Monday, September 7, 2009

Facts, Just The Facts

Monday morning. Welcome to work. If tuning in for the first time, you missed our request to have you to join each day this week for a couple minutes of Highlowaha work. Each day wear a different "hat" while evaluating the same five blog tag lines.

Why evaluate tag lines?

You will learn a creative brainstorming process you can use in a number of personal and professional settings and...

We are in the process of giving our blog a face lift and we want the changes to be more than purely cosmetic. Loyal readers have suggested our current tag line ("Where Creativity and Community Meet") does not work in helping explain the essence of our unique blog community.

A cooking blog? Easy to understand and to know what to do. Craft and DIY blogs? Same thing. Go, peruse, take what you want and leave. Sports, travel, and parenting blogs... same thing. Visit. Leave. And, maybe - on occasion - leave a comment for the blog's author to see

But, a blog built on the premise of community? That's harder to explain.

At Highlowaha, the exchange between readers is every bit as important as the topic of the day. In fact, sometimes the topic is simply the segue into a lively exchange between readers. Because communities are multi-dimensional, so are we. One day creative gift ideas, another day personal development, some days baking or cooking, other days parenting tips. And, despite the busy lives of our community members, we still leave plenty of time for Random Acts of Kindness and plenty of fun and games (virtual games, that is).

Why the white hat?

The process we're engaging in this week is called Six Hat Thinking (De Bono, 1999). The point is to look at an issue (our five tag lines) from six distinct perspectives (hats) - everyone sharing the same perspective at the same time, while never mixing and matching hats.

What does the white hat represent?

Information! Imagine a computer that gives the facts and figures for which it is asked. The computer is neutral and objective. It does not offer interpretations or opinions. Today, that is you!

No opinions. No interpretations. Just cold, hard, neutral facts.

Stick with me. I know you are confused.

Today's White Hat Question? What neutral, fact-based information can you provide as background to the thinking we'll be doing for the next five days? What information is missing but needed for us to get this tag-line-thing right?

Your responses might begin with one of the statements below:
  1. What we don't know about our lurkers is...
  2. We get traffic to our blog because...
  3. We don't get more traffic to our blog because...
  4. Something we know about our current blog readers is...
  5. Blogs succeed when they are based on...
  6. Frequent blog readers say the following about their favorite sites...
  7. By and large people who seem to enjoy our blog most are...
  8. More often that not, people who visit blogs...
  9. I think I am right in saying...
  10. I once read that...
Today you provide us with neutral information we can use in creating a backdrop for the five tag lines we will begin looking at tomorrow. Here's a sneak peak at one... just to get you going.
See you in the comment section...

P.S. This would be a GREAT week to invite a friend or new reader to join us! We could benefit from what insiders AND outsiders might have to say.

11 comments:

heather said...

Your responses might begin with one of the statements below:

1. What we don't know about our lurkers is...what keeps them from posting and what keeps them coming back

2. We get traffic to our blog because...of word of mouth...not many people surf in and stay connected.

3. We don't get more traffic to our blog because...not many people surf in and stay connected.

4. Something we know about our current blog readers is...they are committed and loyal and love to have fun

5. Blogs succeed when they are based on...something specific that has a built in audience

6. Frequent blog readers say the following about their favorite sites...good information, great ideas.


7. By and large people who seem to enjoy our blog most are...women, aged 22-60, parents (or people who like kids)


8. More often that not, people who visit blogs...are looking for a compelling story to follow

9. I think I am right in saying...that highlowaha isn't your typical blog offering one line of thinking.

10. I once read that...if you try to be everything to everyone you'll end up being nothing to no one.

Claudia said...

Wow, Heather. Are you an over achiever or what? Thanks for getting us off to a great start.

Peggy said...

I'll answer a few...

What we don't know about our lurker is... why they don't feel comfortable to comment

We get traffic to our blog because... word of mouth, someone has listed a link on their blog (facebook, twitter), a contest you are sponsoring brings in the contestants friends to vote that day, but not necessarily stay.

More often than not, people who visit blogs.... may have a lot of time on their hands (like me) feel a sense of community if they can relate to what's happening on the blog, feel like they are a great contributor when positive feedback is shown through the facilitators comments.

One question not on here but might be insightful... contact past community members.... I think someone's sister and mom used to be frequent commentors, how come they no longer leave comments. What has changed in their lives that they no longer visit here?

Ultimately, how big do you want to be? So many members that you no longer can take a personal interest in what's happening in their life? Contests so large that it's impossible to pay for postage to get the prize out in a timely matter? So many ideas that the average poster is overwhelmed at the thought of trying to particpate?

Yikes, sorry... that part of me comes out in a lot of my posts!! I guess that's the INPUT and RESPONSIBILTY side of me... devils advocate!!

