Sunday, July 15, 2007

Is BLOG VILLAGE Big Enough??

I would like your opinion on how big you think BLOG VILLAGE should be.

Also, which way do you prefer the TopList to be Ranked??




Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE? Start HERE.

If you are interested in being the Featured Villager on our BLOG VILLAGE News blog, please contact Janey Loree, Kilroy, or the Gatekeeper, the members of our Village Interview Team.

21 comments:

Jackie said...

Yes I have to admit as it has got bigger I do not seem to be able to handle regular visits to those I really like and also a battle to find them quickly. I could go straight there but then they would lose my vote in Blog Village.

I also wish there was a search box.

Anthony said...

I'm a fan of the free market; meaning I would like to see the community grow organically. The problem is that beyond a certain point it stops being a community and becomes no more than a typical directory. I don't think the sites who have been in Blog Village for any period of time want to think of it as a directory.

I'd say some change in the ranking system that's long been in place needs to be changed. But, I'm clueless as to how it works. I read a post about hits in and hits out and the forumula is lost on me.

Dirty Butter said...

If you bookmark the blogs you like, Jackie, you can always vote for them from their blog. I haven't decided yet what to do about ranking, as I'm bound by the constraints of the gotop100 choices available.

As for the SEARCH, it's there now. That's one improvement I asked for and they did implement. Look at the top of the TopList.

Dirty Butter said...

I understand exactly what you mean, Anthony, and that's why I'm asking for input. I hope we get a large percentage of Villagers who take the time to vote, so I can make an informed decision as to how to proceed.

Granimore said...

I think ranking by hits FROM Blog Village to member's blogs is a more accurate method.

Janey Loree said...

I agree with Anthony. We don't want BLOG VILLAGE to get so big we don't know who our fellow villagers are. Even at 500 I am in danger of only knowing a small handful. Doing the interviews has helped me know more! Talking about interviews...I will get the next one to you a.s.a.p.

I feel that making the votes OUT the ranking criterion encourages village involvement!!!

Dirty Butter said...

One thing's for sure, Granimore, and that's that more people have HITS OUT points than they do HITS IN. There really are only a handful of blogs that haven't been read at least once from someone using BLOG VILLAGE. There are very few blogs where readers take the time to vote from the blog itself.

Dirty Butter said...

I haven't been able to keep up with everybody for a long, long time, Janey Loree. It got too big for me personally when it passed 100!! ROTFL!! The SEARCH has helped, plus I've asked them to consider allowing CATEGORIES. If we can do that, I think that would help a lot, but there's no way of knowing if gotop100 will do that or not. I have no control over that, other than to make suggestions.

bizwhiz said...

I am against any form of ranking. However, without any form of activity, Blogvillage will simply be another static blog directory. People will register their blogs and never visit the site again. This is afterall a toplist directory, and ranking thus appears unavoidable.

In the previous post explaining Hits Out, I had shared my comments on why Hits Out doesn't seem appropriate and why many directories prefer to encourage Hits In to generate traffic to their site and increase the visibility of the registered blogs. Primarily, if there are no new visitors to the directory, the people clicking on these blogs are just you and me. Is this what the members want?

Quite surely, we will be happier to have new unique visitors hopping by our blogs. The way to do this is to have Blogvillagers invite new members to the site and urge them to check out the listed blogs. Therein lies the anomaly. These members who visit Blogvillage through your blog will register a Hits In for you. When they visit other blogs, they will register a Hits Out for them. If this ranking system continues, poor you who have introduced these members will not appear on the first page but these other sites will.

Be that as it may, I am not concerned about the ranking criteria. I will go about my business of encouraging users to register with Blogvillage and checking out other blogs. I am one of the guilty ones who do not visit the main site other than to occasionally look out for new blogs. If there is a link to newly registered sites, it would help. I have a long list of bookmarked blogs and I access them from my browser, not from the site interface. Should this Hits Out system continue, I guess I'll have to click their buttons from their blogs and locate their blogs in Blogvillage to register a hit out.

On the question about size, I guess those who are already registered will be happy to cap the number. The many inactive members will have the last laugh though, at the expense of new bloggers who are hoping to share their new blogs with all of us. While we take in new members, we should make it a point to weed out existing inactive ones. You can weave this into the rules so that members are aware that the listing is conditional upon participation at their end.

Dirty Butter said...

You've said a lot, bizwhiz, and for now I'm just going to comment on your last idea. When the list was smaller I checked out each blog at least once a month. If the banner was not there, or there had not been any HITS IN, I warned them that they would be dropped if this was not remedied. I did cull out inactive blogs at that time. Now, the list is just too big for me to have the time or will power to do that regularly.

I do agree that capping it while inactive bloggers continue to belong is not logical. I just can't figure out a way to cull the non participating blogs easily. If people would have cooperated and voted for themselves each month at least once, then I could have dealt only with the blogs that did not have any hits at all. But I couldn't get folks to do that. At one time I even tried only showing the blogs that had at least one HIT IN, but that didn't seem to work, either.

Sheila said...

Rosemary,
I don't have an answer but if we have a cap, wouldn't that limit our exposure to new blogs? There are just so many great blogs out there that it's nearly impossible for me to visit as often as I'd like. But I do like that you tag the new ones so that I can find them.

You have done a wonderful job with creating a feeling of "community" and I hope that whatever is decided, we can maintain that feeling.

eric said...

It makes sense to me to make the out clicks count. They are votes for the site selected. In clicks are votes for the village.

