We’d really appreciate a bit of feedback about the site. First, some background and an explanation as to why we’re asking.
We’ve written this website in one form or another since the start of 2006. We wrote just over a thousand posts on the old .blogspot.com domain and have added a further 2,300 or so here at .co.uk. That is quite a lot of writing and rather more effort than you might imagine because we’ve had to learn about managing a website along the way – something we’re still pretty ignorant about, if we’re honest.
Despite the ads, it is not an earner. This is not a complaint as such; it’s more an indication that we persist for other reasons. Basically, we enjoy it. We write something, then a few people leave comments and more often than not, the comments make us laugh. We once said to someone that you get the comments you deserve on a website, because your audience reflects you. We can only get away with saying that because we like what appears on our site. If we attracted a great heap of arseholes, we’d think that was a stupid theory.
The point is that this is the way we see the site, but we don’t know if you see it the same way. We see it as being a daily source of idle chat with the articles being mere hooks off which everything else is hung. But we’re not really representative of the overall readership, which is why we’d like a bit of feedback, if you’d be so kind.
As for why we’re asking this now, there are a couple of reasons. Websites evolve by necessity, simply because the nature of the internet evolves. We’ve been wondering for a while now whether the niche we used to fill still exists.
It used to be that the comments section of a website was where like-minded people would interact. However, that function is increasingly being served by Twitter. That site also serves as an outlet for shorter, punchier, of-the-moment writing, which was a large part of what we originally did here.
Partly because of this and partly because it just happened, we’ve taken to writing rather longer pieces here in recent times. We used to restrict ourself to a paragraph or two at most, but, for better or worse, we tore up that rule quite some time ago.
Longer pieces take more time, but more importantly, they seem to burn up more energy. Maybe it’s that or maybe it’s the fact that we’ve covered so many different topics already over the course of those 3,000-and-odd posts that we sometimes feel a bit uninspired these days. That’s no good to anyone, so we can’t have that. Write because you feel you have to and people can easily tell.
So what are you asking?
We try and add an article pretty much every weekday, because of the comments thing. We think of the site as being a regular, brief escape from the drudgery of work. However, we can’t write longer articles every day. Quite simply, we don’t have that much to say.
It’s also possible that we’re entirely wrong about how people use the site. Our cycling site has a lot of people who subscribe by email, but it doesn’t get many comments. It occurs to us that King Cricket has several hundred email subscribers and many of them never actually visit the site itself. What do these people want or expect from the site? We’d love to hear from you. Then there are mobile users. Maybe you’re looking for something different again?
We could ask whether you’d prefer occasional, longer articles or regular, shorter articles, but we’d prefer to keep this more open-ended than that. Are you interested in our opinions or do you only care about the bad jokes? Do you think there’s another way of working? Should we spend more time on Twitter making bad jokes and produce only occasional, longer articles on the site when we’ve really got something to say? What is this site for? We don’t want to lose all our readers because we’re ploughing a pointless furrow.
The final word
Bear in mind that at the end of the day we’ll do whatever the bloody hell we want to do. We’ll listen to what you say and take it into account, but if you start trying to meet expectations, you end up like a tired old rock band, endlessly performing your greatest hits to ever-diminishing effect.