Please don't promote blogs that aren't in the Mumsnet Bloggers Network. Join the network

What is this section meant to be about?

(116 Posts)
DillyTante Fri 14-Sep-12 18:40:30

You know, I'm finding that I rarely use this bloggers section anymore because I don't really know the point of it.

Is it somewhere where we discuss blogging related issues, e.g. Technical, writing, ideas etc. Is it where we share our latest blog posts? We do that on one thread and it's not very interactive, I feel that people post and run and don't read other people's posts. Some people post separately when they post but if we all did that the place would be over run and you'd never really see anything.

This isn't supposed to be where we share other people's blogs, though I'm not sure where on MN we'd do that then if not for the bloggers section.

There are a lot of people who just come on this section and never go on the rest of MN, just treat it as if it is it's own little chat forum. But that never goes down well on MN, for good reason, you never really get a feel for the ethos of the place, and it feels like you just don't care about MN enough. So then I get irrationally angry at people who post random questions that are nothing to do with blogging and would be better on the Relationship or Education (etc) sections.

So what is this space meant to be all about? What do YOU want from it, how can we make it better, because I mostly find it quite slow & boring ATM but I'd like to hang around here a bit more.

Tee2072 Fri 14-Sep-12 21:52:21

I find it completely pointless, TBH.

And I report all the threads that don't belong, that have nothing to do with blogging.

To be completely honest, I find the whole network pretty pointless. Even when MNHQ promotes my blog via Twitter, I don't get any more hits than if they didn't.

There are too many bloggers.

germyrabbit Fri 14-Sep-12 21:53:23

i think it's where people can talk about themselves all the time and hope maybe some other people might listen grin

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 15-Sep-12 14:56:07

Hello Dillytante

All good questions, and ones which we've been pondering here at MBHQ.

Our thinking at the moment is that the Bloggers topic is a bit hard to find, hidden away as it is within 'Other Subjects'. We're considering giving it it's own category, and having topics within that category which might make things a bit clearer for folks. So "Bloggers: newbies' questions", "bloggers: building traffic", "bloggers: social media" etc.

We want bloggers to feel that they have a community here, of course - but we were also thinking that it might be good to get a bit more 'crossover' between the network and the rest of MN. We'd like non-bloggers to feel they come over for a chat as well, so we're mulling a 'bloggers: in the news' section - bloggers can post links to topical blog-posts (which they can't do on the rest of MN), and non-bloggy MNers can read their posts and also join in with the general discussion.

We'd also have a topic for blogprompts, where bloggers can suggest topics which might inspire others to post. We've been doing a few recently - not with great success admittedly grin - but we think it might be a slow-burner...wink

What do you think? We're very open to suggestions, and now that the summer hols are well and truly behind us we'll be focusing on ways to refresh the network and make it more blogger- and reader-friendly. We've got a few ideas, and we'd love to hear yours - whether they be about improving parts of the site, changing how we promote your posts, or anything else!

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 15-Sep-12 15:19:42

Oh, and how about 'Bloggers: AIBU'? wink

QueenMaeve Sat 15-Sep-12 18:25:20

I feel a bit of loyalty to the rest of the mumsnet bloggers as I got into blogging in the first place through mumsnet. But I do think there has been less and less interaction in this part of mn. I do find it helpful for some of the technical stuff though, and people have helped me out at times. The bloggers email is good, but that only goes to other bloggers? Would it be possible for mnetters to sign up to a newsletter of blogposts of the month, a mix of stuff? Just a thought.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 15-Sep-12 18:41:25

That's a really good idea QueenMaeve - we'll look into it. Any more <bats lashes>?

Tee2072 Sun 16-Sep-12 06:19:58

I think splitting the section into topics will get you less posts, not more. It seems to me the number one complaint on MN as a whole is that there are too many topics.

I have no suggestions. Just complaints. Sorry.

DillyTante Sun 16-Sep-12 08:06:06

Yes I also think that it will preserve the distinction between the bloggers section & rest of MN. Is that what you want? I guess the difference is most blog forums started from bloggers getting together so the emergence of topics was natural (I dunno - never actually been on any other forums, except Confetti, but the less said about that the better!). Mumsnet is already an established forum so why do you need other topics just for the bloggers? Unless they are blog specific.

I haven't found mumsnet blog network to be massively advantageous either (apart from inspiring me to start in the first place for which I am very grateful). Like QM I am loyal to certain bloggers because we all started together on here, e.g. QM, petiteraleus, MmeLindor, MmeGuillotine, RecipeJunkie etc. but it has lost its community.

