I have been blogging on BerserkHippo.com for a little over 1.5 years. I have written almost 1400 posts in that time. About 85% of these have been classified as linked list-style posts, the concept of which was inspired by people like John Gruber, Shawn Blanc, Ben Brooks and others. The idea was simply that linking to other things was a good way to share good content with other people, with some of my own commentary, without writing a “full” post. My own comments ranged from no words to hundreds of words. While I never had any strict rules or guidelines, my typical goal was to post about a dozen or so of these posts per week, spread out across the five weekdays. I would then sprinkle in one or two longer form posts whenever I had time to write them.
I took an impromptu sabbatical from blogging last week and it gave me some time to reflect on my posting habits. First of all, because I don’t read my RSS feeds every day, I am often (very) behind on my news feeds. This is relevant because 95% of the things I post I find while reading RSS feeds. This means that in a good week the links I am posting are a few days old and on the worst week the links could be a month old. While I often try to add my own commentary that allows people to get my take, it’s usually short, sweet and without much thought. That combined with slightly dated links doesn’t add a ton of value to my readers.
Ironically, a reader pointed out to me how he saw a link to a post on a social network and clicked through only to be disappointed that the post didn’t go into the level of detail he expected it to. In other words, I was inadvertently link baiting. I know that many of my readers are less likely to be familiar with sites like Daring Fireball and the concept of link posts. This means that many people don’t know to click through to the source article, or that it’s even there.
So where I am going with all of this? I feel like I want to change my posting habits to add more substance. I am going to cut down on posting “news” type links unless I have something very significant to say. I am going to spend more time writing posts with more value. I will still link to things that are very good or do a good job of saying things I have thought and otherwise would have written about, but you won’t see me posting links to things like TV show premiere dates. When you add this all up it means that I will be posting less per week but hopefully more words, with a bigger impact.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Would it make you read more frequently or less frequently?