Why Feedback is Vital

How do you know you are achieving what you set out to do? What ways do you know if your readership appreciates your writing? How can you grow your blog with engaging well-targeted content?

One word. Feedback

My weekend reading tends to put me back in touch with topics that I just don’t have time for during the week. Monday through Friday priorities mean I rarely visit the more thoughtful, conceptual or intellectual blogs on my OPML. Clicking around my “weekend reading” folder I happened upon the following diagram contained in a post about innovation which sparked a “a-ha! moment” (not the popular 80’s pop-band).

feedback loop

I think this diagram sums up an important difference between old media and blogging. Bloggers have access to much greater feedback, in both quantity and quality, but also immediacy.

In a magazine you send in an idea, the editor approves it. You send in your draft, the editor changes a few phrases. A couple of months later your article appears. A few people write in to the letters page. Post a blog and

  • Readers comment
  • Readers email “you suck” or “thankyou!”
  • Bloggers write about your post and criticise, agree, clarify, expand on it
  • Readers subscribe/unsubscribe
  • People tag and link to your post or link to a post that discusses your post
  • Forums link your post and discuss it
  • ….or your post gets ignored (which is also feedback)

One of the best types of feedback I receive is when people say “great post, how about writing on the topic of x?” – ideas are hard to come by, ideas provided by your audience are like gold dust.

Feedback is vital to constant improvement, otherwise you are just guessing at how well you are doing. If you are writing for an audience engage that audience and encourage feedback.

So, what do you think?

Please let us know how we are doing, even if your feedback is of the “you suck” variety! What do you like, dislike? What would you like to see more of? Please let us know, we want your feedback!