The HR Juggler

Blogging, Experimenting And Learning

Posted on: September 25, 2011



So, last week was my blog experiment, where I wrote each day on topics with the highest votes, suggested by others. The original motivation for the experiment was to cure a temporary sense of writer’s  block, but I found that I experienced and learnt much more besides.

On a pure measurement level, it was interesting to see what changed and what didn’t. The traffic to my blog increased substantially – but given that I usually post once or twice a week, that was no surprise. When I look at the overall page views for last week though, what is striking is that most posts get around the same number of views, with two exceptions, which were retweeted and then viewed by people outside of my usual network.  In the interest of transparency, you can see the posts which received the most views below –

Whilst it is probably true that titles of blogs make a difference, there was also a huge increase to blog traffic in some ‘power’ RTs – it was notable with the ‘Why Are HR The Worst People Managers Of All?’ post that once the CIPD retweeted it, it led to a spike in page views and further RTs. Similarly ‘The Only Person Who Really Looks After Your Career Is Yourself’ was retweeted by @Jobsitejobs, leading to increased readership.

What else changed? I gained around 30 new followers, certainly more than an average week and my Klout score increased by 5 (I’m sure it will drop back soon enough ;)). I was fortunate to have some great comments on all of the posts that I wrote, but the numbers of comments are broadly in line with what I am lucky enough to usually expect. Perhaps interesting to note, there were no new subscribers to my blog during the experiment.

So these may be the ‘tangibles’ in terms of what can be measured, but of course the real story and learning for me goes much deeper than that. My main reflections are as follows –

  • Rather than writer’s block, what I was really experiencing was a dip in creativity and lack of inspiration of topics to blog about. Whilst I worried that I was being lazy asking others for ideas, what I discovered was that people were keen to contribute ideas and thoughts
  • Through blogging on topics that were not originally mine, I stretched myself out of my comfort zone, which felt at times nerve-wracking, but ultimately rewarding
  • The topics that were suggested were almost all completely different to anything that I had previously considered writing about
  • I loved the interactive process of asking for ideas and getting people to vote on them
  • I have huge respect for individuals who blog on a daily basis in addition to busy, demanding day jobs…doing it for one week was just about fine, but it hasn’t tempted me to make it a permanent commitment!
  • I missed the reflection time between blogs
  • I am not by nature an experimenter…but found I enjoyed it and learned from it
  • My readership may be small compared to many others, but I’m truly appreciative of the support and level of engagement I receive. Small but perfectly formed, perhaps?!

So, all in all, I enjoyed last week very much and will continue to reflect on the experience and learning I gained from it. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.


10 Responses to "Blogging, Experimenting And Learning"

The experiment itself required a certain bravery – and I really appreciate the openness of the findings. Truly, one of the most inspiring blog exercises I’ve read this year! Kudos.

Thanks James, really appreciate the feedback – that means a lot x

Really enjoyed your week of blogging Alison – kudos indeed. I have to confess that you also inspired me to up my blogging efforts for the week. My own little experiment of sorts! Personally, I’ve found it has raised as many questions as answers… I think to echo your summary, that might just be the best reason to blog!

Thanks David…blogging is a funny old beast isn’t it. I have also been enjoying your posts over the past week too.

You are an inspiration to us all – not only for what you did, but for sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences. This is what makes social media so valuable when it’s used properly – real value from real people.

Thanks so much Sarah…I am blushing! I’m just really glad that others found it of value too

Sorry we messed up the results for your experiment, but glad we could share your blogs with a wider/different audience! Keep blogging 🙂

Hey, you didn’t mess it up, you totally enhanced it! Would love to get more RTs from you guys, will keep working on it 😉

Great reflection on your wonderful experiment. And it’s fab to see someone else sharing figures and thoughts on how and why these things hang together. I’m sorely tempted to steal your experiment idea and see what I can learn from it. Well done and keep up the great work

Thanks Doug…and feel free to steal away and do something similar. I for one would love to contribute to that 🙂

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