21 July 2006

Hobsblog Anniversay - Where to now?

The previous post looked back at 1 year of Hobsblog - what I'd covered, and particularly what I'd learned from it. This post is about looking forward and really, really needs YOUR input.

Obviously, I could continue on doing the same sort of stuff - a good dose of Apple and other IT news focused around the personal computer and gadget world, biking, photos, media and DRM, and any other topics that catch my eye. I could also introduce a few new things. One idea I had evolved from when I considered setting up a website about Customer Service (with a GoodService site and a BadService site). People would be able to post their experiences in an effort to name/shame companies (and reward good ones). I shelved the idea after realising that some people have views of customer service that are actually quite irrational and that I would be constantly deleting or editing posts that did not really reflect what I was trying to achieve (eg. the unavailability of a particular strawberry at Waitrose is NOT cause for a complaint imho).

So, I am thinking instead about using Hobsblog for the odd posting of Good and Bad Customer experiences - particularly around topics whereby the internet has been used to communicate with a company via Contact Us or email. I have a number of villains lined up - Thames Water, Central Trains as examples already. I also have a couple of very good customer service examples too - particularly from a small company selling products called Good Oil, Good Dressing etc under the goodwebsite.co.uk brand. Even Cadbury's have positively surprised me. If this is a topic you'd be interested in on the blog, then I might give it a go. I would really like to have an effect on the dire levels of customer service being performed by some organisations.

But really, the rest is over to you the audience. In the end, this blog is only useful if there are readers of it. I don't even need you to comment (though it would be nice occasionally). But, I honestly don't know how many of you there are. So, I would ask as many of you who read this blog however often to let me know what you think or just let me know you are there. You can easily add an anonymous comment to this entry with just one word (!). But I'd welcome more feedback from you. Here's what I'd love to know (assuming you know by now the areas I have something useful to write about):

How could I make Hobsblog MORE valuable to you the readers?
• What subjects could I cover more of?
• What subjects should I cover less of?
• Is anyone interested in the Apple stuff (and Microsoft, Sony, Google, IT in general)?
• What style changes would you like to see (I'll assume that no one wants LONGER articles!)?
• Is frequency of posts too low or too high?
• Would you like me to just link to interesting things rather than write a long essay on it :)?
• What about the personal things - photos, travelling, etc? More or less?
Is it TOO opinionated (I know it's opinionated, but that's the way I am).

This blog was initially for me to learn about blogging. Mission (partially) accomplished. For me to continue in any meaningful way is about it being valuable to others. Does it do that today or could it do that? Please use the most convenient way to communicate your support, your criticisms and/or your ideas as to where Hobsblog is to go for the next year and more.

Thanks for reading this over the last year, thanks for any comments you've made, and thanks especially for any comments you make in helping me take this forward into year 2.


Anonymous said...

I rather like it the way it is, and usually read things fairly soon after they come up in NNW. Of course I'm interested in the Mac stuff, but I'm a fan of the "blog as a collection of random stuff that caught my interest" school of thought, so write about whatever you like!

Ian Hobson said...

Hi Stephen
That's very kind of you, and particularly nice coming from someone I don't know!

Anyway, as a by-product, I've now learned about your blog too (just click on Stephen's name dear readers), and will stay in touch there.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hello Ian,

Yours is one of the few non-specialist blogs that I browse.

I suppose that a problem with broad-based blogs such as yours is that you don't get a hard-core of interested parties who you can "bait" with your commentary. (I'm thinking about some of the Mac/Linux/Investment blogs & forums)

As far as I can see, whithout this, there's never going to be an awful lot of feedback...

...which is probably the main driver for a blogger to continue.

That said I'd miss your musings, perhaps they are better suited to one of the old fashioned newsletters such as "I Cringely" http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/ or Brian Livingstone's http://windowssecrets.com/?

But then you'd need a mailing list. I guess that's the wonderful thing about blogging, everyone is just a couple of referrals away from being a star!