Sparking a Conversation

Sparking a Discussion

I believe each social media platform has a different purpose, and I really enjoy my blog for the conversations that it can foster. I believe that the beauty of a blog are the connections that are formed through these conversations.

I have been busy this summer coordinating and hosting larger quilting related events behind the scenes, and I have missed posting larger discussion topics that foster conversations. I also have a few tech tip ideas in mind to write about over the next few months, as I always enjoy passing along ideas and tools.

Today, I am hoping that I can spark a conversation with you, especially if you do not tend to comment on my blog ever or regularly:

What do you like most in a blog and what can I do to fully engage you?

Do you even want to be engaged to the point of having a conversation, or are you just looking for ideas and inspiration?

I know we all have different expectations and desires, and I am just curious to know if there is something you have been looking for in a blog that seems to be missing.

27 thoughts on “Sparking a Conversation

  1. Cindy says:

    Since I don’t do Instagram, I read blogs. I like to be able to relate to the subject matter and also like looking at the quilts or projects people are working on.

  2. Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge says:

    Hmm… this is such a tricky question. I generally enjoy blogs that offer inspiration, the occasional tutorial, a good dose of humour and large, lovely quilt pics. To be honest, I also like a lively link-up that draws others to my blog. Saying exactly what makes a great blog is a little like defining what makes your friend a great one. Not every friend has everything one might be looking for, but you make a connection and enjoy your time together regardless!

  3. Jayne Willis says:

    With all the different social media platforms, blogging can be a challenge! I love blogs with tips and tutorials. Ones that take you through a process, great pictures! I love getting inspired, from quilts to words! That being said, everyone has a different style. I’m not drawn to any thing specific, but I do like feeling connected. I’m not a big help! Don’t define yourself, be yourself.

  4. Jan O says:

    It’s hard to say. Sometimes conversations come about as a result of comments, replies to comments, etc. Sometimes there’s an element of familiarity: this is someone I’ve had blog comment conversations with before, and often, so I feel comfortable talking with this person. Sometimes it’s a direct result of the content, as in your philosophical posts. Anyway, whatever the trigger, it’s always good to make a connection with someone who has interests in common. I do think it takes time and repeat visits to build familiarity and reinforce the connection.

  5. Yvonne, reading blogs is a major part of my routine. I have severe brain damage in the memory section and I also suffer from severe pain from degenerative arthritis, so during times of pain I sit and just go through blog posts. I enjoy posts that are personal and let me see/feel a part of the bloggers real life. I also enjoy tutorials…I may not ever make it but reading how you put it together is interesting to me and tips that help you may also help me. There are so many factors involved in whether I do or do not comment. I enjoy leaving comments because when I receive comments on my own blog it makes me feel good and I hope that the person I am responding to will in turn get the same feeling. Quite often though, I just can not muster up the energy needed to post because of the pain factor or my brain has just already dealt with to much. I hope that this helps. Have a wonderful day.

  6. knitnkwilt says:

    I have missed your conversation starters–though I certainly understand about time limits. I like thought provoking questions. I like process posts that are more than a photo of “this is what I have done so far”; I especially like design decision process posts. I do a few linky parties, though I am not as fascinated with them as I was when they first appeared. I don’t do Instagram, very little Pinterest. If I want photos without comment I’ll go to FlickR.

    What usually starts me following a blog is a quilt top that makes me say , “Wow!” If there are enough posts that interest me, I keep following. Once I “get to know” a blogger, I’m pretty forgiving of posts that are not on my preference list, knowing that others will be.

  7. Renee says:

    It has been a busy summer! But I like your discussion posts because they make me (and others) consider things more deeply. And I do like the conversations that are created through them. Not very many bloggers take the time to have conversations with the people that comment, and really I think it’s the only way to develop a relationship online. All the bloggers I consider friends are the ones I developed a rapport with through emails that started with comments. The bloggers that don’t really respond, aren’t interested in me or my blog, or act kind of bitchy (in their blogs, comments, of replies) are bloggers I don’t care to follow.

  8. Lisa says:

    I like blogs for different reasons. I mostly like the inspiration..but I also like it when I feel like I am getting to know a quilter through their blog. One unique aspect that I like about your blog is that you often pose questions , and write a lot about a topic and this gets me thinking.

  9. Sandra says:

    Yvonne, I am most apt to comment on blogs that either make me think (as yours does), asks a question that I feel I want to weigh in on (which you do), and especially, and above all else, those with whom I have developed a rapport (which I have with you). This rapport is developed through the blogger (me or the other) taking the time to respond with more than a “gee thanks, and thanks for stopping by” kind of generic comment to one of my comments, or by the initial commenter getting back to me after I’ve responded to their comment (okay, that sounds confusing, hope you followed). We connect on a common thread (pun intended) and that thread doesn’t necessarily have to be about quilting, oddly enough. It can be animals (yay for Pets On Quilts for bringing me friends like Lara to name just one), or it can be where they live, or just anything. I like the blogs with a personal touch. I like tutorials and inspiration and quilitng how-tos, or info about a store or a product. If the blog is mainly to show off their finishes and head to their store to buy, I’m not a fan. Okay, back to finishing up my tutorial for the new block!

