Friday, January 8, 2016

What is the Future of WBI?

As a blogger, it’s disappointing when people don’t like reading something you like to write. As you might have guessed from this particular post title, right now we’re talking about the Walden-Bond Index posts.



In my year-end survey, about one third of the respondents suggested I stop posting WBI posts. Like I said, that’s kind of disappointing because I like talking about villains, kind of a lot. At the same time, I can’t say I’m surprised, either. Villain analyses aren’t exactly my most popular posts.

But I’m kind of reluctant to stop posting them.

I like talking about villains. I’ve come to think of WBI as my replacement for book reviews, and the thing about book reviews is that (in my experience) most people are only interested if they’ve already heard of or read the book. Or they have a high opinion of your judgment. In my case, this makes it hard to have many conversations, and from the feedback I received, I know of these drawbacks, too:

  • not understanding
  • not knowing the villains/not wanting to spoil the story
  • people just don’t like them (which is fine, by the way)

I’m willing to adjust WBI to be more understandable and relatable, as much as I can. For example, I have been doing a lot of Disney villains because many people seem to be familiar with the movies/fairy tales that surround them—I could go a step further and work off more reader requests, so that there’s a direct connection to the audience. Likewise, I can post them less—right now, I post about one or two each month, depending on how Fridays work out. Posting less could allow those who’d rather read something else have plenty of other content the rest of the month.

At the same time there are some things I can’t fix. Some people don’t want to talk about villains. Some people don’t care. Some people are busy. Some people simply don’t like them. And that’s fine. But it also means that there’s not a lot I personally can do to make WBI worth the read for other people, because I do not have the power of forcing preference (which is a relief to everyone, I’m sure).

For the present time, the future of WBI is up in the air, and though I just asked everyone to do a survey and it was probably not your favorite thing, I could use a little more feedback, if you can spare me a few sentences. To make my decision, I think I’d most like to know the answer to these three questions.

  • [How often] Do you want to keep reading WBI posts? 
  • If yes, is there something specific I can do to make them better?
  • If yes, are there villains you recommend I review?

Hopefully, with your feedback and some deliberation, I’ll be able to let you know what I’ve decided in a week or so!

23 comments :

  1. :( I LIKE WBI POSTS. *sulks* But I totally understand how you feel because I tend to get less of a response on my book review posts than on my regular posts. And it's totally a tricky position because, on the one hand, you want your readers to be able to engage with everything you write, but sometimes different posts have different target audiences, and I think that's okay if you're okay with it. I had to evaluate my audience for my book reviews and decide, am I fine with doing this for a smaller target audience than my other posts. For that I decided that, yes, it can be discouraging that fewer readers are interested in those, but because I really like writing book reviews, and I wouldn't write them if I weren't writing them for my blog, I'm going to keep writing them even if no one reads them. And I think the same goes for WBI. Those who don't like those posts can just skip over them, but they can be still be there for those who enjoy reading them.

    I really like the idea of you posting them twice a month, and Disney villains would probably draw in a larger audience. I know it isn't Disney, but have you done the Joker yet?

    I can't think of any suggestions to improve them, mainly because I really like them the way they are. And I really like villains, so I'd be sad if you stopped talking about them. :P

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    1. Well, good, haha. I guess I'm okay with it, but I don't want my blog to have useless posts, you know? But I guess as long as I know that a few people are okay with reading them, then I would be willing and able to keep writing things.

      I haven't done the Joker! The Joker is a big one. And I will do the Joker, but I haven't made time in my life to rewatch "The Dark Knight," and usually my system involves watching/reading the book/movie the villain is in before I do any analysis.

      Thanks for letting me know you like them, Liz, and I hope that I shall continue to write them! :)

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  2. I think the idea of categorising villains is really cool, but it's just kind of tedious to read through all the various categories a single villain goes through. I think it would be nice if you did some general discussion on the villain -- like the Big Idea thing? -- before delving into the categories.

    Or maybe instead of talking about a single villain, talk about a certain category and raise several examples. I don't know what sort of villains would be more popular generally, but I've noticed personally for my own blog that talking about a specific book/movie/thing, unless that series is like Harry Potter or Hunger Games or Marvel, normally means way fewer comments and such, just because people aren't familiar with them. So maybe talking villain categories might be better than talking a single villain?

