I've been reflecting recently on the different ways that my weblog sucks. And by "sucks," I mean "doesn't live up to the standards of what a popular, regularly-read weblog looks like." Popularity isn't necessarily my primary goal or even a goal at all, but it is nice to be recognized for the time and energy I put into some of the posts I write here. And therein lies the rub, I think:
Whereas a lot of my weblog is full of fairly serious thoughts about fairly serious matters, there's not a single audience that it appeals to, and so there's no momentum around having a particular group of people tune in on a regular basis. And I don't blame them - when I read Dave Pollard's popular weblog "How to Save the World," I expect pretty much every entry to be another one of his thoughtful explorations of his environmental philosophy, creative works, and understanding of how the world works.
But here, sometimes you get a thoughtful treatise on social security, but that might be followed by a silly post about something that happened on my back porch. Based on my understanding of weblog culture, this means that people who only want to be bothered with the "good stuff" are going to be less likely to subscribe to my RSS feed, visit my site on a regular basis, start or follow a comment conversation here, etc. The result is that I'm left with folks who happen to be passing through, or those friends and family who have enough time and interest to stay tuned in.
Solutions? I could separate out the substantial articles from some of the more miscellaneous personal things - a new weblog?, better category separation?, etc. I could just post more often and with more vigor. I could redesign the site with more bells and whistles, tags, digg links, etc. I could decide that I don't care if I don't have a consistent audience here, and I'll just write a book if I want to explore a certain topic in a focused way. I could...