  10. tarnia says:

    Hi, I admit I very infrequently comment on blogs, and yet I reply to almost every comment people post on mine, and I appreciate the feedback I get. As a real introvert and beginner quilter, I stare at the comments form and think, “what can I actually contribute, other than ‘nice quilt'”. I am a late comer to social media, only recently joining FB (family only), not doing Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or any of the picture sharing stuff. I guess I still feel that genuine connections require face to face, or at least verbal interactions at some point. Maybe it’s an age thing, or maybe it’s just that I see blogs etc as another construct, rather than a genuine reflection of our lives. As a chronic migraineur with two kids with disabilities/chronic health problems, if I wrote about my life and quilting in any genuine, truthful manner, it would not be something that people would follow or enjoy. So, my blog is a place I present my quilts, maybe include some garden or travel related photos, full-stop. As a reflection of this, I tend to follow blogs where people share quilts, tutorials, Giveaways and QAL’s.

    1. Emma says:

      Tarnia, I enjoyed reading your comment. I too am an introvert, limited social media user, and am limited by my brain functioning. I would be interested in reading about your genuine life experiences as opposed to a life-is-all-rainbows superficial narrative. I’d like to find more blogs that normalize suffering and struggle as part of the human condition. I don’t see myself in the polished lifestyle blogs. I’d be keen to read about a day in your life and what is involved in caring for your kiddos. I’d also like to see your quilts! Do you blog?

  11. Helen says:

    och you know me , I like the conversation

  12. Rochelle says:

    Hi Yvonne – You are one of my favorite bloggers because what you write is interesting, personal and thought provoking. In the past, you’ve advised on the types of comments that are helpful to bloggers. I don’t respond to everything because I don’t have that kind of time. I don’t have my own blog, I don’t facebook, tweet, or IG. I only recently set up a Fliker account. I like to respond but don’t expect every comment to generate a reply from the Blogger….how would you get anything done. But if I have a question, it’s nice to get an answer and you’ve always been polite in that regard. Keep asking questions.


  13. Lesley says:

    I feel rather like Rochelle. I don’t have anything to do with facebook, IG, twitter, etc. I just can’t be bothered! I don’t blog, but I follow several, including yours, by email. If I can’t follow by email, then I don’t follow at all. I make quilts for fun and have done since I joined a Club here in France about 7 years ago. Blogs have widened my horizons. I like to gather ideas from blogs rather than reproduce exactly what I see. I appreciate tutorials and realise the amount of time and effort that goes into them. Occasionally I comment, usually in reply to a question, but rarely read comments myself. They do tend to be all the same and often too saccharine for a cynical English woman like me!

  14. Kaja says:

    It’s definitely about the conversation for me, and the stuff that goes on by email once you have connected with someone via a blog. I don’t care if what someone is making is my cup of tea or not, so things like tutorials don’t come into it, but I’m always interested in knowing why they make their decisions and choices and in finding people who are open to discussion. You are very good at wording things in a way that invites participation – and after all that’s how we make the genuine connections.

  15. mlwilkie says:

    Great discussion. First off I do not think blogs are dead. I do feel they have changed though. I like the instant gratification/feedback of IG. I like blogs for sharing more complex ideas like tutorials, feedback on a process, the steps and design ideas to the creation. I do find it a little more difficult to keep up with blogs as I do want to spent the time digesting the content vs. say IG

    I have changed my approach to my blog, instead of posting for the traffic and keeping up with a regular schedule…I post when I truly have something to say or share or if it helps me keep on track for a project. You know instead of must post 3-4 times a week attitude.

  16. Hi! Yvonne, I’ve tended to treat my blog like a letter to friends and I guess I follow bloggers who do similar. Reading the previous comments it seems other bloggers do the same, following blogs with a similar feel to their own – that makes for good variety rather than a one size fits all. For the record I do like practical tips, tutorials and ‘look what I’ve mades’ mixed in with more personal stuff and musings. I also appreciate linkys but have learned to only join in when I’ve got a blog post that fits. Big turn offs for me are give aways, occasional promotions of a bloggers own designs, fabric lines etc for sale I can cope with. It does seem to come down to keeping a blog honest to yourself and as someone else has said posts may not always resonate with a regular reader but they’ll carry on following.

  17. Shauna says:

    I admit that I mostly use blogs for inspiration. I love seeing what other people create. But over the last year, there are a few blogs that I interact with more. Normally because they speak to me in some way shape or form. I like bloggers like you who make me think, even if I don’t comment. I also like bloggers who invite comments. Some blogs have great pictures, but I never feel like they want to hear from the readers.

