Rate this blog – sidebar widget

By August 14, 2007 10 Comments

One of the challenges in writing a blog like this one is knowing which of your posts are the good ones – ie the ones that you, dear reader, enjoy the most. The comments and Technorati’s list of blogs that link to mine help a lot – but they are both blunt tools. By that I mean you have to feel pretty strongly about something I wrote, and have something to say, and be prepared to do it in public before you will leave a comment or write a post of your own that responds to mine.

My hope with the feedback widget I have just installed from SexyWidget is that it will lower the barriers to leaving a quick bit of feedback, so I will get more of it and can tweak what I write accordingly. Unfortunately you have to log in/register before the feedback will be accepted. You can do that in widget, but it is still a bit of a hurdle. The widget is in the top left sidebar. It isn’t perfect, but hopefully it is good enough.  One smallish issue is that it assumes you have a US keyboard – which means if you register you will need to press Shift+2 to get an @ for the middle of your email address.
I’m interested in all thoughts/comments from style to content. E.g. the post was ‘too long’, ‘a little confusing’, ‘brilliantly written’ (?!?), ‘boring’, ‘original’, ‘repetitive’ etc.

Beyond the primary objective of improving what I do here the general notion of feedback direct to site and lowing the barrier to participation in ‘the conversation’ is an interesting one. As we more into the age of participatory media it is a big deal to know whether we will move much from the 1% create, 10% comment and 89% consume passively that people estimate is the situation today. We will have to if the ‘age of participatory media’ is going to be genuinely participatory.

My feeling is that there is a generational issue at play here. For the Myspace generation leaving comments on people’s walls and profiles is second nature in a way it never was to me as a kid and that in itself might be enough to move the percentages above. Another thing that will help is tools like the feedback widget I have just installed which make it less of a big deal to make your first contribution.

What might be better than a sidebar widget would be an in-post widget that worked inside RSS feed readers. Roughly 70% of my readers access TheEquityKicker via a feed reader so something that worked in-feed would make it easier still to leave feedback.