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True Reasons Behind Work Stoppage… on this Blog

07 Aug

Lately I was somewhere between mailing it in and full speed mostly because of the lockout in the NBA but there was also one behind-the-scene reason for this: I’ve started to struggle with decisions about this blog.
Not “there’s a lockout so I have nothing to write about” variety but those regarding blog’s nature and future.
To explain why I’ll use some stats in a context of my expectations before starting this whole thing:

Blog had over 10.000 views in less than 3 months. I consider that part a huge success.
Maybe my bar was set low, maybe those were mostly spammers or maybe I was simply lucky that Neil Paine was kind enough to include this blog on a StatHead [which I’m still grateful for] but either way that’s a really positive sign for me. What’s even more encouraging is fun with translate.google.com to understand why people from China or Italy or any other unexpected location have found one of my posts useful.

But inadvertently it created a lot of questions for me which I haven’t anticipated [mostly because I haven’t thought about it at all], for example:

  • how much I should write for myself [obscure subjects, comments about others’ work etc] vs potential/actual readers [new analysis/topics as current and interesting as possible]?
  • Should it become a personal diary of topics researched or should I try to reach as many people as possible?
  • How much time should I spend researching for new posts vs promoting posts which I’ve already finished?

It’s even more difficult when I try to include following aspects…

Counting this one I’ve written 87 posts in less than 100 days. I have very mixed feelings about this part.
On one hand “nice efficiency!”, “I’ve explored so many topics!” and “on that pace I will finish all of my half-baked ideas this year!” but on the other hand I’ve spent waaaaaay too much time on this blog not only more than I’ve expected but probably more than I should have. What’s more, I started to wonder about things like “did quantity hurt quality?” and “have I became too… robot-like?”… and I don’t have enough data to answer it because…

Blog had 319 comments but more than a half of them were pingbacks. I consider that part a huge failure.
Average of less than one not-mine comment per post? Either there’s something really fundamentally off here [too much data? not interesting enough?] or again my expectations were simply wrong but I’m totally disappointed in number of discussions created. Especially when that was one the points behind creating this blog. Ironic thing about this topic is… how can I answer these questions without any feedback? ;-)

Even though those 3 weeks didn’t help with any of above topics [and I’m not sure what will] an emphatic remainder that there won’t be NBA for a long time made a few things very clear for me:

There’s really no point in uber-activity during summer while winter appears to be so uneventful sport-wise.
At least right now I can focus on a winner in a race for my second favorite sport…

I should take a break from writing.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the whole experience, I think I still have a lot to explore and I definitely will be back [late August? Early September? Right now I have no idea when] but I feel like I need to slow down, take a step back and take a break for a fresher point of view, to recharge NBA batteries and maybe to come up with some conclusions about long-term plans for this blog… See you soon!

EDIT on 19th September: Yikes!
I wrote “maybe I was simply lucky that Neil Paine was kind enough to include this blog on a StatHead [which I’m still grateful for]”… and 5 weeks later there’s news “Stathead is Closing Down….” (http://www.sports-reference.com/stathead/2011/09/stathead-is-closing-down/).
Fortunately there are some positive news on the lockout front… Oh, wait… Yeah…

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6 Comments

Posted by on August 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

6 responses to “True Reasons Behind Work Stoppage… on this Blog

  1. Leszczur

    August 8, 2011 at 13:30

    Man – I can see where you are coming from with this existential struggle ;-)
    I can only tell you that:
    1. The deal between quality and quantity depends on what reader population you want to have.
    If you are going for big population then frequent and not-so-nerdy posts would get the deal done.
    But as far as I know you and the idea behind this blog – that was not really the case.
    If you wanted to write for statistically avdanced readers then you might be better off giving them (or should I say: us?) more time to digest the data. Perhaps some posts might be rewritten or upgraded as a result of time spent pondering over your posts.
    2. As for comments. It simply takes time to develop discussion, and sometimes it may be difficult if a lot of new interesting stuff is being published here.

    I think by working so hard over those 3 months you have created a base on which you can build. No it’s a time to publish with frequency lower than your readers’ digestion ability ;-) But do go on.

     
    • wiLQ

      August 8, 2011 at 18:11

      “If you are going for big population then frequent and not-so-nerdy posts would get the deal done.”
      You’ve reminded me about IMHO one huge advantage of such frequent and scheduled writing: there’s no more “I’ll do it later” disease which, as you know, can really stretch preparation time into literally years for a single topic.

      “you might be better off giving them (or should I say: us?) more time to digest the data.”
      Well, I just gave you a heads up “no more new posts at least in the next couple of weeks” so you can “digest” old ones ;-)

       
  2. Fraccu

    August 8, 2011 at 15:59

    Hi, I’m your Italian “fan”… I discovered your blog just a couple of months ago and I was honestly glad about it: your works are really interesting and inspiring.

    Being a “stat lover”, I just used your posts as references and because they were/are well done, I didn’t feel the need to discuss anything about it. I’m not saying you can’t improve, but, as far as now, you surely shouldn’t (in my humble opinion) evaluate your “value” only according to the comments: some posts of yours are simply unique and very admirable, both for the “basic idea” and for the completeness of the results.

    Feel free to take your time, man, you’re not a CPU (and besides it’s summertime!), but I’m definitely one of yours “aficionados”, and we’ll be waiting patiently for your next posts (Stern and Hunter will make sure you’ll be able to take it easy…).

     
    • wiLQ

      August 8, 2011 at 18:29

      “I just used your posts as references and because they were/are well done, I didn’t feel the need to discuss anything about it. I’m not saying you can’t improve, but, as far as now, you surely shouldn’t (in my humble opinion) evaluate your ‘value’ only according to the comments”
      I’m not even trying to judge MY value but my BLOG’s content/form/ideas value [to me and others] and IMHO comments/discussions are important part of this experience. I won’t kid myself that any blog can be just fine without any outside signs of life.

      BTW, references such as yours probably should count as a comment ;-)

       

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