    I love instagram for looking at pretty pictures, but often I’m wishing I knew more about the project. So for me I don’t think it will ever replace blog reading. I know some bloggers have moved almost exclusively to instagram, but I miss the story behind the quilt. Why you picked the pattern, colors, fabrics…etc. I also miss the oops look what I did wrong (mainly because it makes me feel better when I goof up) and most of all I miss the progress shots. Don’t get me wrong great photos are great photos, but there is just something about the story that always draws me.

  18. Vera says:

    I usually check the blog posts in the evening. Mostly I’m tired and I want to just look at pretty pictures as an inspiration. I like progress pics as well. I admit I get overwhelmed by wordy posts and many links included. It might be the language issue as well but sometimes too many questions and too many suggestions are hard to handle for me. Keep it simple for those tired ones out there :)

  19. I look for ideas for new projects, tutorials on techniques I haven’t tried, and inspiration on designing my own blocks/quilts. I like simple/clean blogs that offer good-sized photos and an average amount of text. If the story gets long and complicated, I stop reading. I hope to make new friends and learn about new things and events in the quilting world.

  20. Jessica says:

    (: More photos of Puppy!

  21. Margaret says:

    I generally only take time to scroll the pictures of every blog i visit or follow. I dislike blogloven, a lot. It sends me links to blogs/ideas that are a waste of my time. I like to follow by email.

  22. SonJa says:

    Well Yvonne, I DO visit your blog regularly and I’m one of those ones that do not comment frequently. I tend to comment when I feel I have something to contribute as opposed to just commenting to comment.
    My favorite blogs tend to be process blogs. I love to read about HOW others come to decided on quilt designs, colors, fabrics, quilt names, quilting designs, the methods they use for construction etc. I learn more from process blogs than I do from tutorials. I think many blogs are missing the process thing…I find this to be the most interesting and personal part of a blog. Blogs that freely include links and freely promote others without fear of damaging themselves, to me, speaks volumes of the personality of the blogger. Many many blogs are shameless self promotion without accrediting anyone else…a little shameful in my opinion.
    There are some blogs where I simply look at all the quilt candy photos, when I am “blog jumping” but the blogs I “follow” tend to be more process oriented.
    I’m a bit simple. I still use bookmarks to follow blogs, though I did sign up for a blog following thing one time, but I don’t use it…mostly because my blog list is about 10-15 blogs and I just scroll thru my book marks daily checking for new posts…and the blog thing that sends messages to tell me about new posts doesn’t do so immediately. Often, it is a day or several days after the post.
    I don’t instagram and all that other crap, I have a flip phone, I don’t stay “permanently connected”.
    I’m not sure blogs are the best place to begin a conversation, though that said, I have become “friends” with a few online bloggers thru commenting.
    Sometimes, commenting on a blog that has twenty or fifty comments seems in vain…are they really going to read that? Seriously, I think life is too short for all that, but I guess maybe some don’t?
    I do enjoy your blog. I like your designs and I do enjoy the personal bits you throw in. As an early retiree mechanical engineer (left the rat race at 40), moved from high tech to a simpler, low tech farm life kinda living, I find it nice that others too have moved from the “bigger, better, faster more” life to a better “enjoy it while you can it isn’t gonna last forever” life.
    I’ve learned so much from bloggers like you (and Judy at Quilt Paradigm) and I do appreciate them.

  23. sally says:

    I do like your thought provoking posts so it will be lovely to see them back at some point when you have the time. As a blogger I do find it ‘strange’ and, to be honest, sometimes a little frustrating that so many blog readers never, or hardly ever, comment. I don’t much like the anonymous element to it, it’s just a bit odd to be sending your words and thoughts out into the vast web world and to know lots of people are reading them but you don’t know who they are or what they think of what you put out there. It’s not that I have a need for lots of positive comments, it is really just a desire to know who they are, how they came across my space and why they read it. As a blogger I guess you just have to come to terms with the fact that you can’t identify all your readers, but it would be good to be able to create a post that draws all readers out of the woodwork!

  24. RuthB says:

    I’m finding it hard to keep up with blog reading to be honest though its my favourite form . I don’t find it limiting at all rather IG more limiting so I wonder what I’m missing out on on that platform. I try to unplug at weekends and sew, clean the house, be with the family but come Monday there are over 120 blog posts in my feed of those I don’t want to miss in addition to those I’d like to get to know better and I feel by playing catch up I am missing out there too. so much of social media is instant, at the right time, in order to have that conversation. With a full time job, taking time to make and create I still find my time best spend on blogs, though I’m struggling at the moment keeping up!

  25. I know the latest hops have pulled you away from your blog, but they have really done wonders for the community as a whole. It’s such a beautiful thing to see so many people come together to participate in the New Blogger and New Block hops. You really do a great job of pulling us all together to feel as though we are apart of a special group. As much as that isn’t your intent in the post, I have really liked being apart of the community you have fostered online. Keep doing hops! Keep making us do group projects :) Thank you, thank you!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)