More on group blogs

I got an email today from Gary Cornell (Apress publisher), who told me that they had decided to split their blogs out into individual blogs, based partly on my comments about group blogs.

That triggered another thought about group blogs, something I didn't realize I'm doing.

When I first start reading a blog, I put it on a sort of "mental probation", until I'm convinced that it has content that's worth my while to read. What I realized is that I base this probation on a specific number of posts - if it hasn't gotten interesting in <x> posts (where <x> varies, but is probably less than 10), I'll unsubscribe.

For a single new blogger, that will normally get over their initial rough posts, and give me a chance to see what they can do, but for a group blog, I may be seeing 3 people ramping up at the same time, so I'm more likely to stop reading.

Comments (5)

  1. Uwe Keim says:

    There do exist other blogs beside the MSDN blogs??? You must be joking… 😉

  2. Aaron says:

    True. And I’ve read some group blogs where some of the bloggers are intelligent and have useful posts, and some are downright shitty. With a group blog, you can’t just "unsubscribe" from one of the particular bloggers.

    Althought that might be an interesting feature for an aggregator… filter out posts by a custom name or tagline…

  3. Group discussion areas are good, but the blog format isn’t really appropriate for it. You’re really better off with a bulletin board type medium where active conversations bubble back to the top as people comment on them, instead of shifting down to oblivion as new posts show up.

    If you’re going to use blog software, which is designed for a personal journal rather than an active discussion, for a group… then you need to modify it. Provide more views: "Most active posts", "Most active posters", "Most recent comments", "Highest rated", even break them down by topic and poster.

  4. James says:

    It’s the group blogs that don’t get over that stage which bother me most – the ones I’ve seen have initial introductions from about half the team, followed by one or two posts from some other guy who wants to link to someone else’s blog. Then silence for six months and an apology for being slack.

    That’s my filter: I unsubscribe from any blog that apologises for not posting more frequently (unless I recognise that their last post wasn’t so long ago). Otherwise, I won’t notice them not post.

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