Scott H Young

I Need Your Help


I’m all about improvement in every way, especially when it comes to this blog. If you are a subscriber or have been coming here for a couple visits, I’d like to get some feedback for how to improve the website and the articles I offer.

Specifically there are three questions. I’ll keep the questions brief, so if you could just take one minute to write down your response either in the comments section or through the contact form, I would be very grateful.

Question One:

Would you like articles that are easier to scan through quickly or are you looking for articles with greater depth and explanation? (You can just reply, “more depth,” or “easier scanning” if you want)

Why I’m Asking This Question:

I have a feeling that my articles face two conflicting goals, people want in-depth explanations that provide deeper insights but, being time constrained, people also want ideas that are easier to scan and absorb quickly. These ideas can work in harmony, but I’d like to know where you feel my blog is currently leaning too much towards. Are the articles lacking the depth you feel is necessary or are they too dense and you end up missing the points in an attempt to skim them?

Question Two:

Do you subscribe/visit here because you find most my posts of generally good value or do you visit because you hope for the odd fantastic post but find most the posts mediocre? Basically, is posting quality all in the same ballbark or is there some real gems that draw you surrounded by more mediocre work? (You can just reply, “general quality,” or, “rare insights” if you like)

Why I’m Asking This Question:

My traffic tends to come from a small minority of posts. This could be because those ideas happen to be particularly viral and easy to spread. But it could also be that many readers find most my ideas pretty average but they stick around because occasionally I write something really useful. I won’t be offended if you only come around for rare insights, I’m just want to know whether I’m better off investing time to create those rare posts or spreading my time to give more general content.

Question Three:

Is there a feature you have noticed on other blogs that you like, but this one lacks? This could be design elements, pod/vidcasting, subscription options, newsletters, improved contact forms, etc.

Why I’m Asking This Question:

I’m not a blogging expert. There are thousands of plugins, tools and services I can offer. Some are really easy to install and other take a bit of set-up. I’d like to know what my readers want in terms of features. A reader requesting e-mail subscription services prompted me to spend about fifteen minutes to set it up for the website. If there are any other services you like but this blog lacks, let me know.

Why I’m Giving This Survey

I don’t give a lot of weight to group surveys normally. Usually people reply with what they think they want and while you are busy fulfilling that someone sneaks up and does better by fulfilling what you don’t even realize you want. I’m guess you all want a higher posting frequency with greater quality ideas, that’s a given.

What I really want to know is the answers to questions that statistics packages simply can’t answer. Since you really only need to answer the first two questions and they each are about 3 words a piece, it won’t take more than a minute to add a comment. If you want to improve the quality of this blog I need your say.

Remember this blog isn’t a behemoth yet so your individual opinion will hold sway over the final direction of my content. Thank you for your time and your help. Have a great day!

Question Recap:

  1. Would you like: More depth or Easier Scanning?
  2. Do you see this blog as having: General Quality or Rare Insights?
  3. (Optional) Are there any features you feel this blog is missing?

Add Your Response:
Public Comments (Viewable by everyone)
Private Contact Form (Sent to me via e-mail)


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20 Responses to “I Need Your Help”

  1. Antony Jepson says:

    1. More depth
    2. Rare insights
    3. Maybe you could move the search box to the top of the right pane. Everything else is fine.

  2. Easier scanning.
    General value.

  3. Mark IJbema says:

    I don’t see why more depth and easier scanning can’t be combined and i really think you need both, people need to be able to scan to decide wether the article is interesting enough.

    I do follow your blog for the rare insights, but actually that’s true for most blogs (also non-self-improvement blogs). Also, it doesn’t mean that i don’t appreciate the non-rare-insight posts. I do think it’s better not to post sometimes than to try hard to make up something just to make a post. However, the way you’re posting currently is fine as far as I’m concerned.

    I’m not missing any features, also, to be honest, i almost never visit your site, i like to read my blogs in my rss reader :)

  4. Michael says:

    1. More depth. Sure it’s nice to have an article that you can go through real quick, but there usually isn’t much value to a short one. But I do like the bold parts, that way it’s easy to see the headings and get a better feel for what the article is before reading. And more depth is really the same depth, as most of your articles are very detailed.

    2. General value. Though I usually only read thoroughly a couple of posts, all of the posts seem to be thought out and well-developed.

    3. The greatest feature to me is the content itself. The rest is kind of frivolous.

  5. I’d say, carry on with how you are doing things. I am fully satisfied with your blog and posts as they are. I subscribe through RSS, and read many of your posts. You can’t please everyone all of the time, and naturally, there are posts of no interest to me, but they are, no doubt, of interest to someone else. Length, depth, content are just fine. Yes, posts are a little longer than the average blog post, but its the nature of this type of blog. Can’t cut corners here. I have also seen similar blogs with much longer posts, but frankly, they do waffle on, and I move on. Scott, you may be still technically a teenager, but you have a wise head on your shoulders, and more sense than many a person twice or thrice your age! I have certainly learnt a thing or two and often seen things in a new light reading your posts. Thanks for your insights . Keep up the good work.

  6. Scott Young says:

    Thanks for all your comments (and to those who sent me via e-mail). You’ve given me a lot of ideas for how to best deliver content.

    -Scott

  7. Jing says:

    I’m totally new to your blog, but currently a subscriber :). Everything looks fine, so please keep doing it.

    Here are my answeres:
    Easier scanning & rare insights

    I don’t know about blogging, so here is the weird thing, can you put those google ads to those unperceivable places?

  8. Scott Young says:

    Jing,

    The Google Ads form the core of the revenue I generate from this website, so moving them off wouldn’t cut off my income. That said, if you subscribe via e-mail with FeedBlitz up at the top, all entries will be sent to you by e-mail ad free.

