Friday, May 21, 2010

The direction of this blog

I've been pondering lately the direction this blog should be going. Historically, it has no one topic, but has tended toward reflections on life. A bit is just updates, a bit is opinion, and a bit is about cooking or other housewifely things, but the largest label is "Thoughts." I think that is what most of my oldest readers expect from me -- particularly the ones who followed me over from Enchiridion and Sniffles Predominating.

However, the reason I branched out from Enchiridion, while keeping the old blog going (something I haven't been doing well lately, but hope to get back to) was to have a blog without a set topic, so that I could talk about whatever I wanted to. So that I wouldn't always be writing blog posts in my head that never saw the light of day because I had nowhere to put them.

The trouble is, now the blog is threatened by being taken over almost completely by baby stuff, at least for awhile. I'm only really reading baby blogs most of the time, and I find myself wanting to address topics like breastfeeding and cloth diapering. Yet I am quite aware that some of my oldest readers, especially guys who showed up for the poetry, are not the least bit interested in diapers. I don't want them to be saying, "Darn, such a nice blog and now it's taken over by stuff that doesn't interest me." However, a lot of new readers are more interested in baby stuff, and so are all the family members who read this. I've already gotten one comment asking about diapers.

I'm torn. How much baby stuff is too much? And, while I'm at it, how personal is too personal? I debated putting up my birth story for a long time, because it is rather personal and detailed ... hence the warning. If I continue to write on that level, will I have a lot of people skipping over a lot of posts?

One thing I'm definitely going to do is be careful about my labels, making sure to label each post so that you can click on the labels that interest you and only get what you're interested in. If Blogger supported it, I'd probably separate my whole blog into tabs like I've seen people do. But even with plain labels, it should be fairly simple to sort things out. Unfortunately you can't filter out one kind of label (as I've often wanted to do on those baby blogs: there's no label for "everything except reviews, giveaways, and memes"), but I don't have a ton of labels, so it's not completely impractical for someone to read all my labels in turn. Still, that is a lot to ask.

What is your opinion? Please take a moment to comment and tell me what kinds of posts you enjoy most, and what you'd like to see less of. I only partially blog for myself, you know -- I'd just get a journal otherwise! I think you'd better know that I have one post already written about diapers, one half written about baby sleep, and several in my head about breastfeeding, nursing in public, and my parenting choices. If you tell me you want baby stuff, you're going to get it!


Heather said...

Since I read to keep updated on your life and thoughts wherever it takes you, I'm fine with baby stuff and poetry alike. =)

Although I did start reading in the months around your wedding, so I'm a post-poetry reader.

I think it also comes down to if you want to write regularly for only one blog or if you're fine with updating more than one. Personally, I've found I need more than one bc writing is my professional currency and niche-marketing works best.

Also, do you want readers to have a one-stop-shop or do you want to keep distinct groups of readers? Sometimes, a person can mold readers into consumers of themselves, and other times readers rebel.

Andreth said...

Do you know, I just discovered this blog? Meredith is to blame that I know now, but didn't know of the existence of any other than Enchiridion. Love the photos of Mark!

Sheila said...

Sorry, Andreth, I should have sent you a link! When I started this blog, I just sort of waited for people to show up, and since they did, I figured they found a way to get here somehow. I really should just put it on my Facebook profile.

The thing is, Heather, I already have two active blogs, and one inactive one. I'm afraid if I moved baby stuff to another blog, I would end up letting this one go pretty dormant for awhile. Plus, I have a feeling most of my readers would then feel the need to read both -- though I'll wait and see what people say. Perhaps I do have distinct groups of readers. Yet I suspect many are like you, and are interested in whatever I have to say, just because they're interested in knowing what I'm up to. Still, if there is demand, I am quite up to starting yet another blog.

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