Sponsors
advertise on the Canadian Weblog Awards
advertise on the Canadian Weblog Awards
advertise on the Canadian Weblog Awards
advertise on the Canadian Weblog Awards




Follow the CWAs
RSS contact us CWAs on Twitter CWAs on Facebook
See what the 2014 CWA nominees are saying on Twitter!

Follow by email:



2014 CWA Calendar
January 1 – September 30, 2014
Nominate your favourite Canadian weblogs.

November 1 – November 12, 2014
A volunteer jury chooses the top five weblogs in each category using our ten criteria for content and design.

November 15, 2014
The Ninjamatics' 2014 Canadian Weblog Awards nominee shortlist is announced.

November 16 – November 29, 2014
The volunteer jury chooses the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category using our ten criteria for content and design, plus points for category fit and a registered domain name.

December 1, 2014
The 2014 Canadian Weblog Awards winners are announced!
Link to the CWA
2014 Canadian Weblog Awards
<a href="http://www.canadianweblogawards.com/" title="2014 Canadian Weblog Awards"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v491/schmutzie_pickles/CWA/square-2014.png" alt="2014 Canadian Weblog Awards" height="150" width="150" /></a>
Disclaimer
This website is for entertainment purposes only. Advice by trained professionals should always be sought in place of any recommendations or information provided herein.

Opinions expressed on this website do not reflect the opinions of Elan Morgan's employers, family, or friends, unless otherwise noted.
Don't Steal, Please
Copyright © Canadian Weblog Awards 2010 – 2014. All rights reserved.

Please do not take any of the text or images from this website without express permission, because it's not nice, and it makes everyone sad for you.


Powered by Squarespace
Wednesday
Apr072010

The Criteria Series: Interactivity

2010 Canadian Weblog AwardsWelcome to the third article in the ten-part Canadian Weblog Awards Criteria Series. The Canadian Weblog Awards, as a juried competition, have specific criteria set by which to judge the nominations, and this series aims to cover each criterion with an eye to learning how to create and maintain quality weblogs. This third article covers interactivity.

What do we mean when we look at interactivity? Anything on your weblog that interacts with your readers falls into this category, whether it be audio, video, your comments section, or the availability of author contact information. Interactivity is important when it comes to developing a relationship with your audience, and it is important that, whatever interactivity your weblog does possess, it is effective and functional.

Before we get into effectiveness and functionality, though, let's take a look at the importance of having interactive elements in your weblog. Some would argue that they are not necessary in a weblog and that whether the author(s) wants to communicate directly with their audience or not is up to the author(s). I would agree with that, because there is no one right way to do things, but I would argue that interactive elements build a better weblog 100% of the time.

To be clear, this point in the Canadian Weblog Awards criteria exists because we view at least a minimal level of reader interactivity as important to the quality of a weblog. A complete absence of interactive elements is disengaging. A reader cannot comment on material without comments or contact the author without an email address, and in this age of social media, it only comes off as unfriendly to remove these interactive elements altogether.

Now, on to effectiveness and functionality...

I feel like this one is so obvious that it barely needs discussing, especially since we covered functionality in the last installment of the Criteria Series, but broken commenting systems and audio and video players and whatnot litter weblogs across the internet, and it's crazy-making. Just this morning, I came across two weblogs whose comments "submit" buttons were non-functional. I was invited to listen to a particular audio file while reading a post yesterday, but it wouldn't play. Broken interactive elements are akin to inviting someone in only to push them back out again.

How do you remedy this? Regularly go through your main weblog page and use each of its elements. Do your widgets in the sidebar (for example: Twitter, reader polls, etc.) do what they are supposed to do? If not, install the proper, functioning code, or remove them. Does the video you've installed play? If not, install the proper, functioning code, or remove it. Do your comments work? If not, install the proper, functioning code, or remove them.

Things to keep an eye out for when you test drive your weblog for interactivity:

  • Do you have a link to author contact information such as e-mail?
  • Do you have a comments section that is quick and easy for even first-time readers to use?
  • What is the state of your widgets? Are they functioning properly and appearing as you want them to on the page?
  • Do your video and audio components actually relay video and audio?

  • It is easy to let these things go, because you rarely use all of your weblog's elements the way a reader would, so it is good to take some time every once in a while to test drive your site from the position of your audience. You might be surprised how you're presenting yourself to your readers.

    Remember that your weblog speaks for you in a place where you cannot physically represent yourself, and that it speaks best for you when it not only has interactive elements to facilitate communication with your audience but also has interactive parts that function well for the readers they are speaking to.

    « The Criteria Series: 12 Factors In the Creation of an Aesthetically Pleasing Weblog | Main | The Criteria Series: Keep Your Weblog Functional »

    Reader Comments (1)

    Good advice with the additional advice of to see an impartial-unbiased view of your blog, use a public computer such as a library computer to view your blog.

    April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark p.s.2

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Post:
     
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>