Sorry for the late entry this week. There is a big conference in Hamamatsu this weekend, and I’m rushing to prepare for that. Also, my new university classes started last week, so I have a lot of preparation to do for those as well.
This week, I want to pick up on the point that YU made last week about the blog being more difficult than it used to be. First of all, let me say how grateful I am to all of the regular commenters on this blog. If you didn’t write comments, I’m sure nobody would read it at all. The figures vary from week to week, but each topic entry usually gets around 1,000 views, and each feedback entry around 500. That is the number of visits, though, so it doesn’t mean that 1,500 people are reading the blog. Anyway, a lot of people read this blog, and I’m sure that is because of the interesting comments, so thank you to all the regulars.
Of course, I’m sure there are a lot of people who are quite happy to read the blog without ever wanting to write comments. I read the Japan Today site every day, and I love reading the comments, but I would never want to write one myself. Having said that, there may be other readers of this blog who would like to comment, but who find it too difficult or scary. So what can we do to change that? I’m going to write about some of my ideas, and I hope you will give me some feedback and suggestions.
The first idea I have is for me to make my entries shorter and choose easier topics. Ideally, I would like to have them all translated into Japanese as well, but that would cost a lot of money. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to do it myself. If there are any volunteers, please let me know!
The second thing I wonder about is whether it is better to have long or short comments. When I read Japan Today, I always skip any comment that is too long to fit on the screen of my iPhone. I just can’t be bothered reading them. What do you think? Would it be a good idea to try keeping all comments very short for one or two weeks to see if it made any difference?
The third thing is the use of Japanese in comments. Would it be better if everyone who wrote a comment also wrote one or two lines in Japanese to summarise their point? Or maybe we should even do the discussions completely in Japanese some weeks?
The fourth thing is the question of staying on topic. I always tell people to feel free to discuss other topics, but do you think that might put other readers off? Some people have told me that they can’t write a comment because it seems like everyone else already knows each other, so it is difficult to join in. On the other hand, other people have told me that they enjoy the off-topic discussions.
Anyway, that is our topic for this week. If there are any readers who would like to write comments but feel too nervous, please feel free to write in Japanese and give us some suggestions about how we can make the blog more accessible.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.