Blogging is a difficult one as even though it is technical social media, bloggers are by definition one sided and not massively interactive. Combine that with the desire to get stats and get read it feels a little bit like a jostling match. Those of us who want more of a forum are probably already using Mumsnet in that way.

With regards to promotion I see MNBloggers on twitter but nowhere else. For all Mumsnet's power as a social network I haven't seen that power translate to the Blog Network.

Sorry, I don't really have any answers either but will have a think. Sorry to moan, you know I am a die-hard mnetter!

Tee2072 Sun 16-Sep-12 08:27:37

I would agree about promotion. There doesn't seem to be any.

I have been told, and don't shoot me, but that this is also something NetMums does very very well. And lord know BritMums is thriving.

So what do they do that MN don't do?

DillyTante Sun 16-Sep-12 09:29:44

I don't know. But MN is not well known for blogging yet, which is a shame because MNetters are generally known for being eloquent and opinionated.

Tee2072 Sun 16-Sep-12 11:47:47

Dilly that is true and is a bit ridiculous as hasn't the network been going for about a year?

I honestly think MNHQ are doing too many things with house swap and message boards and bloggers network and their school thing...find one thing, do it and do it well.

blueish Sun 16-Sep-12 20:33:16

I've been on MN a long time and am used to fast interactive chat and busy threads. I've just started blogging and came on to the blogger's forum for some help/advice/support which I had fro the lovely DillyTante but apart from that this does seem like the back of beyond in the middle of bum f*ck nowhere so a bit of a waste of space. Ideally I'd have posted in chat (where the people are) but you probably would have moved it to here anyway.

I hardly come on MN any more as I've discovered twitter and there's no time for both but I do miss MN and if the bloggers bit could be integrated with eg 'chat' then I would come on much more often for blogging interaction plus and then I'd already be here for the other topics I always loved.

There are far too many headings and in the end it makes it too time consuming & unnecessary complicated. I always liked going on the dog & cat bit until you changed it to separate headings, one for dogs & one for cats ! What was the point of that, it's not like they're real and have to be kept apart. Lots of people have dogs AND cats and it's practical & easy to keep them under one heading.

God I haven't had a rant on MN for a long time. It feels good to be back but also very frustrating.

JoanneMallon Mon 17-Sep-12 10:05:58

Isn't the core problem that the wider community here (mostly) hates blogging, can't see the point in it and has a tendency to have an absolute shitfit at anyone (*gasp*) trying to attract traffic for their blog?

I think that what this section needs is more experienced bloggers - at the moment there are too many people asking questions and not enough with the knowledge to answer them. I do answer some, but not all as it would be a big bore if all you ever heard from was me.

But the experienced bloggers stay away because they are well aware of the anti-blogging ethos in the wider MN community, and they know that this network has not delivered much in the way of traffic or networking opportunities.

I think that if more was done to promote the bloggers - eg by updating the Featured Bloggers list on the right more regularly, then you would see more experienced bloggers round these parts and it would gain much more energy and traffic. Some of the people on that list have had months of promotion, but when have they ever posted here? What have they given back?

MmeLindor Mon 17-Sep-12 10:14:43

Oh, good thread Dilly.

I have been a bit quiet on both the blogging and the MNetting front for the past little while but I do kind of agree with you all.

Saying that, while MNBN doesn't really bring many readers to the blog, it has been immensely useful in making contact with other bloggers, and has opened the doors for me to do some amazing things. I realise that I am probably the unusual in this respect, as a lot of that has to do with the Kenya trip.

I really like the idea of having a blog/In The News connection as many of us do post on topical issues. Could that be extended to other topics such as Geeky Stuff and Parenting?

It would be great if we could integrate more with the rest of the boards, instead of being separate - then we could leave the Blogger section for actual blogging questions and connecting with other bloggers.

eg in Being A Parent - we could have a section 'What our Bloggers Think' where we could post links to our blogs.

Maybe it has to be clear that only MNBloggers are allowed to post a link on the rest of the site, and only on one section at a time. So if I write a blog post about meal times, I can't put it in Feed The World and Being A Parent.

Or we might need to have one thread within these topics where we post links to our blogs - so that we don't 'spam' the boards with hundreds of blog links and get everyone all riled up.

Other than that, I think that promoting the blogs more is crucial. It needs to be more of a 'these are OUR bloggers' kind of thing, in that many of us are MNetters who happen to have a blog rather than bloggers who join MN for the network.

And this has to include the discussion on what MNHQ wants.