    -Scott

  9. Danny says:

    Although I’ve only been reading your blog for a few weeks…

    1. A good mix, with a slight emphasis on “easier scanning:. Although such posts often lead to me just storing ideas rather than actually taking in the information I have a tendency to switch off and ignore a post if it’s too in depth and fails to captivate me immediately. Perhaps you could begin with an “easily scannable” post, and then go into greater depth later in the article. Of course that wouldn’t be possible for everything.

    2. Everything I’ve read has been tip-top and interesting.

    3. As an RSS subscriber I don’t actually see your pages but your posts come out lovely in my reader. Your seem to use emphasis and headings in just the right places and (thank god) avoid massive unbroken block of text – this makes your posts fairly “scannable” regardless of how they are written.

    Cheers

  10. AT says:

    1. Your level of depth seems fine. You could include a summary at the top or make use of good topic headings for people who like to scan.

    2. Rare insights; your general article quality is good, but I read a lot of these kind of sites so I’ve heard a good amount of it before.

  11. Tony says:

    1) depth is just fine, I wouldn’t change a thing, longer articles probably wouldn’t add much value anymore
    2) general quality is good, these posts have been a valued support and inspiration for my quest of personal development, your style seems though at times a little stiff, I’m sifting trough your archives so I haven’t red nearly all the articles. Now that you have all this experience, I would like to see you evolve I’n a more personal style, maybe a tiny bit more emotional, loser, I think it would help connect and stick even more
    3) if one day you would start a podcast I would surely listen, always handy when in traffic jam or yogging

    Anyways keep up the good work
    Excuse me if i made some spelling faults I’m from Belgium so this is not my native language
    Grtz

  12. Peter says:

    Q1: “more depth,” or “easier scanning”?
    A1: How about easy scanning deep stuff? You can take a concept and distill it until you have the very core of it. This core a lot of the time creates repulsion because of the change adversity in people so you have to dress it in an easy to swallow shell. The most efficient shell in existence, one developed over thousands of years, is the story; people tend to swallow easier something that start with “Once upon a time”. If you do this right, people will look, scan, read, swallow and before they realize what happens they get shocked by the core. It takes a tremendous amount of effort from the writer to go through the process of distilling the core and embellishing it in a story but I believe the effect is worth it.

    Q2: General Quality or Rare Insights?
    A2: I just see Kaizen and I like it, I feel motivated by it. I like the contents of the posts but more than anything I like the attitude of the poster ;)

    Q3: Are there any features you feel this blog is missing?
    A3: Replacing some words with an image is a good idea, work on it… To give you an idea, leave the image inside the readers head by increasing its value with *FEW* words, don’t drown it in ideas, just try to improve a little bit its message with some words.

  13. Zack says:

    IMHO :
    1)Depth is comptely ok. We don’t want you to fall into excessive intellectual mast**ation.
    The scanning could indeed be better. I know : the paragraphs are given a title that matches what is said. Still, remember that web users do not read: they scan. All of them(including me!) need to take a big breathe before diving into one paragraph. The longer the paragraph, the longer the breathe.
    2)Rare insight” doesn’t correspond to what I’d mean. My answer would rather be : “Good general quality, but what makes me come back is the hope of finding the rare perl of wisdom or common sense I don’t have”. In other words, I never blame you when I don’t find this incredible sound piece of logic in your text. I am always interested by what you say. And sometimes, not only interested but also “thought-fed”.

    Sorry for the language : proud to be french, ashamed to be that bad in casual english.

  14. Andreas says:

    Thanks for a great blog Scott!

    1. Easier-scanning; The amount of content is great, try to make it even easier to scan though (lists, q&a, sub-topics etc).
    2. Gems; All topics can’t be interesting for everyone, some I am bound to skim-through, this is absolutely fine.
    3. I agree with Michael, the content is most important.

  15. Scott Young says:

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  16. m says:

    Depth is fine, I usually scan the first paragraph and read on if it looks interesting.

    Rare insights.

  17. Mark says:

    My initial response was that I couldn’t help you; your posts are great, I don’t believe they need any change. That said, here’s a little of what I prefer of blogs in general, which I think yours reflects.

    1) Greater depth. I scan only to determine if the post is worth reading more thoroughly. Therefore greater depth is the priority; I can still effectively scan a page full of paragraphs.

    2) General quality. Rare insights are great for attracting me too a blog, but it’s the general high quality that keeps me subscribed to their RSS feed.

    3) Content. I love plain text. The only feature I need is an RSS feed.

  18. Paul-Antoine says:

    1. More depth. But it really depends on the subject. Length and depth should be : as much as required/useful.

    2. General Quality or Rare Insights. There are too many articles that are of ok quality but more or less repeat something already written many times.

  19. Chris says:

    1. More Depth. Many of my favorite blogs post fairly rarely, but I’m excited when I see there is a new entry.

    2. Rare insights. There are a thousand places one can find a lot of good stuff. The places you can find some wonderful stuff are the valuable ones.

    3. Do-dads are cute, but I don’t read you for anything fancy. You make really good points and create well thought out articles. That’s you’re strength, I say stick with it.

  20. Daniel says:

    1) More depth
    2) General Quality

    3) I really enjoy when there are pictures or just a good picture in blog posts because it makes things more interesting and easier to visaulize

    I also don’t think that a “higher posting frequency” would be better because Its better if you spend time writing quality articles than trying to write several articles

    thanks for the chance to help!

Debate is fine, flaming is not. Pretend that this comment form is a discussion taking place in my house. That means I enjoy constructive criticism and polite suggestions. Personal attacks, insults and all-purpose nastiness will be removed especially if it is directed at other readers.

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