"I do find it difficult to stimulate comments. I don't want to go all "look at me, I'm being provocative [six exclamation marks]", but at the moment I'm struggling to find an alternative strategy. Any ideas in that direction?"As per my last post, I don't have all the right answers. But I do have some thoughts and would like some others.
On my own blog I've tried to be provocative in three ways:
1. Not pulling my punches.
If I don't like something, I say so - strongly and probably more strongly than I would in general conversation. So, for example, a dislike of comic relief becomes I hate Comic Relief. Of course the post-proper allows my to nuance the arguments but the point is made more strongly than 'on balance, Comic Relief is a little under-whelming and whilst I like the public effort, I'm disappointed that it doesn't increase charitable donations by more'.
2. Seeking out opposing views
To promote my post on Comic Relief, I found blogs that were talking about Comic Relief most of which were naturally supportive because they were tales of people who had done something positive to raise money. I expected people visiting my blog from those sites to be hostile and they were.
3. The hundred hits rule
I've not ever received a comment on a post with fewer than 100 hits. That's not to say that you need 200 hits to get 2 comments (that's partly because the 2nd comment should always be yours - replying to the first). Or that 300 hits get 3 comments. And blog posts with 1000 hits often have somewhere nearer to 20 comments.
I'm facing two particular challenges at the moment:
- Writing things that stimulates other people to write about the issue - critical to making your blog take-off
- Being provocative in a positive way. I set up my blog to be positive yet always write from a negative standpoint. More to be done.
I'd be grateful for any other ideas on how to be provocative . . .