If you want hundreds of blogs which have no discernible connection to MN then they are unlikely to get that support.

For many of us 'regular' MNetters, it does sometimes feel that we are being left behind, and that quantity is more important that the acceptance within the MN community.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Sep-12 10:19:58

Hello again - and thanks all.  We're aware that there's lots of room for improvement and we've got various good things in the pipeline. Short-term we've got plans to improve promotion of blogs within the main Mumsnet site, so that MNers who don't venture onto the Bloggers Network do get a chance to see what we're up to. As always it's a question of resources, but we're hoping to start that ball rolling very soon. We're also going to be ramping up our Twitter activity and improving promotion via the @MNTowers account, and Facebook and Google+ -- which should bring more eyeballs our way.

Longer term, we've got plans to improve our homepage so that it will be MUCH easier to promote more posts every day - at the moment we're really limited to three posts, which clearly isn't enough. 

Your points about Bloggers' Talk are really interesting. Dillytante, I think you're right that bloggers can be less chatty, with much of their 'social' energy going towards producing and promoting their posts. And blueish I agree that it would be great to integrate bloggers into Chat - problem is that bloggers quite reasonably want to be able to link to their posts, and at the moment, there's not much appetite for that amongst MNers generally. Hence our thinking that if Bloggers Talk had its own more visible category, it would promote integration. Although I take Tee2072's point that too many topics could mean fewer posts...

Joanne that's a v good point about encouraging more experienced bloggers to engage here. We're trying to rotate our Featured Bloggers block weekly now, though that may have dropped off a bit over the hols blush. But we'll be sure to do so from now on - and the other improvements in promotion I mentioned should also have a positive effect.

Thanks everyone - it's really useful to hear your thoughts, so do please keep 'em coming. 

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Sep-12 10:24:10

MmeLindor those are good ideas for enabling bloggers to interact more on the rest of Talk. Discussions are underway on that subject - promise - but we'll definitely add those to the list of possible solutions.

MmeLindor Mon 17-Sep-12 10:26:41

Kate
I suggested a competition a while back - for non-bloggers to post links to their favourite MN blog - to encourage people to go and have a wee snoop around the Bloggers Network. With the emphasis on OUR bloggers.

Would that be something that you would be interested in?

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Sep-12 12:57:49

Hi MmeLindor - good idea, though I guess we'd have to be sensitive to the fact that not all MNers-who-blog might want their blog connected to their MN name. But we'll put it on the list!

MmeLindor Mon 17-Sep-12 14:50:02

Actually, I have been thinking about this. Maybe we need to be more proactive here, to reclaim the section from the dump-post-and-runners?

Will try and check it daily.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Sep-12 18:32:01

Oh, no pressure MmeLindor grin, but I think you're spot on. Dillytante's point about other forums emerging organically is quite right - but there's no reason that Blogger's talk can't - over time, with input from MNBloggers, and some tinkering at this end - a blimmin' useful and interesting board.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Sep-12 18:40:34

be a blimmin' &c.

DillyTante Mon 17-Sep-12 19:44:09

MmeLindor said it all better than me! Agree about the difference between Mumnetters who blog and bloggers who mumsnet. Though it is also true that some people might not want their blog name to be linked with their long time user name. Though I seem to have adopted this one on a semi-permanent basis, just being a bit more circumspect about what I post under it, which is no bad thing.

It's hard to police the post-and-runners. Mumsnet obviously want to encourage as many people as possible and care less about what they do while they are here (I don't mean that as a criticism, I'm just aware you are running a business), while us users want quality and interaction.

I was also thinking about there being a little blogging section on each topic. I know there are some topics where it would work better than others. Arts&crafts would wear it well I think, as crafting is a massive social media thing now anyway. It is very much about sharing ideas and inspiration.

blueish Mon 17-Sep-12 22:20:04

I personally don't particularly like the idea of you 'ramping up twitter activity'. I'd rather MN wasn't on twitter at at tbh but that's because I still want it to be a cosy, quality corner of support, refuge, intrigue, comedy and lots of AIBU, without the potential trolls, twits, & twats &twaddle coming via links from twitter. #don'tlikesharingMNwithstrangers smile

MmeLindor Mon 17-Sep-12 22:40:54

yes, agree Dilly. I am much more careful what I post under this name than I used to be. I did namechange for a while, but everyone ignored me ;)

<vain>

I do think that adding a blogger section would work on lots of topics and might bring more awareness of bloggers.

Sorry, Blueish but I think Twitter is here to stay.

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