    I don't have much of a preference for how often :)

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    1. Hmmm... I guess? I guess I'm not sure I fully understand what you mean... about categories... and, yeah, could you maybe rephrase that?

      And, I have tried to talk about multiple villains at a time, but as you said, it was really unpopular and almost nobody replied. And that was kind of a bummer because it was recent and everything—and all of the villains had been brought up on the blog at least once before—and yet it hardly gained any interest.

      And so I'm not opposed to talking about multiple villains but considering past response I'm not sure if it would solve the problem I initially set out to solve with this post. :/

      Thanks for all your thoughts, Alyssa!

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  3. To be honest, I don't always read the WBI posts (like book reviews, it depends on whether or not I've heard of that character), but the posts I've read have been pretty interesting. :) (and I still really want to read what you have to say on the Volturi. Also, IF YOU DID ONE ON SOMEONE IN HAMILTON (even though I'm not sure there are real villains in that musical) I WOULD SPRINT TO THAT POST, KAY? KAY.)

    To specifically answer your questions, though: I would enjoy reading WBI posts a few times a month IF there were on characters I'd already seen. Of course, you don't have any control over my TBR or the movies I watch, so it would be impossible for you to guarantee that. :p

    I love the format they're in now. :)

    Haha, kinda already answered that question. Oh, but maybe someone from Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus? Or have you read Kane Chronicles? That would be cool too.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. *nods* I get that. But basically, keeping up with reader preferences... I can get that. And good to know that you like the format. :)

      Let's see, Volturi, PJO, HOO, and TKC. And/or Hamilton. I can put some of those on my list, but I do warn you that I don't do these unless I have recently read/seen a work, and since Hamilton isn't going on tour for at least another year if not more... ya gonna hafta wait.

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    2. lol, I actually meant to do Hamilton based solely upon the songs, but maybe that wouldn't give you enough information anyway.

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    3. Ehhhh. I am just the kind of person who does the watching and the listening... Ah, well.

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  4. I personally enjoy WBI. I think once or twice a month is reasonable. I personally tend to skip all the categories at the beginning of the post and just read the "Big Idea" part of the post because I enjoy it more. I don't read the posts on villains I haven't seen in a movie/book, but I think that having the posts on villains I do have an understanding of is enjoyable. Just my two cents.

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    1. Hmm, Big Idea does seem to be more popular. Can you tell me why? And yeah, having villains we know does seem to work out better, so if you have any suggestions, I'd like to know. :)

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  5. I think once or twice a month is totally fine. I sometimes skip them because they're from books/movies that I'm not familiar with (come on, Heather! You should know all the books I've read telepathically, already ;) ) which isn't really something you have control over. I tend to skip the categories at the beginning because (while I know you've put a ton of work into it) it can be a little overwhelming to try to deal with the all the symbols and corresponding categories. I really like the Big Idea at the end. I think you maybe repeat yourself with the categories and the Big Idea so I don't feel the need to read through the categories? I like the Big Idea too because it's more of a discussion instead of a list of facts. I hope you figure out a good balance with the WBI and I'd be very sad to see it go!

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    1. Oh, right, and I nominated you for a thing!

      http://victoriasoceans.blogspot.com/2016/01/bonus-post-one-lovely-blog-award.html?showComment=1452123545657#c2400661872255503961

      I do believe sometimes that my brain has more holes than a strainer.

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    2. I suppose from my point of view, I tended to skip them because I didn't understand them. I think I'd like them better if I knew what was going on in those posts. (kinda like me and math back when I was in school)

      But ultimately, although readers opinions matter, it is YOUR blog... and you can choose to write about whatever your heart desires. Write what makes you happy, and we can choose to read or not read. :)

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    3. @Victoria: Oh, sorry, I didn't realize that psychic was a requirement for the blogging position. XD I'll definitely see if I can be more discussion-inclusive for the categories. :) Also, thanks for the tag!

      @Andrea: Hm, what parts are confusing for you? Would explanations help? Thanks for your words!

