Purpose of Blog

I have recently decided to redo tags on my blog.  This effort required me to go back in the archives and view some of my posts of old.  As I viewed one post after another, I realized I have used the blog for various reasons.  Here is a list of how I have "purposed" my blog:

  1. Provide technical content via samples
  2. Provide opinion based on technical content or industry
  3. Provide a link to a tool, resource, or technical content
  4. Journal a technical event (classroom experience)
  5. Announcement of technical event or release
  6. Ask a question
  7. Write something totally personal

Personally, I believe the weight of a *technical* blog should be in the order above.  In other words, I would assume the readers of this blog would be more interested in #1 versus #7.  Well, if I go by the facts, I would be wrong.  In examining my highest viewed blogs, I was startled by my discoveries.  Note the list below of my top 5 highest viewed blogs as of this date (July 24th 2007):

Blog Post Views Purpose
based on #'s above
Backstage at American Idol 47169 7
.NET Love Story 19555 7
Getting the Absolute Path in ASP.NET 8181 1
Virtual PC Memory Issue 6445 1
Recursive FindControl<T> 6003 1

I figure that my highest ranking blog post to date is due to Google or Live searches.  What surprises me more than anything was the second listing - .NET Love Story.  These views are primarily from the technical community.  I am surprised because there is no value in the blog other than a cheap laugh.  In fact, based on the comments I have received, some have challenged my sanity.

With all that said, I want to end by asking a question (#6 above).  Do you consider it a violation of a blog for the blog author to ask a question (as I am doing now)?  Should a blog author use a forum for such questions?  Or do you see the benefit by viewing the variety of comments that get posted to his blog?


  • I'm all for asking questions, if you have a highly technical audience and they can answer questions, why not use that as a resource? If answer the whole post then becomes useful to someone who finds it in a search engine.

  • I'm new to blogs (owning and posting that is) but I don't see a problem with asking a question. Just for the sake of you posting something opens the door for a conversation and thus expecting (sometimes) a reply. So what is diffent from a normal post and a question? With the exception of the crooked exclamation mark at the end!?

  • I prefer blogs oriented to purposes #1 through #3. For purpose #6, I personally prefer searching/browsing newsgroups.

    Luciano Evaristo Guerche
    Taboao da Serra, SP, Brazil

  • christoc,

    I think reader's comments add a value to the blog. The intent of the blog author is typically to provide the content. However, the community at large may have a different or more relevant approach to any subject.

  • Russel,

    My original feelings on this were to be the provider of content. How boring a blog might be if it ended up looking like a one-to-many forum. That said, if not abused, the community will tolerate or even enjoy an occasional question to the masses.

  • Luciano,

    I agree with your view. I must confess that I also prefer to read blogs oriented to #1 through #3. However, I recently read a blog by Scott Cate where he outright asked the community how to do something. I was also interested in the question, so I looked at the comments. Sure enough, the community provided some great answers. I believe if the intent behind the question is to ultimately serve #1 by readers comments, then it is a good thing.

  • I believe that the focus of the blog should be both--providing answers were available and facilitating discussions and asking questions (rhetorical and directed). I agree with Luciano that I start my questioning in the newsgroups, but after a long day, I honestly tend to find more answers in blogs--and usually in comments and discussions.

    Questions are good, because, like this post, many view points and answers will readily find their way. Google will do it's thing, and the answers will then be available for everyone. (^_^)

  • David,

    I have found the same to be true in finding answers to technical problems in blogs and comments vs. forums and newsgroups.

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