As far as the size, The average village has about 550 households. It may be wise to put a cap on it, lest it become less of a village, and more like urban sprawl. The fact is that if there are 700,800, or 1000 blogs listed, many will be overlooked due to the size of the listing. sifting through would take some time.

that's my 3 cents...

Jackie said...

Thanks for putting up the search. Will help when I don't have much time on my hands to browse :)

You might also need to set the time limit for inactive blogs like 3 months and if we come across one we let you know so you can remove them until they contact you to say they are active again. Just email everyone that fact.

Dirty Butter said...

The SEARCH definitely helps, doesn't it, Jackie. I've asked that they expand it to include the description of the blog, so we can set up some Categories. He seemed willing, but has to wait on the programmer to do it.

As for the inactive bloggers, I've done that in the past. I do need to send out an email asking everyone to let me know about the dead or dormant ones. Thanks for reminding me.

Dirty Butter said...

If I do decide to let it continue to grow, Eric, it will be because the gotop100 admin has added more SEARCH capabilities, so I can put the blogs in Categories. If I can do that, I don't think size will matter so much. As it stands now, I think your "village" comparison is valid.

Kilroy_60 said...

It's the feeling of community that led me to not only join Blog Village, but to support it and encourages others to join.

The poll I think is a good idea. Unfortunately, like most things you're likely to get a select few speaking for the whole.

Interaction is what makes a community. I think that's clear cut. You lose likelihood that there is going to be interaction once growth exceeds a certain point.

The issues at hand are, I think, up to you to decide, Dirty Butter. Waiting for the poll to provide an answer is, I think, a waste of time. You had a vision of what you wanted Blog Village to be. You made it something worthwhile to be a part of. Don't allow it to be diluted now.

It's possible that Blog Village has already exceeded capacity in terms of promoting the idea of members helping members for mutual success. I don't think whoever is on which page of the list matters if we support each other's effort.

I blog for me, not for my audience. Realistically, though, it is much more enjoyable to have visitors and to see commments.

Putting a ceiling on size will encourage people who have a spot in Blog Village to be more interested in it being successful as a whole. It would be great to make Blog Village a destination where people come to see good blogs; regardless of membership. That comes from working together to make it valuable.

Unfortunately, placing a button in your sidebar is going to do little, if anything, to drive people here. Blog Village is successful because Blog Villages make it successful. I would never think that other people act as I do. Logically, though, if you see someone visiting your blog, writing comments you are more likely to visit them. If their comments references, or includes a link to, Blog Village people are going to check it out.

Further, limiting membership can prompt people to post about being members. I've done so in the past and I know people have come to Blog Village.

I say, put a cap on membership, put it in place and move on.

As for ranking, there's no way around that. That's the model we signed on for. Given the irrelevance of voting at our sites the only realistic option to advance success is to rank by votes out.

If you have a site worth visiting, people will visit. There will undoubtedly be favorites. Such is life. That said, it goes back to you visit me and I visit you. The more interaction there is the more of a community you have.

It's time to stop talking about it and time to get things done. Let's work together and make Blog Village a premier Blogosphere destination!

Dirty Butter said...

Thanks for your sincere comments, Kilroy. The decision will certainly be mine, but I did want to see if there were any clear majority feeling. Obviously, there is not.

You may be surprised to know that I almost stopped the list at 100!! I see no overwhelming reason to let it go past 500, unless the Categories become available. I will have to find a consistent way to monitor blogs and get rid of the inactive blogs, so new blogs can still participate, too.

I have tried to include as many types of blogs as possible, so it's logical that any one Villager would not be at all interested in all of the blogs available to them. That's OK with me. You're right, though, that the way to keep our Village vibrant is to support each other's efforts with visits and, more importantly, comments.

Kevin Wilson said...

i'm very new at this so please bear that in mind!
overall, i think the smaller and more manageable you can make it, the better. the temptation is always to do more and go bigger, but i think you risk losing the character of your village.
far better to have some sort of limit on size and concentrate on building a sense of community.
ok, that's me finished!
best wishes,
kevin

Dirty Butter said...

I'm glad you joined in the discussion, Kevin, and there's no need to apologize for being new. The fact that you feel that way about the size, knowing that you might have been denied membership as a late joiner, says a lot. That is, if you thought about that LOL!!

Kilroy_60 said...

After as much as I wrote last time it's hard to believe I could have forgotten anything.

Unless you know me; then it's not hard to believe at all.

I have to say, because I value what we are a part of here, that I think categories are a bad idea.

Honestly, any time I have to choose a category when I've registered for this directory or that I'm never happy with the choices. I take pride in the fact that I have varied subjects.

In any case, I have no doubt that putting a cap on membership is the best thing to do.

A quick point on Villagers working together for mutual benefit. Naomi and I are doing a carnival. I normally don't schedule them so far out, so I haven't posted on it as of yet.

I'm interested in getting a carnival scheduled within a month if any villager is interested in jumping.

Dirty Butter said...

I know what you mean about it being hard to pick one category to put your blog in, Kilroy. What I have in mind is really more along the lines of keywords to be added to the blog description section. Then, assuming the gotop admin fixes the SEARCH so that it will search the description, too, people can find blogs on similar topics without knowing the actual names of the blogs.

If this part works out, I'll be adding to the allowed length for the description, so everyone can add in a list of keywords. Then, if you want to emphasize a particular topic, you can change it at will. This all hinges on gotop, but I really think he plans on following through with my suggestion. It's just a matter of time.

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