Last Sunday, I asked Erin Reads readers to fill out a quick survey to help me decide how best to use my blogging time. Many people respond, and the feedback has been very helpful. Thank you to all of you who took a moment to help me out! I received several requests to share my results, which I’ll do today and tomorrow.
95% of the people who took the survey are followers of Erin Reads in some way (RSS, email, GFC, etc.). I’m really happy about that, as it means most of the responses came from people who are (and will hopefully continue to be!) regular readers. Here are the results for each question, along with how the results impact Erin Reads. (Yes, the pie charts are excessive, but I was bored!)
Question #1: Do you read responses to comments you leave on other blogs?
With well over three quarters of Erin Reads readers checking back or subscribing to comments at least some of the time, I plan to continue replying to every comment left.
I really enjoy when comments turn into mini conversations, and it would be hard for me to feel okay with not replying, so I’m glad the data suggests I keep doing what I’m doing. The number of comments left here certainly isn’t unmanageable, so for now, at least, I’ll keep on replying, at least every couple of days.
Question #2: How do you feel about blog owners emailing comment responses?
I’ve toyed with using a plug-in* that allows commenters to subscribe to direct replies only, instead of subscribing to all subsequent comments left on a post. (*A plug-in is a sort of extra feature bloggers using self-hosted WordPress can install on their blogs.) This would be something you could opt into on a comment-by-comment basis, not a default or blanket setting.
The up side to this plug-in is that those who prefer to receive emailed comment replies without subscribing to every comment left could do so. The down side is that, at the moment, this plug-in does not offer a way to unsubscribe. I cannot imagine this ever being a problem, as it’s usually just me replying to people’s comments, and I know that other bloggers use it on their blogs without any problems. But I’d rather not start offering the option without being up front about the unsubscribe thing.
My question to you: would you like to see this option on Erin Reads?
Question #3: Which style of blogging do you prefer?
The results for this question are especially helpful to me. Up til now, I’ve been able to keep up a daily schedule of posting, but if my schedule does change in the near future, I was curious about which sort of posting schedule readers preferred. As you can see from the numbers, most people prefer just the meatier posts. We all have limited blog reading time, so I can certainly understand that!
Personally, I prefer to write substantial posts, like reviews (or “book thoughts,” as I’ve taken to calling them). I have never been a big meme person and actually find them harder to complete than posts of my own creation. Aside from the Sunday Salon, which feels rather un-meme-like to me, I won’t be participating in any regular memes. I will not make a habit of posting more than once a day. Nor will I worry about posting filler material just to have a daily post.
I will continue my Saturday feature (My Week in Books) as well as my Wednesday Classics Reclamation Project posts. And I have every intention of keeping up with at least two other “reviews” per week. I’ve been toying with a sort of “reading reflections” type posts, written while I’m in the process of reading a book, kind of like my War and Peace: Characters post from last week. Sometimes the writing in a book strikes me in a particular way, and I’ve thought I might like to share some of those passages as well. We’ll see!
What I’ve learned from this survey is that if I cut back on post frequency but keep the same style of posts, most people won’t mind. Many would notice, however, if I stopped replying to comments. I won’t be automatically emailing comment replies to people, but I may start offering the option to opt in on a comment-to-comment basis, depending on how people feel about the plug-in described under question #2 above.
I promised to share the tips people offered for managing my Google Reader, but this post is getting much longer than I’d intended. Stop back tomorrow for Reader Survey Results Part 2: Tips!