Today is the first day of the 2009 Blog Improvement Project, and the topic under discussion is what goals I have for my blog in 2009. I thought I had this figured out already, but Kim and the authors of some of the articles she links to have brought up a good point: it’s better to have quantitative goals than abstract, unmeasurable ones. Some of my goals fit into the former but then again, some of them were basically useless and fit into the latter. I ended up re-thinking my blog goals and I think I’ve gotten to a point where I can both accomplish them and measure them.
First, I want to get better at writing reviews. Don’t worry– I have a clear idea of how I’m defining “better,” and it even ties into one of my later goals! By “better” I mean I want my reviews to be something I’d be happy to send into a magazine for publication, and less like I jotted ideas down on a napkin and chucked it at the screen. I don’t want to lose any personal touches, but I do want to see my reviews grow into something more structured. The entails figuring out what I already like about my reviews (humor? detailed analysis of things besides plot), what I like about other people’s reviews, and how I can incorporate that into what I want my reviews to be. I’ve kinda already started doing it, but for 2009 I need to bump it up a notch or two.
Actually, maybe that one’s not so quantitative except in an abstract way (feelings! woh-woh-woh feeelings~), but, er. I’m keeping it.
My second goal is to get more involved in the book blogging community. I can (and will) do this by commenting more on others’ blogs, by hosting a book giveaway and by starting a reading challenge.
Branching off of this is my goal to start actively encouraging reader participation. I can do this by coming up with some– oh, horrors!– discussion questions regarding the book, maybe, or just something more general yet related to the book. For my review of The Secret Adversary, for instance, I could ask people to comment with their favorite inter-war detective novels, or with their favorite Agatha Christie character.
My last goal is to turn my blog into something I would want to read if I wasn’t already writing it. This includes everything: the posts, the design, the community, the activities, etc. I’ve already looked at other blogs and have started to figure out what it is I like about those blogs; now I just have to figure out how those things relate to me and my blog, if I can duplicate them or even improve upon them, and put them into action. This is tougher than it sounds, but if I combine this goal with my other goals, I should be on my way to accomplishing it.
I would also like to stop getting spam comments, but that seems an impossible dream.