Friday, August 03, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #177: Feedback and Suggestions

"Remember, man does not live by bread alone: sometimes he needs a little buttering up."

-John C. Maxwell

Over the last month or so, there's been a downturn in the participation with the Weekend Assignments - enough so that I think it's worth taking a momentary break from the usual format to check in with you folks about your thoughts on the feature.

We've been doing the Weekend Assignments for over three years now, which is a good long time for anything to be going on in the blog world. But with any long-running feature, it's worth looking at it to see what can be done - or if anything need be done - to improve it.

Weekend Assignment #177: Are you happy with the Weekend Assignments as they are? Do you have suggestions on improving them? Should we continue the Weekend Assignments, or try something new? Remember, the reason I do the Weekend Assignments is so you'll have something fun to write about over the weekend. It's dependent on you guys, basically. I want to know where you are with it.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Dear Blogfather

I enjoy the Weekend Assignments very much, I always have. I look forward to stepping out of my own programed blog world, and stepping into each new challenge you provide us. I have always viewed the assignments as a learning experiment in what it's like to write on demand. Not that you demand anyone participate, but indeed you provide a way to stretch our writing wings a bit more then we would probably do on our own. :) The Weekend Assignments have been good for me. I think I have grown as a blogger as a result of doing them. And isn't that the goal of any challenge? To grow as a person in some way. :)

I have participated in almost every single one of the 177 Weekend Assignments, with the exception of ones with subjects I felt I may have already covered recently on Ellipsis, or if I feel that I have nothing in particular to add to the general theme of the assignment. Once in a while, it has seemed like you have repeated an assignment theme within what I felt was too close a period of time, but that has been a rarity. I can only speak for myself of course, but I want you to know that I look forward to the assignments, and the chance to sometimes have to research a topic that I might have perhaps not delved into, if left to my own imagination.

One great example would be when you asked us to write a Haiku. Oh my. Poetry has never been one of my strengths. I was really nervous about even trying to meet the assignment, but I gave it a try anyway, and to my surprise, I found I enjoyed it very much. :) Thank you for that. I am a happy camper with the assignments, but I would like to suggest new ways we could possibly do some assignments, just to shake things up a bit.

1. I think a monthly Haiku would be fun. There are million or so topics you could challenge us with.

2. How about one week out of the month, we could tie the Monday Photo Shoot, to the following Weekend Assignment of the same week.Kind of like, take a picture... write a story, either fictional or real, that ties in with the photo. :)

3. Remember when you asked us who our Super Hero alter egos would be? How about the flip side? Who would our dastardly inner villains be? There are a lot of assignments that you could offer us an either or option on.

There, I just presented a few ideas to consider. You know, I have been blogging almost 4 years now, and one trend I have seen consistently, was that my hit counter and comments always drop during the summer months. I really believe that is why you have been seeing a lower then average turn out for the assignments. It can be discouraging to put thought into an entry, and not receive any feedback or participation. It happens. Just hang in there, and know we are still out there, looking forward to each new assignment. :) Please keep bringing them to us. :)

Always, Carly :)

"Summer Smiles"
Santa Rosa, California
August 2, 2007


Karen Funk Blocher said...

Those are very good suggestions! Especially #2.

Anonymous said...

gee Carly I miss John so much!