The purpose of this BlogFest is to give participants some practical experience in being part of a blogging community. It will hopefully be a community in which we can learn from each other and bounce ideas off each other.

Twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays) from January 4 - 22 you will be set a task. Each task will be described in a new post on this blog.

Once you have written a post on your blog that complies with the task, then you will tell us where to go to see your blog post.

Part of every task is visit the blogs of other participants and leave a comment.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Task #5: Give your visitors something to do

Some people say "I created my blog but nobody came".

I am a strong believer in giving people something to do when they come to your blog.

Some will come just to read what you have to say, but reading a blog post can be a pretty quick thing to do, and the visitor is off to their next port of call within a minute or two.

However if you give them something to do they will stay longer, and perhaps even engage in that conversation I keep talking about.

Here are some suggestions.
  • Ask a big question - in your post be deliberately provocative so that they will be dying to comment, solve your problem, or suggest some sites for you to visit. In a later post, base what you say on the recommendations, new sites etc.
  • Follow a theme through. Explore an idea in one post, and then follow it up in the next couple of posts with more research etc. Check what I did on my blog with Skype in the Classroom. Invite readers to add to your knowledge.
  • Run a game (like the spaceship one on Cecily's embedding post - I played that 3 times)
  • Run a poll. Pose the question for the poll in your post and then create the poll either using the tool provided in the platform you are using (Blogger has quite a good polling tool) or something like PollDaddy. It is important I think that the poll displays in your post. People are less likely to go off to another site to take the poll. Make the poll short too.
  • Run a meme. A meme is a bit like what we have been doing here in every post. You pose a challenge, ask people go off to their own blog and write a response, linked back to yours, and to come back and tell readers of your blog where their response is - either by a comment or in a Mr Linky. Have a look at this one I run regularly.
  • Collect some data via a Google form. Embed the form in your blog post, and then after you've collected the data summarise it in a post. Check this one.
  • Give an award. Nothing like making a list of your favourite blog sites and giving them an award. You write a post, give them an award, and then invite them to hand the award on. It is a very common practice in the blogging world to help generate traffic between blogs. Check some of the awards you can give here. Usually you use an existing graphic or generate your own, and encourage your awardees to use your graphic, and link back to your post.
The other thing you might like to think about is to somehow monitor what is happen (stats) on your blog. Not so easy to do on either the blogs or on blogs. But you could embed a counter like Sitemeter, Feedjit, Clustrmap, or even Frapprmap to at least give the impression of activity happening on your blog.

So, after that long preamble, your task is to write a post
  • that gives the visitor something to do.
  • links back to this Task #5 post.
Come back here and add your name (or that of your blog) and the URL of your post to Mr Linky below.
  • visit the other blogs and take part in the activity they provide. Make a note of how long you spent on their post doing their activity, and leave a comment to that effect. Did you find the activity engaging?
Thursday's post will be the last in our BlogFest, and, I'm warning you now, will ask you to be reflective about our journey.

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