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  6. So WBI posts aren't my favorite posts to read on your blog, but I do enjoy them when I read them. I think the best thing about them is that you take villains in movies that we are familiar with and present them to us in ways we have never considered before. The only thing is that when those movies are not familiar to us, the lack of context can make it hard to fully appreciate the post and be able to leave a meaningful comment. This isn't a fault with how you write these posts but rather with the differences in experiences that we have, which is fine. They're still interesting to read! Just not as easy to comment on and in some cases, fully understand. I love the Disney villains I've seen on your blog, so I'd definitely love to see more of those. Basically, I think you should definitely keep going with WBI. You have such an intelligent and thoughtful way of discussing books and movies and stories in general.

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    1. Oh yea, and to clarify just in case, "aren't my favorite" doesn't mean I don't like them. It's just that my top favorite thing on your blog is discussions rather than other posts.

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    2. *nods* Yeah, it's really tricky when we don't have that match—although I have considered making them a little more persuasive so that it's more like "Hey watch this" instead of "Hey think about what you watched." I can totally keep up Disney villains, though, and I'll keep posting discussions. :) Thanks, Ana!

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  7. I think if it is something you enjoy posting, then you shouldn't give it up! Yes, you should always bear in mind what your readers want and so on, but then again you need to remember that blogging is for YOU as well. Maybe think of ways to adapt it that readers could enjoy it a bit more instead? Like mentioning that there are no spoilers at the top of the post and choosing very well known classic villains?

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    1. Indeed, although I am the kind of person who prefers to think of her readers first, but we'll see what happens. I'm definitely going to try for more classic villains, and I'll warn if there are spoilers, although that can be tricky. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. If you like posting these posts, then keep posting them. You can always pot them less often, like every month, or whatever works for you. But if they're a type of post that you enjoy writing, then you shouldn't give them up. It's good to post some posts that you really enjoy, even if they're not the favourites. You have to enjoy writing for your blog.

    I like the technical breakdown you present in the WBI posts, but I wonder whether they get a little too complex at some points? I know that I almost always skip the WBI Profile section at the top of the post because I can't remember what all the things mean without looking them up.

    Something I'd be interested in seeing in the posts as well as the analysing part, would also be a more personal take on her as a whole at the end? Like you go through her character arc, and her traits and all that sort of stuff, but it would be cool o have a bit more of a personal take on her from you, like a summing up of the points from your perspective on it. Just a thought.

    Whatever you do with these posts though, make sure it's something you want to do. As long as they make you happy posting them, then they are well worth posting, because, after all, what is the point of blogging if you can't post the things that you are interested in?

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    1. *nods* That is true. Enjoying the writing is a pretty important part of the job, I think. You're right.

      Oh, yeah... See, the idea behind those isn't really because they're useful in the individual reading because I like using them more for the aggregate analyses and stuff. :P It just makes things easier for me later on.

      Hm, okay. I'm not sure where that would fit, but I'll keep it in mind.

      Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions, Imogen. They were helpful!

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  9. I agree with the book review comment... this happens to me all the time. So one suggestion I have is: You like WBI. It's fun to do. Some people read it. But blog for yourself, as well, and one day the world will appreciate villains and your genius and you can walk around cackling 'I was right! I was right' Or you could stop doing them and feel sad. Some things I love about WBI are the categorisation (especially Venn diagrams and symbols/numbers) and the thoroughness I especially loved your Levana post, although I don't know some of the others. But WBI is really awesome (side note : Shanti reccommendined H.I.V. E to our 11 year old cousin and he's been devouring them at incredible rates and refusing to socialise. You would be so proud) and my personal advice (I couldn't figure out the survey for some reason) would be not to stop, at least for yourself. But I also feel discouraged when I don't get comments or anything, despite the 'blog for yourself' mantra. So you could adapt them? Or turn them into a tag for one month? (I would totally participate) Heather, you are a wonderful blogger. Just so you know :) <3

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    1. XDD Wow. You make me really look forward to walking around and cackling now. I know that Venn Diagrams were useful but also they are so hard to make I sort of gave up. *sigh* (Also, YES. Mwahahahaha. I AM MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH MY FAVORITE SERIES.) Also, I like the idea of a tag. That would be fun. :) Thank you so much for your kind words and humor, Shar! :D

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