One of the biggest challenges of writing a good blog is the challenge of catering to different kinds of readers.
I don’t know if everyone would agree, but the act of writing a blog itself implies that the blogger is someone who believes in democratization of knowledge, especially with regard to access to reading and writing and cultural practices that are understood as important.
In other words, this means the writer cares about reaching a wider audience through their blog than simply being restricted to a select few with a taste aligned to that of their own. The blogger has respect for and aspires towards appealing to a wide audience.
If you’ve ever taught a class, in a democratic way, by which I mean not simply lectured as a person only partially aware of the sentient nature of the things sitting on benches in front of you, you’ll know what I’m talking about immediately. In a class with a wide variety of students with differing academic abilities and backgrounds, you have to adjust your teaching to suit the students and keep changing as they change.
It’s like playing squash or racquetball.
As some students get bored with simplified discussions others appreciate basics and get bored with overly intricate material that have no bearing on their own interests.
It does not seem to be that different in blogging.
In order to stay alive, a writer has to appeal to a wide variety of people. Some of them skim the surface, some of them read deeply and understand what the writer is saying from their point of view, others go a step further and connect it with what they already know.
Anyone can access a blog page. No four walls of a room restrict access to blogs. This is an opportunity for the blogger, not a drawback, enabling her to reach a far greater number of people than would have been possible otherwise.
And yet, these numbers lead to a mixed population with different tastes. One set of people are pleased with one post while other people’s expectations are thwarted. Concentrating on both modes of communication (length, tone, format) with two intended audiences might give an impression that the whole blog is getting diluted. Readers stop waiting for each post regularly because it might just be one for the other camp.
To add to this complication is the fact that a blog is not a book. A writer can write a book in one mood with one intent, finish it and move on to another book with a different tone for a different set of people. Theoretically at least, this kind of flexibility is possible.
But a blog has a beginning but no end. It stays with the blogger, grows with the blogger and so encounters different audiences at different times.
But when it encounters different audiences at the same time, it faces a challenge.
If a blog was an ice-cream, it could have many options.
It could live on as Neapolitan ice cream.
It could split into smaller tubs of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
Or, if it was a genius, it could invent a new flavour–perhaps vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips and diced strawberries or chocolate ice cream with vanilla swirls and strawberry flakes.
It would all depend on the ice cream chef.©bottledworder, 2013. http://bottledworder.wordpress.com
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