Making it Conversational

The key to a good blog is “making it conversational.”  The goal is not only get people to go to the blog, but to keep them coming back.  One also wants to make it easy to get others involved with the blog. There are a few ways to do this.  Ruth Ann Minner’s blog should take on these recommendations.

1.  Comments Section

A comments section makes it easy for readers of the blog to post their reactions, questions or feedback to a post by the governor.  Other readers will also be able to see comments made by others and can agree, disagree or add new ideas of their own.  A comments section will also keep the blog organized.  If an article is written about taxes, the comments to that article will all deal with taxes.  This way the governor only has to go to one place to see reader comments about taxes.

2.  Most commented/ Most popular

A most commented or most popular section would be on the front page of the blog.  Readers of the blog will be able to find this section very easily and determine what are the most popular articles.  The most popular article will probably be about a topic that many people are interested in.  The most commented section has articles that readers have reacted to the most.  These articles could be about a controversial post that the governor posted.  These headings also help put in numerical order the most popular and most commented posts which would make it easier for the governor to see which posts had the most reactions or reads from the readers.

ex) down with absolutes

3.  E-mail to a friend link

An email to a friend link would allow readers to inform others about an article that is written on the blog.  This is an easy and effective of gathering more traffic to the site. People who did not know of the blog could also find out about it from a friend.  A friend who emails others will bring more readers to the blog. These new readers could also email their friends.

4.  Permalink

The permalink function of a blog gives each individual article its own unique URL address.  Articles with their own URL addresses can easily be linked by others. Readers with their own blog or website can link back to an article written by the governor.  This also has the potential of bringing in new readers.

5.  Personal Blogroll

A personal blogroll will tell readers what other blogs that the governor follows.  She can also categorize the blogroll into topics, i.e. health care, taxes, education.  This feature gives readers a look into what the governor regularly reads and where her ideas may come from.  This also makes the governor look more personable, if she adds blogs that have to do with social issues.

6.  Q+A

The blog readers could send questions to the governor and have them answered on the blog.  The governor would post the questions by the readers and also the answers to them.  Readers would check back to the blog and see if their email had made the Q+A section.  The personal, first hand feedback will make readers feel like their needs are being concerned and attended too.

ex) freakonomics

7.  Live Chat

If the governor wanted to get ambitious, she could host a live chat on her blog.  In a chatroom format, the live chat would have readers asking questions to the governor and she would give her direct response.  Others in the chatroom would be able to see the questions and answers that are posted in the room.  A live chat would have readers “talking” to the governor about their problems and concerns.  They would get feedback from the governor on how she is going to deal with them.  Readers would show up each week, or however often, the governor hosted a live chat.

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