Readers, I need your opinions.
A few months ago I started doing a lot of “spotlight” posts. These are articles where I basically start with a long quote from someone else’s work, link to that work, and provide some brief comment about it.
I started doing this because I run into a lot of interesting articles online, and if I find them interesting I figure you might, too. It’s also a way of giving some public love to the author of the piece (or sometimes, critique).
How often I post these has varied; sometimes it’s been one or two a week, other times I go weeks without a single one. They never substitute in for my own writing: I publish an original essay of my own every Wednesday, no matter what.
Predictably, these posts get few comments or feedback (after all, the author isn’t usually here to talk with), but they do seem to get a fair amount of traffic, and boost traffic to the site overall. That made me think they were reasonably popular with my readers. But maybe not.
One of my most dedicated readers contacted me and told me she doesn’t like them. Her reason made sense: she comes here to read about my philosophy and my adventure, and these excerpts from random articles I read are usually irrelevant to that. They have nothing to do with this site’s topic. She said they’re a good idea but should really be on a different blog.
I think that’s actually pretty insightful. I wonder how many people agree?
Here are three examples of recent spotlight posts:
- How to Talk to Depressed People. Hilarious but brutally honest illustrated guide to depression.
- Fin? A high school graduate’s statement as she starts a new chapter in her life.
- Mystery of Certainty. An atheist offers a framework for rational belief in the supernatural.
What do you think? Should I do posts like these regularly, whenever I find an interesting article? Or should I only spotlight material if it connects in some way to the heroic life?
I’m really interested in knowing your opinion. It’s always a struggle knowing how to focus this site and keep its message clear, but interesting. I know a lot of you will tell me to write whatever I want to write—and I appreciate that, I truly do. But I also want to know what you like reading, and whether posts like those get you excited or just get a “meh.”
Please leave a comment and let me know. What do you think? Spotlight posts, good or bad?