Sunday, March 9, 2008

31 Days to Building a Better Blog: Day 25

Well, I am on the last stretch to the winning post as I contemplate Day 25 of the 31 Day Blog Challenge. In this activity, Problogger suggests you go shopping. The idea is that you observe what is happening and relate that back to your blog. Have a look at Michele Martin's reflections on this activity - that will give an idea of how this challenge works.

I did cheat a little because I did not go and spend a great deal of time observing what was going on - I only have today to finish my paper that I am submitting to the ICCMSN conference. But I did run a quick trip to the supermarket. Here are a couple of thoughts about that shopping experience and how I feel as a shopper.

One of the things that has changed about my shopping habits lately is that I rarely go into the main shopping center in Dunedin any more. I find parking is difficult and expensive, and everything is too time consuming compared to nipping into my local shopping community at South Dunedin. Time is a huge issue for people today so I think it is important that my blog does as much as it can to help people utilize it in a time-effective manner. To this end, I have added a Lijit search facility as well as ways to easily subscribe to my post.

I went down to the supermarket wearing my old study clothes - baggy trousers, old teeshirt with last night's dinner splashed on it, old worn furry slippers, hair and eyebrows that should have been 'dealt to' at least several days ago. I thought it didn't matter because I planned a quick 'in and out' trip. But who do I bump male boss! Moral of the story - you never know who you are going to meet at your blog so it is important that the blog is looking at its best all the time. No poor spelling or grammar errors! Kate Olson has written more about this in her post 'Let's clean up the web'.

My final thought is that I want help from sales assistants when I want it - I hate being harassed when I am just browsing, but I also hate hate HATE being ignored when I want service. That will make me take my business to another shop. I do not know about harassing people, but I think it is vital that I respond to people whenever they leave a comment or ask for help. That personal connection is what contributes hugely to the networking process.

Image: '100_2058.JPG' Dunedin Main Shops


Kate said...

Sarah -
Great post, it's an interesting idea to use shopping as a way to get ideas for your blog! I like what you said about not being ignored and I almost always try to email readers if they have a question on something I wrote. I need to be better about actually commenting back on the posts, thanks for reminding me :-) Another thing that this reminds me of is how much I'd rather read a blog withOUT blatant ads all over the place. I don't have a problem with a few well-designed things in the sidebar, but google adsense ads just drive me nuts. My opinion, though - others don't mind them! Great job keeping up with the challenge - you're almost done!

Sarah Stewart said...

You're right about the ads, Kate, I hadn't thought of that in terms of my shopping analogy. thanks.

Nilz said...

I did not follow your previous posts, so, unfortunately I have caught you in the midway. But it looks a great manual for bloggers. I really really like your shopping/blogging analogy. Regarding commenting back, I take it as a blogging courtesy.

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks a lot, Nilz, for dropping by. The 31 Day Challenge is a great project to take on- I've learned heaps from it, and more importantly, met lots of great people as a result of it.

Nilz said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.