I’m an evaluator.
I want to know if something makes a difference; if the change is for the better; if it has value, merit, worth.
After all, the root of evaluation is value.
I haven’t answered individually the numerous comments that have been posted. I just continue to write and see what happens. I’m hoping that some of what I’ve said over the past now over three years has 1) made sense; 2) made a difference; and 3) been worthwhile. I also hope you reader have been able to use some of what you have read here. I don’t know.
Someone is keeping track of my analytic measures; that’s wonderful. Some blogs use that as a measure of making a difference; I don’t. I look at what people say. I read every comment even if I don’t respond. A lot of folks say that the information has been interesting; that the blog is well written; that I should continue. No one says how they use the material, or, for that matter, if they do. So, reader, I have a challenge:
Post a comment about how you have used the information you have read here. Post it next week when I won’t be blogging (see last week). Let me know. I’ll summarize the responses when I get back. I won’t do this for very long–two, maybe three weeks; a month at most. (When I posted previously a link to a quick on-line survey, I kept the survey open for only two weeks; not long enough for some folks.)
Other blog writers get comments not dissimilar to mine (I read a lot of blogs for ideas). I don’t see that folks are actually giving the writer specific information on what difference the blog has made in the lives of the reader. I must confess, I don’t let them know either. So since this is a new year, and everyone is trying new behaviors, the new behavior I’m asking for here is Tell me what difference this blog has made/is making.
I receive your new posts in my email. Whenever there is information that I know I’ll want to refer back to later in my work, I save the email. Right now there are six posts from you in my email folder. A very quick look and I can come up with one concrete example, I used your post about confidence levels and margin of error in surveys just the other day in estimating a sample size that I will need for an upcoming survey. Thanks.
I can’t tell you if it’s making a difference (yet). I can tell you it’s not changing my life in anyway. But, I can tell you in my process of launching a new marketing blog, it’s been helpful. And that is certainly enough. So keep on keepin’ on my friend!
I completely agree about not using pageviews as a metric of success. A good quantitative measure is average time per pageview. If you use google analytics – which if you don’t you should really look into it – you can see how long your viewers spend on each of your posts. It’s a good way to find out if people are reading your posts or not. I use it on my site conspiracy critic, and it’s incredibly helpful. I completely ignore the “total pageviews”, and only count the ones that have more than 2-3 minutes per page. Anyways, I enjoy what you write, so keep at it! best of luck!
How I am using your information? Well first of all, until I read the text, I really do not know if the information you provide will be useful for me. When I am reading, the signals are transported to the brain and each signal takes particular place in the semantic network connecting with similar signals and thus create possible answer to some question or task.
I am working more technical work that needs a lot of concentration and technical skills. You can’t help me there. But this information fits perfectly in the development of more complex scenarios where I have to judge or brainstorm or make the right decision.
With one word, I like sites, which are written by free minds, also expressing their knowledge in the field they’re working in.
A acceptable quantitative admeasurement is boilerplate time per pageview. If you use google analytics вЂ“ which if you donвЂ™t you should absolutely attending into it вЂ“ you can see how continued your admirers absorb on anniversary of your posts.
Whenever there is advice that I apperceive IвЂ™ll wish to accredit aback to after in my work, I save the email. Right now there are six posts from you in my email folder. A actual quick attending and I can appear up with one accurate example, I acclimated your column about aplomb levels and allowance of absurdity in surveys just the added day in ciphering a sample admeasurement that I will charge for an accessible survey.
I can tell you it’s not changing my life in anyway. But, I can tell you in my process of launching a new marketing blog, it’s been helpful. And that is certainly enough
Yah this blog is making a dfference. I love it.
[…] weeks ago (January 17, 2013), I asked if this blog was making a difference and asked that y’all post specific examples of how it is making that difference–I […]
I think the blog makes a difference too. Positive thoughts always make a difference
I we strive to publish valuable information, I believe we may make a difference to our readers. After all, they found our bogs, spent some time on our blogs, perhaps left a comment or two…
If your readers, keep coming back reading what you write, I am sure you are helping, even if it is in some small way.
At least that is how I feel and that is what is driving me to write and develop my blog.
Right now there are six posts from you in my email folder. A very quick look and I can come up with one concrete example, I used your post about confidence levels and margin of error in surveys just the other day in estimating a sample size that I will need for an upcoming survey. Thanks.
I hope you read the article I cited…it is much more comprehensive than my post.
I believe that if something has merit and worth, it is worth the effort.