Katie K said...

1. What we don't know about our lurkers is... what it would take to make them active community members.

2. We get traffic to our blog because...we partner with other websites and drive traffic to our site.

3. We don't get more traffic to our blog because...people don't understand what we are or get overwhelmed by our blog.

4. Something we know about our current blog readers is...they are committed to this community and shine at what they do!

5. Blogs succeed when they are based on...tangible information that can be used in every day life.

6. Frequent blog readers say the following about their favorite sites...good pictures, great ideas.

7. By and large people who seem to enjoy our blog most are...mothers.

8. More often that not, people who visit blogs...to get a new idea and implement it into their life.

9. I think I am right in saying...what makes us special is our community along with our ideas, but we struggle in how to have people buy into it and invest in it.

10. I once read that... if making your ideas successful was easy, everyone would be able to do it. It's those that have the passion and the perseverance to stick out that see their ideas come to life.

Chaotic said...

We don't get more traffic to our blog because we are targeting a uncommon type of reader...one who reads, digests and then posts about how that days blog affects them (or how they can help, etc). So they are vulnerable to some extent AND they must commit to something while being vulnerable.

Claudia said...

I can tell I am going to have to make time later tonight to digest the feedback you are providing today.

Lots of good and thoughtful comments.

Claudia said...

By the way... I would say after having recently completed Strengthsquest with many of you, that a fact might be..

Highlowaha readers share some strengths in common. If I remember correctly, input is one, as well as responsibility, and maybe even connectedness.

Cheryl said...

Facts.

People usually write blogs to have a an outlet for creative expression or to promote an idea or product.

Successful blogs have content about 1 subject.

Lurkers don't comment because they don't feel connected to the blog.

beekayroot said...

FACT. What we don't know about our lurkers is how they stumbled across the blog.

FACT. We get traffic to our blog because of the few dedicated ladies at the top who devote so so much time to HLA and its growth.

FACT. We don't get more traffic to our blog because those passing through have a tough time getting connected in a short amount of time; therefore, they lose interest.

FACT. Something we know about our current blog readers is that they are primarily women and several work in Higher Ed.

FACT. Blogs succeed when they are about specific, tangible things, ideas, and concepts. People like blogs that they can stumble upon and still walk away with a great, tangible "thing"

FACT. Frequent blog readers say the following about their favorite sites: looks great (design/photos) and gives great ideas.

FACT. By and large people who seem to enjoy our blog most are women and a few occasional husbands/significant others of the women who enjoy our blog.

FACT. More often that not, people who visit blogs seek out that topic via a search engine (?)

FACT. I think I am right in saying HLA struggles to grow because people have a very tough time pinpointing what it is that HLA is all about. (For instance, what "category" would be put HLA in when categorizing blogs? I don't think most people who drop by would be able to tell you.)

10. I once read that if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Tera said...

I haven't posted...or even read HLA for that matter...in a few weeks. My new job has consumed my life. But Taste of USA is just around the corner so I've decided to force myself to read daily and make time for HLA again. I missed you guys :)

1.What we don't know about our lurkers is...who they are, what they like, and how often they vist.

2.We get traffic to our blog because...of loyal readers and those brought to HLA by them.

3.We don't get more traffic to our blog because...it won't show up in a google search unless you search HighLowAha.

4.Something we know about our current blog readers is...that they keep coming back because they have formed a bond with the other readers. It's more than the content of the blog keeping us coming back.

5.Blogs succeed when they are based on...??? This is the only blog I read!

6.Frequent blog readers say the following about their favorite sites...again, I got nothing!

7.By and large people who seem to enjoy our blog most are...people who can take the ideas they read about here back to their every day lives...higher ed folks, artsy people, etc.

8.More often that not, people who visit blogs............

9.I think I am right in saying...that this blog is great, but could use more feedback from "non-regulars"...even if they become regualrs down the road.

10.I once read that... the longest journey begins with one small step (on a billboard from The Foundation for a Better Life)

Robin said...

1. What we don't know about our lurkers is...why they are here or how they found us.

2. We get traffic to our blog because...word of mouth.

3. We don't get more traffic to our blog because...lack of link love. (True algorithm I'm happy to explain, if you're really interested.)

4. Something we know about our current blog readers is...they will do anything for a t-shirt.

5. Blogs succeed when they are based on...central theme.

6. Frequent blog readers say the following about their favorite sites...entertaining, can't wait to see what's next, sense of excitement and anticipation.

7. By and large people who seem to enjoy our blog most are...women who are a bit out there in a good way.


8. More often that not, people who visit blogs...doing so haphazardly and might stay if enticed quickly.

9. I think I am right in saying...we need to figure out what our catch is.

10. I once read that...you shouldn't believe everything that you read. :-)