're not making that clear enough!

You're being too modest and what you need to do is self-promote more. If this is indeed original research, you need to say "in my interview with Mike Smithson, he said..."

People do not expect bloggers to interview. What you are doing is amazing. If you do not make it clear that this is what you are doing, people will assume you have just cut and pasted from an article and are doing regular blogging (i.e. news analysis).

I'm continually impressed by your efforts, Etan - so I'm going to be more critical with you.

Your title "Does this suggest a low turnout on June 4th? Place your bets…" is too ambigious.

This title would be perfect for a sub-heading, in the main body of the text but beneath your main title. But it is unsuitable for your title.

You have to think about how your title will come across in web-searches, RSS feeds and archive lists. It must be as clear as possible.

I can be guilty of ambigious titles myself - and it's something I also have to work at. But something like "UK Public Interest in EU Lowest Since 1988" is clear and attention grabbing.

You can probably think of a better example - but it should strike a balance between being clear (but boring) and being interesting (but ambigious).

Keep up the good work, Etan!



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