Dita, I don’t know if readers come back. I know that I get about 10 comments a day if I ask the question “is this blog making a difference?” Does it have merit, worth, value to you in your work? That is the question I want to know.
I can confirm that the information that you share has:
2)made a difference
Keep it up, don’t stop!
Every blog post makes a difference in some way, large or small, even if it only makes a difference in the life of the person who wrote it. If no one ends up reading a post, you still benefit from the experience of writing down your thoughts, similar to how you would in a diary. If others read your post, then they will be affected in a big or small way, depending on how relevant your message is to them. In short, you should definitely keep writing on your blog, as at the very least, it will benefit you to keep this up.
I like looking at random blogs. I find how different people view life, politics, love, etc. It makes me think.
Michael I read a lot of different types of blogs (because I blog). I agree with you; it makes me think, gives me ideas, and provides me with a window on the world (limited though it may be).
Molly, I have written quite a bit about this topic and challenge that bloggers face and the bottom line is that you really can’t measure the value. Sure I think asking for responses like you did might help you see a bit of it, but the reality is 99.9% of people will never comment. As such, we as bloggers have to remember that each pageview is a real person who was on our site and who was impacted by what we wrote!
I think the best measure of the effectiveness of a blog are the number of shares it gets, as people that found something useful in it tend to want to share with others.
Informative blogs, though are very rare, are always well accepted by the readers. Though only fraction will leave a comment, but they definitely share with their friends. Thank you for posting this point.
In today’s world it’s virtually impossible to keep up with facebook, twitter, news, tv, movies email, texts, etc. Keep up your small voice. Some are listening.
Bullard, Robert D. 2007. “Smart Growth Meets Environmental Justice.” Pp. 23-49 in Growing Smarter: Achieving Livable Communities, Environmental Justice, and Regional Equity, edited by R. D. Bullard. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.
Thank you for the citation. One of the groups to which I belong just changed its name to Social and Environmental Justice (from Cultural and Linguistic Diversity). I’ll pass the citation on to others.
Thanks for such good citation 😉 Greatings from serbia
The benefits of blogging far exceeds the negatives. People can express themselves, meet new friends, earn money…the list is endless.
I love to read meaningful posts from well written blogs such as yours. I strongly believe that your question is some how! Though, as a blogger, I perfectly understand why you chose to ask this question. I have always said this to my friends that not all bloggers are writers! You are a writer and that is why you are interested in knowing how your readers have been able to make use of the information they got here. Your articles are good. Your topics are good too. I have gone through some of them so far. I must confess, I have gained some thing. No knowledge is a waste at all. We learn new things everyday. I think I will have to evaluate my contents too from my readers soonest. hey, I learnt that from you too! You have made me see another side of a true writer: to be interested in how your readers are utilizing your contents. That is great. Thank you. Great contents once again. I have a blog too, kindly visit and I will appreciate it. http://bestcompactcamera2016.com/
Jane, Thanks for the thoughtful comment. As an evaluator, I want to know if what I am doing is making a difference. Apparently it is.
Don, thanks for your comments. As an evaluator, I want to know if what I am doing is making a difference. Perhaps we can be the change we want to see in the world.
Being a consultant and a blogger ourselves, we understand the frustration of getting the results from our hard written articles. The ugly truth is, it does not matter if it makes a difference. Somewhere down the road someone will see your post and may be it will be useful for him. People think of blogging as a 2 way channel. I personally being a team leader of more than 50 writers, think as a one way channel to transfer any information you have over the web.
For a blog is different it needs to create a community around it.
What is not easy.
It must create content that the community likes
Thanks for your comment about community. I think that is a critical aspect of blogging. Establishing community for the blog is more than just identifying your potential audience. It is engaging your (potential) audience in a dialog/conversation in addition to providing content that is relevant and useful. (If the potential audience likes the content, even better!) Establishing community is what I’ve been working towards. Even though I know that there are many (lots of) folks who see my blog, I don’t know how many follow the blog on a regular basis (although my analytics provide me with some information). Because I am an evaluator and want to know if the program (in this case the program is a blog) made a difference, I periodically ask the question: “Is this blog making a difference?” I want to know what difference the blog has made to you.
I can only hope that “somewhere down the road someone will see (my) post and it may be useful…” For me, as an evaluator always wanting to know if (fill in the blank) made a difference, I wonder if this writing will make a difference. It is also a value statement for me. I want to be the change I want to see (I want to make a difference!). I (can only) hope that the information I provide is useful. I would love this venue to be a two way exchange (as opposed to one way–me always blogging and wondering). I blog because it is important to me. Maybe it is also important to the community that has been established around the blog. Perhaps…