The Tao of Blogs, Part I

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 23, 2005

It’s still a mystery to me why some of my blog posts get a lot of comments, while others seem to get lost in the ether. Lately, though, I have noticed one pattern: When I ask for help, I get it. A recent post requesting picks for best of the Web has produced 20 comments (a lot for me) and still counting. (Thanks, everybody!)

The tough thing for journalists, I think, is that we’re supposed to provide answers, not just pose questions. So what makes a really good story—insight into an issue or person or company, wrapped up in a tidy, complete package—is precisely what doesn’t work on a blog. People are more interested in responding to questions. Provide just answers, and, well, there’s nothing more to say. I’m not sure that means there’s no value in posts that tell rather than ask, that reveal rather than inquire. But like the know-it-all at a party, it seems they don’t spark very interesting conversations.

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Reader Comments

Busty

August 23, 2005 12:55 PM

Dear Journalist,

I read this post.

It enriched my life.

Best,
Blog reader.

Michael Parekh

August 26, 2005 03:14 PM

me too.

Diana

August 31, 2005 08:39 PM

I don't know about other blog communities, but, on Xanga you can write a heartfelt blog thanking people for their kindness or write something personal or that you consider quite profound or just good and receive little to no comments. If someone posts one sentence or sometimes even just a simple word, people flock onto your blog and have a conversation in the comments' section.

I don't even ask questions anymore. People do love to hand out the advice and voice their opinions. You are right, when all the answers are already provided, readers tend to keep quiet.

Ansgar Gerstner

August 30, 2009 06:30 PM

I just wondered about all these "The Tao of ..."
Author of The Tao of Business, Hong Kong, Earnshaw Books (www.earnshawbooks.com), 2009

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