Friday, June 23, 2006

Reader feedback survey

Dear Readers.

As this Blog is a co-operative exercise sometimes the contributors don’t completely agree on how it should be run. But really there is no evidence for us to decide who is right and who is wrong, so what do you think?

How often should there be a new posting?
If there are two postings on the same day, do you only read the top one?
How long should the postings be?
Do you think the mix of contributors could be improved?
If there are two consecutive postings on the same topic, is that confusing?
Do you think the balance of serious and fun/quirky postings is about right?
Do you think it is a problem if there are two or more consecutive postings from the same person?
Anything else you think we should be doing better?


stroppybird said...


First Osler now SU getting concerned about your blog .

I'll give some thoughts and get back to you .

As a start though, perhaps introduce loyalty points for commenting :-)

AN said...

perhaps a discount card?

BTW - as well as readers i hope that contributers to the blog will also join in.

And Stropster - do you and Louise have a "blog ettiqquette" for how often you each post, and trying to get a fair balance between you?

AN said...

BTW I assumed that the real reason Osler really posted that piece was he was secretly chuffed that Iain Dale had single out his blog for praise :o

stroppybird said...


Of course Osler was , wouldn't admit it though!

Not sure etiquette is in my vocabulary:-)

It tends to be when either of us is inspired or has the time. So far its not been planned but it seems fairly even and we manage to post most days. I do think daily posts are good. Another thing I like when I comment is that the poster gets back and responds, so there is a flow.

With SB it seems to work with little planning, but perhaps it helps that there is only two of us. If there is an issue such as abortion in the news it tends to be whoever gets there first.

It may needs more planning in the future but so far it seems to work. we do have e-mail contact. particualrly to plan our 'blog invasions '.

Hope that helps.

stroppybird said...

Of course at SU there is Jim offering round the hob nobs and tea for the saddoes at weekends who comment on the open thread !

stroppybird said...

Of course at SU there is Jim offering round the hob nobs and tea for the saddoes at weekends who comment on the open thread !

AN said...

Ok - well the reason i posed the question, is that the "news update" on the ASDA strike posting was originaly posted by me as a seperate item.
I did this becasue I thought the news of the five day strike was a very significnat new development, and also wanted to highlight the fact that we were the first to break the news (as i received a txt from the shop stewards meeting as soon as it was decided upon, and posted it immeditaly.)
Some other comrades considered that this was a confusing way of presenting the information, so we changed it to being a postscript to the earlier posting. Which I am Ok with. I also hope that they are OK with me airing the slight disagreement in public :o)
So my motivation in asking for reader feedback is to find out whether people really would have found the original structure confusing or not. And it seemed a good opportunity to ask for more general feedback.
Sorry that it is a bit navel gazing, but hey - it is an opportunity for self improvement.
Particularly I am interested over the issue of how long we should leave an item as the top story, and whether it is cheeky or not for a different comrade to post another item only a few hours later. If the readers say they usually scan down a couple of stories, then i suppose it isn't a big deal. But do people prefer one highlighted posting per day? Or several posts per day?
I have an nasty feeling that the whole exercise will prove that my preferences are wrong, but it would not be possible to sustain socialist politics without allowing hope to truimph over experience occassionally!

stroppybird said...


In terms of posts at SB we have both posted on the same subject. An example being Megan's law. As long as we are not just repeating the others post, but adding something new, I don't see the problem. We do though sometimes add an update on posts, but only our own posts.

We don't do things by committee and so far it seems to be working. Perhaps it is easier with just two people.
Not having seem your original post I can't say if it was just a repetition with an update or not.

On SB sometimes there is only one post a day, soemtimes three or four. Its not a policy and is more to do with who has time and if there are things we want to post on.

In terms of scaning there is also the issue of post length. I can scan through quite a few posts but if its a bloody dissertation then it reduces how far I scan down.

What is important is as much as possible to have a new post at least a day and the poster getting back and responding, though at SB we both seem to do that regardless of which of us posted.

I expect ten posts a day would be to many, but no fixed idea.

Oh dear, perhaps SB should have a committee meeting and thrash out our policy :-)

AN said...

In ansrwer to your question, the new update was posted word for word as it mow appears but as a short seprate item under the title "Five day Strike"

BTW do you think I should offer tea and biscuits for the focus group?

stroppybird said...

Sometimes you and fluffy demonstrate some very new labour tendencies. Focus grops, league table, baming and shaming .....

Fluffy (sorry Jim, I see you both as spiky and fluffy as you play good cop/bad cop), has some rather nice hob nobs in saturdays.

