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Friday, November 10, 2006

A Theme, A Theme, A Theme!

I'm seeing a lot of people respond to the themes or categories that me and my fellow nablo readers are using to make fun/interesting statistics of the participating blogs. I wanted to comment on this.

Many bloggers have no theme. They write about anything and everything that interests them. These folks are often dropped into the "personal, random, or not sure what they are talking about" categories. "Personal" is a great category, but it can be a little overwhelming to a random visitor. If you are blog surfing and you find a post you like, you may check to see what the blogger writes about on a regular basis... why? To see if they are worth adding to your link list. There are tons of folks that I really enjoyed one or two posts, but over all, the blog just wouldn't be one I'd regularly visit. No offense, I just don't have the time I'm spending right now on visiting blogs and I can only visit so many in a day.

Many bloggers have a theme and probably 75% of posts and discussions touch on this theme. A theme can be good if like minded people want to find you. For instance, my theme, category, focus (whatever)... is writing. I can include tons of stuff and some of you random visitors may find it interesting, but your time is valuable and the majority of my posts won't really mean much to you. After nablo you'll never come back again, and that's fine. But, there are some folks I do want coming back... just the way I keep going to their site.

Themes can help you link. Themes can help you build your network. Themes can make it easier to "market" your blog in a way to capture your intended audience. With this in mind, what you want to achieve with your blog is in your hands, tailor it to meet your desire.

By no means MUST you have a theme... sometimes it just makes it a little easier for readers.

What do you think?

Oh, and as far as an update to the reviews go, Suzanne has just finished the K's. Awesome!

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4 Comments:

Blogger Dharma said...

Hey there. Glad you like the blog. I agree about blogs, but the reality I wind up reading many of the "themeless" or "personal" blogs. Sometimes my blog feels themeless but the reality is there are a couple themes that linger (relationships, feminism, graduate school, and knitting - probably the most boring of the themes). Others (like my mother's cancer journey) are limited. It's interesting to see how things evolve.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Rashenbo said...

If I wasn't focused on my obsessive-compulsive tendencies... I'd probably read personal/themeless ones too... but I've got a passion that has endless sources of content... so I spend most of my time focused on two or three specific themes. That is just the way I blog. I will keep knitting comments to myself!

8:29 PM  
Blogger peter said...

Though they offer many wonderful single posts, themeless blogs are always hard for me to follow throughout an entire event like this unless the writer is very engaging. Primarily because i don't know their history - any given post might be funny, but who has the time to dig through months or years of archives to understand the motivation? Also, it's hard to find traction in a single post - one pos in either direction and the ground shifts beneath your feet.

In all first three years of the Blogathon i was always more partial to themed bloggers; producing great content in a short amount of time without theme is a crapshoot unless you've been honing your instrument for quite some time. Unsurprisingly, so far my most favorite NaBloPoMo blogs (who aren't just fabulously engaging writers) have either had a permanent theme, or have chosen a loose one for the month or some subset of it.

Personally, I prefer a loose theme that helps to streamline my content but leaves room to include whatever strikes me along the way.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Rashenbo said...

Excellent points, Peter. I liked your blog and the way you've isolated it to focus on the month of blogging. I looked for a spot to leave you a line but figured you'd notice the traffic over :)

Thanks for stopping by.

11:21 PM  

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