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A Really Cool Experiment January 24, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in blogging.

Earlier today, I’m not sure how, I stumbled upon a really great blogging experiment that was conducted last summer–Darren Rowse at ProBlogger conducted a group writing project called 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. Michele Martin at The Bamboo Project jumped on this project as a personal learning experiment and has documented her results on her blog.

I learned a lot just scanning through Michele’s lessons learned. Right now, I’m in a very similar place to where Michele was when she started the experiment. I’m just dipping my toes in and trying things. Michele learned a lot from her 31 Day Experiment. And I’ve decided to follow behind now, almost 6 months later–read Darren’s daily tips and do the homework assignments.

I liked Michele’s emphasis on building community, and I think that’s an aspect of blogging I haven’t thought about as much as I should. There’s so much more I could do to build community.

Just from my quick scan of Michele’s posts, here are a few areas where I know I need to improve (in no particular order):

  • Add more visuals to my site.
  • Be more focused in my posts–I’m still all over the place.
  • Install Google Analytics and pay attention to what seems to interest people.
  • Ask some people to review my blog as “first readers” to get feedback on what is effective and what is not.
  • Redesign the look of my blog. I’ve never really liked my font. It’s too small and it’s serif. And an old post from Stephen Downes on how to design a blog so you’ll be heard confirmed my hunch that I’m using the wrong font.
  • Link more and reach out to other bloggers more.
  • Step back a little bit and plan this blog more.
  • Review my posts and analyze them to see what I can do to improve.
  • Look into getting Google customized search for my page.
  • Look at my blog in different readers.

I’ve learned so much in the past hour that my head is about to explode!



1. Michele Martin - January 24, 2008

I know what you mean about your head exploding! Going through that 31 days was amazing and I learned SO much! If you’re thinking about doing the 31 days for yourself, you may want to join the Building a Better Blog community that we set up after the experiment. Right now there are several other people who are in the process of going through the Challenge and Sue Waters set up a wiki with the challenge activities listed to get people started. BBB is at:

http://betterblog.ning.com/ and the wiki is at: http://aquaculturepda.wikispaces.com/blogs1

The community-building aspect has been phenomenal and has continued to build for me long after the experiment ended. That, in turn, has really helped me keep learning even more things. Well worth it!

2. Christine Martell - February 5, 2008

Michele does have that effect on people 🙂 We have all learned so much from her and the 31 day challenge.

My blog continues to grow based on the 31 day practices, and I could do the whole thing over again. Probably many times, and continue to learn.

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