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GIO Bloggers Group Fireside Chat #2

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  • Some of you are frequent bloggers, but even more than that, most of you are regular blog readers. I thought it would be worthwhile to collaborate on a project concerning elements that attract readers to blogs. We will analyze a few different components of the blog including title, author, format, content and tone by asking a series of questions about each and then individually voting on them. Those so compelled can opt to a leave a comment on each field and data point or collectively summarize their thoughts on the discussion. This will be compiled and posted in a blog for the rest of the community. Obviously with so few members this is but a brief cross section of the greater whole, but some of the data and discussion generated from this Fireside Chat might benefit us when crafting our next blog.

    You are free to contribute as little or as much as you want - at a minimum you should expect to vote on the different questions and agree for your responses and comments to be published publicly.

    Before I post the first component and associated questions, does anybody have comments or concerns?


  • I have kind of following this a bit in my absence. I think it is a very cool idea(as usual).  Where does this take place?  And your name is not Tim.

    "You know nothing Jon Snow"

  • It will all take place right here...and once we're done discussing it I'll post the results in a blog. And my name  is not Tim. I don't know how or why that shows up there...they are like default tags or something. :D

  • Haha, I think Ashaman's name is Tim, maybe he snuck it in there.  Well, I think the idea for this week is a very good topic.  I have had people tell me they don't like blogs with pictures, don't like blogs without pictures, etc.  So format and structure is certainly "important" to consider if you want to reach the biggest audience.

    Author is also important, but not as much as some people think, at least in my opinion.  Somebody who consistently puts out great blogs will certainly draw more attention, but a newer blogger or member can also catch the eye of users if things like the title and title picture are done well.  Also, if they blog fairly regularly for a couple of weeks, they will start getting plenty of views and comments.  

    Tone is also key.  If a blog starts off very matter of fact, defensive, or demanding to be heard and agreed with, then whatever is listed after that can be taken negatively, even if much of what is stated is actually valid and reasonable.  Of course, the other way can have unexpected impact as well.  I tend to start off lighthearted and try to be funny and silly, but I know some people don't care much for the shtick.

    And of course, content is what makes most people really enjoy the blog(or not).  I think that most of us have read dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of blogs about games as art, so if someoby is going to tackle that topic, I prefer it be done from a unique and interesting perspective.  This goes for any topic that is discussed a lot; Mass Effect ending, violence in games, used games, dlc. etc.  I think that one big reason(among several) that readers are attracted to the blogs that Saint writes, is because he has  a knack for looking at things from a distinct POV, even if, especially when, it is one of those much blogged about topics.

    I don't know if I am doing this correctly, but I think it is a good topic, and those are my initial thoughts on the possible discussion subjects.

    "You know nothing Jon Snow"

  • Glad to have you aboard and so anxious to get started. Tomorrow I will post the first topic...it will be: TITLE. I will post five questions about the title and hopefully each person will vote 1 - 5 on each of the questions. And of course comments are always welcomed. So, check back again tomorrow for the questions to vote on.

  • Yeah, slipped that tag in on the welcome string...  

    I like this topic and think it could help new and old alike.

    Format and tone were things I struggled with (and still do to a degree) when I started blogging. I think that more than anything each person has their own style that fits the way they write and don't really think there is a 'one fits all' solution to how to go about writing.  I do however, think that there are quite a few rules of thumb for generating views and comments and look forward to the discussion!

  • Fire when ready!


  • Okay, so first up is Title. Five questions with answers ranging from 1 - 5 based on the included scale. You can answer publicly or privately (send me a message) and feel free to add any comments you want to make about the importance of the title when deciding which blogs to read.


    1. I decide which blogs to read based on the title?

    2. I read blogs with a long title?

    3. I read blogs with a short title?

    4. I read blogs with mature titles or titles that imply mature content?

    5. I read blogs only when the title implies it pertains to video games?

    Answer Key

    1 – Strongly Disagree

    2 – Somewhat Disagree

    3 – N/A or Neutral

    4 – Somewhat Agree

    5 – Strongly Agree

  • 1.--4--Somewhat agree--but I will say I may pick which blogs I read first based on title.  But I do try to read as many as possible.

    2.--4--Somewhat Agree--I don't mind long titles, as long as it isn't one huge run on sentence that doesn't have a whole lot of "intrigue" in it.  I will say, that the 30/30 or 31/31 titles have become a bit of a turn off...and it's probably wrong of me to say so(tho I know I am not the only one that feels this way).  The blogs are often quite good, there are just too many of them and it becomes overwhelming to keep up.  I honestly feel people that want to blog for a month straight are better off just doing it with no daily announcement.  I think that they would get better reception. Perhaps not early on when the first few people did them, but I think that would hold true now.  Sorry...it's just how I feel:(

    3--2--Somewhat Disagree--I want the title to be either catchy, or do a good job of explaining the blog context, the best titles can do both.  Some short titles (4-5 words?) can do that, but not many.

    4--3--Neutral--I am not drawn to those blogs, but I am not turned away, unless the mature content happens to be unecessary vulgarity or negativity.

    5--1--Strongly Disagree--One reason I think GIO is great is because people can open up and be themselves and go off topic now and then.  Now, I wouldn't want this to become a full time Dear Abby type of thread, but often the blogs I like the most from my favorite bloggers are the ones that skirt the lines of gaming. I especially like the ones that combine both, like many of Saint's often do.  TLDR--If you mostly blog about games, doing a different subject matter is cool now and then.