Think it should have been seperate then, as it was new information. Perhaps you should breakaway and form a splinter group.

Also you and Osler could also set up a bloggers support group offering advice and sharing on how to do a blog :-)

stroppybird said...

Sorry , meant to say focus groups. Typos

AN said...

yeah since I got involved with my charity work I have had to learn to speak New Labour bollocks, it is all part of the funding game. Outcomes and empowerment, focus groups and service delivery.

I am on first name terms with the Tory leader of the council and I have even invited Wiltshire police to provide a speaker for our AGM! (no really i have)

AN said...

And on the charity issue, i can see opportunities for Big Lottery funding for Blogger suypport. I wonder for example what proportion of bloggers are women, GLBT, or BME.
This really is prime material for an "Award for All" grant to develop a funded blogger empowerment initiatve, employing staff $$$$$$$

Louisefeminista said...


I work for a charity and this is what happens. You have to ditch the Trot speak for New Labour speak and it is all about focus groups, service delivery, writing reports, statistics and more damn statistics, fundraising and marketing. Having been been on various charity boards and now an employee it brings about totally different experiences.

Though there is a comparison between Trot work and committee meetings. I likes my committees.

Virtual Blogger Support Committees!! FFFFun

AN said...

hi Loiuse

She wouldn't thank me for saying it, but my sister went from speaking new Labour speak, to thinking New Labour think.

I eeven confess that i think some of the emphasis on empowerment can still be useful.

Anyway - bad person Loiuse, for encouraging this thread to drift off topic. Your veiews on blog ettiquette please, and no deviation.

mmmm. I wonder if we could run the comments box like "just a minute"

stroppybird said...

You can rely on Stroppybloggers to go off on tangents about all sorts. Thats why we like the weekend open thread.

So do you think SB could get EU funding , I do think we have a speciality readership at times :-)We cover the topics MLBs do and we are 'oppressed' by the rad fems :-)

BTW GLBT ?, I assume you mean LGBT, juts being pedantic.

stroppybird said...

Sorry, meant to say we cover the topics MLBs (male leftie blogs ) DONT cover - sex/shooting and religion :-)

Louisefeminista said...

Nah, i won't go from speaking New Labour to thinking New Labour (honest guv!)

"Anyway - bad person Loiuse, for encouraging this thread to drift off topic. Your veiews on blog ettiquette please, and no deviation."

Well, virtual wrist slap for me then. My views on blogging etiquette... well, we haven't sat down and discussed it or written a document or passed a resolution as yet though I am we could write our thoughts down on a back of a matchbox.

As Stroppybird says we just write what we want and as there are only two of us that suits us well. And we trust each other as well, which is important but we are open to other people to write guest posts. I trying to get a friend of mine to write something re: the situation in s. Africa regarding the impact of the Jacob Zuma case on left politics.

And I do also think it is important to have a sense of humour as dour po-faced posts/comments are the kiss of death (are ya listening Feminist First and the delightful Twisty from I Blame Patriarchy)

Yeah, running a comments box like "Just a Minute" could be a laugh. Be quirky and imaginative.
Analytical/in-depth posts alongside funny posts are good.

Sex, shooting and religion does indeed pack the punters in!

stroppybird said...

"Sex, shooting and religion does indeed pack the punters in!"

Of course combining all three is the ideal :-)

Louise we are not having bloody committee meetings !! But we do sometimes plan our 'invasions'.

Louisefeminista said...

But.... Stroppy as an ex-Trot I likes my committees. Spouting bollocks is a speciality and finely tuned to espouse the virtues of Leninism (see, nonsensical bollocks)
...Oh dear, going off topic again (kinda)Bad Louise! Bad Louise!

Stroppy is right though we do plan invasions and that can be fun!

stroppybird said...

Then we get told off for turning MLBs into "chatrooms" !!

stroppybird said...

My idea of our committee of two is to meet up and drink to much wine , whilst putting the world to rights :-)

Louisefeminista said...

Yeah, but blokes like to chat as well and they pretend to be all right-on analytical and want talk about the hard political questions. You know, Great Marxist Theoretician crap. Can get bor-ing.

Stroppy is right we like to put the world to right over many bottles of wine. I usually end up tripping up and falling into the gutter (no sense of balance)

stroppybird said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
D.B. said...

I think your blog is great as it is. I like the variety of posters/topics/opinions and I think it's in keeping with the spirit of the blog - socialist unity, representing quite a broad overview of what's happening in socialist politics. The only problem I can imagine is if you started adding 3 or 4 posts per day, which would be a little too much for me to keep up with - I like the steady pace of the blog as it is.

Keep up the good work!