Over the past few weeks, Stuart Aken has been posing a number of questions on his website. These are not writing related but offer a change of subject and direction for both the writer and visitors to the site.
The issue here is whether these act as a distraction from the main purpose of a writer’s blog or whether they bring in new readers due to the variety of subjects raised. It’s early days yet, and no conclusion is possible. However, Stuart is persevering with the experiment, if for no other reason than it allows him to draw in opinion on subjects of interest.
Interestingly, comments are invited for these discussion topics and response rates have been quite varied. What is possibly a little frustrating from a blogging point of view is the way that responders make comments on other social media rather than on the post itself. So, for example, the latest question in the series related to religion. He posted a link to the blog post on his author page on Facebook. This was picked up by his publisher, who shared it on his own FB page. The blog post picked up 27 comments from a potential readership of 18,000, but the post on Facebook generated over 100 comments from a recorded readership of 329. This may be an intriguing insight into the motivation around commenting. Perhaps those who commented via FB hoped and intended that their friends would see and respond to their comments, whereas those who made their comments on the blog were content to have only the specific followers of the blog notice their remarks. Who knows? One thing has become clear, however; the nature of the questions has actually increased the numbers following the blog.
Stuart will continue this occasional activity to encourage discussion of topics both trivial and serious. So far, there have been just 3 such questions posed, under the generic title of ‘I’d Like to Know: Why?’.
The list runs as follows: #1 Why Make it Hard for thePostman? #2 Why Do They Keep Terminal Sufferers Alive? #3 Why Are We Requiredto Respect Religion? Click on the titles to reach the appropriate posts.
What’s next? Well, you’ll have to follow the blog by clicking here to discover that, as Stuart produces these items on impulse, rather than in a planned manner.