    "You know nothing Jon Snow"

  • 1) 5

    2) 3

    3) 3

    4) 2

    5) 1

    Most of my descion to actually read a blog pertains to my mood that day and time constraints. If someone happens to be talking about something that interest me or even more is a subject I have a preformed opinion about I will read it. I tend to only read the blogs I feel I can attribute a worthwhile comment to. So I'm not entirely sure how much my say counts.

    Azelra fell from her throne. I am Sorin-Life Bringer, and I must asend to her place as The Seventh Dragon Lord of the Consul of Light

  • 1. (4) Titles let you know quite a bit, when done properly. If I can tell that a blog is about a game or subject I don't necessarily care for, I'll skip it. Even if it's written by someone I like. For example, during Jameson (Joyful Penguin) 31/31, he did a few Halo blogs. I've never played, so the impact would have been lost on me, so I skipped them. If the title doesn't tell me anything, I look to the author.

    2. (1) The length of a title doesn't have any influence on if I read a blog or not. If a title needs to be shorter or longer than most, I trust the authors decision.

    3. (1) See question 2.

    4. (3) Mojo hit it on the head with this one.

    5. (4) This is a gaming website. I frequent GIO for video games. If I wasn't a gamer, I wouldn't even think of the site. Sure, the community is amazing, but if I was unable to play video games, seeing other people enjoy them would make me feel awful. Naturally, I prefer video game related blogs. As for the non-gaming blogs, the title and author have a lot to do with if I read them or not.

    "I'm a dude, playin' a dude, disguised as anotha dude! You a dude that don't know what dude he is!"  -Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder

  • 1. Somewhat Agree.  There are times when one catches my eye that wouldn't ordinarily, but I always at least read the first sentance when deciding how to spend what little free time I have!

    2. Somewhat Agree.  I've always been a bit afraid to say it but I agree with Mojo on the 30/30s.  Like him, I think many are good reads but for the same reasons listed think it'd be better to just write every day without announcing it.  It can sometimes turn me off reading them as much as I hate admitting it as I've read some in the past that seemed 'phoned in' just to have the post for the day done.

    3.  Neutral.  A short title doesn't help or hurt the odds of me reading it excepting one worders or jibberish which I gloss over (or make a snarky comment!)

    4.  Somewhat disagree.  While I've used this tactic a few times myself a provocative title is generally just that. A silly attempt to get views...

    5.  Somewhat Agree.  Unless it's one of the dozen or so people that I feel like I actually know I'm generally not interested in off-topic blogs.  That may sound ignorant, but I even threw a game-related paragraph in my uncle's eulogy blog so I think you all know how I feel about content! :)

    *I'd say I read on average half the blogs posted in a given week and comment on a third of those.  I rarely comment if I don't feel I've got something to add to the conversation unless I just want to let a writer know I think they knocked it out of the park. And, while I'm sure it'll be a topic of another evening, I can't stress enough how important the first sentance can be in regards to bringing in an audience!  A lesson it took me many months of blogging to learn!

  • 1. (5) Strongly agree. A strong, catchy (and pertinent) title is the best hook for me, more so than any other single factor (namely, featured image or author).

    2. (3) Neutral. Length in and of itself doesn't generally influence the likelihood I'll read something.

    3. (3) Neutral. Same as 2.

    4. (4) Somewhat agree. It depends on the actual topic, but I have to admit that I am something of a sucker for debating a semi-controversial topic (as I've done myself on occasion).

    5. (4) Somewhat agree. I pretty much agree with what Jolt & Asha said.

  • 1. 4 - I have a limited amount of free time, and some days I can't come onto the site at all. When I'm looking at 10-30 blogs and not much time, I definitely have to pick and choose. A strong title is a great way to do that. Also, as Jolt said, if a blog is obviously about a subject matter I don't know/don't care about, I'm not going to read it.

    2. 3 - The length of a title has no bearing on whether I read it.

    3. 3 - see above.

    4. 1 - Though it depends. If the "mature content" is just a controversial subject matter that might take someone who is more mature to understand it or whatever, that's fine. The way I'm interpreting this, however, is the blogs I've seen around that have actual mature/bordering on explicit content. I have no interest in reading anything on this site that tries to be shocking by using sexual and/or vulgar themes.

    5. 3 - This is where title and author are big indicators. I've been enjoying Glasses' travel blogs, for instance, and Jolt has posted a blog or two in the past I enjoyed that were pretty much "kids say the darndest things." Also, I remember the 10 questions blogs or WGWC had oftentimes content that wasn't necessarily video game related. I enjoy those when I'm in the mood or the person is interesting, but at the same time I have friends who blog normal blogs that I follow and are not connected to this site, so I get plenty of life blogs elsewhere.

  • 1. I decide which blogs to read based on the title? 4

    2. I read blogs with a long title? 3

    3. I read blogs with a short title? 4

    4. I read blogs with mature titles or titles that imply mature content? 1

    5. I read blogs only when the title implies it pertains to video games? 2

    I don't decide to read blogs on title alone, but the title is very important. When I post blogs, I tend to think of the title as the "sales pitch." I'd say it's the #1 attention grabber for a post.


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