Saturday, 5 November 2011

Reader Survey

Dear Readers,

Hi! It's a dull and slightly misty Saturday morning here on the very southern tip of Yorkshire and I've been thinking about my blog - what I want to do with it and how to take it forward. All good magazines do a periodic reader survey to make sure that they meet the needs and wants of their readership, so I thought I'd try the same. Success depends upon response, so do click through from your reader screen etc and tell me what you think!

I've noticed that some of the most popular blogs, Needle'n'thread and The Unbroken Thread feature lots of photos of various aspects of their work - different angles, close-ups of certain elements etc, and that's something I want to do more of. I'm limited by the sizes that Blogger allow for photos and, whilst you can alter them on the 'Edit HTML' tag, I find that most of the time I try to increase the size (and, yes, the original is big enough), the photo blurs. However, one can keep trying!! It has worked on some, but is particularly unhelpful on evenweave fabrics. If anyone has any ideas on how to overcome this problem, I'd be most interested!

Something else that the very popular sites do is concept posts - articles etc about embroidery, book reviews and different local styles as well as aspects of technique, so that's something else I can give some thought and time to. I'm not as dedicated a stitcher as some are, but I do have, for example, a decent collection of photos of Korean and Taiwanese embroideries that I can share and write a little about. Thread storage is another, ditto needles.

So, what do you think? What would you enjoy? What, in your opinion, makes a stitching blog really stand out from the crowd? Please take 1 or 2 minutes out of your busy day to leave a comment (in any language - I can always use Google Translate to help!) and tell me!=) THANKS!

© Elizabeth Braun 2011


chris richards said...

Hello Elizabeth,I compliment you on your lovely blog! As an avid fine embroiderer
I regularly search embroidery blogs for ideas, originality and eye candy !
I love to see 'unusual stitches' tutorials
and close ups of ongoing projects.....
after all, the exchange of ideas gets the creative juices flowing !
Chris Richards

Caroline B said...

Hi Elizabeth,
As a lurking follower of your blog, I like to see your more unusual subjects for embroidery, as well as progress reports. Perhaps you could do the occasional small tutorial? I'd love to learn how to make things like the dragonfly in your header.

I think Blogger in general has a problem with photo quality - there is another method of uploading better quality pictures but the name of the site escapes me at the moment. (some help I am!)


kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

I love being inspired and learning new stitches and techniques. So, my favourites are tutorials and lots of photos of stitching, including works in progress. I like learning more about embriodery in different cultures and also the history of stitching. Hope this helps!

Suztats said...

I like to see new stitches and techniques,and stitching of different cultures, but what I really love is eye candy--lots and lots of pics of a project in progress. I love to watch a project build from the beginning to a beautiful result. Unusual techniques are interesting, as well as tutes.

Hannah said...

Actually, the photos in my posts are all hosted in my Google web album, even though I use wordpress for blogging.

Most likely Blogspot has an automatic upload setting that is shrinking your photos. You might be able to change the setting (I did for my google web album), or you can host them on flickr or google or something and embed them in your posts.

I would love to see your Korean and Taiwanese embroidery - you can tell from my blog I realllly like international embroidery styles :-)

Left Sox said...

I love pics, and seeing the progression and order that you would follow in your embroidery. Also you might change the background of your blog to a color that makes your photo's "pop" and frame the photo's that seams to look really nice on my mom's blog but I don't do it on mine....

As far as content I love hereing about new techniques and seeing how to do them. I am not so into book reviews or articles on areas of embroidery but I do love the photos of any kind of embroidery and what it's called.....

Jules Woolford said...

I agree with other commenters it's fun to 'progress' with a project your fellow bloggers.

Your introduction to stumpwork post was excellent and I'd enjoy more posts like that - maybe a focus on different cultural styles/historical context with demos/tutes - or something like that? I think there is a niche here that you could capture.

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

We all love photos, and closeups are the best as they show detail. I love to see progression through a project, especially with commentary on the design and stitching process. Your Korean and Taiwanese embroideries, accompanied with research into the styles would be very interesting.

Some other ideas for the blog: go to a white background, the photos will stand out better. Have an email address for private comments, and rewrite your "No advertising" bit on your comment area - what you have seems harsh and may turn off some people who would otherwise leave a comment. And list the blogs you follow on your blog page! I love to see what other people follow (I know you follow mine :)).

Elmsley Rose said...

There's a picture dislpay utility for Blogger called "Lightbox" which might work for you. (Google it).

Tutes and photos, and technique tips. You are a well respected embroiderer, and obviously skilled, and we want to learn from you!

Rachel said...

I always enjoy seeing close-up details of embroidery, and discussion of progress on projects..

Carol R said...

Hi Elizabeth,

I also like seeing pictures and hearing about different approaches to designs. You do some very creative and unusual things, and I find that really interesting.

Over the summer I got to see an exhibit of antique kimonos at the Morikami Museum in Florida that I am sure you would have loved. Photos were not allowed, more's the pity. They had a wedding kimono covered in spirals of couched gold that was just gorgeous.

Veronica said...

Definitely photos. Photos are always first and foremost the eye-grabber, attention-catching thing that attracts me to a post. Close up, detailed pics are always great. It doesn't have to be on the biggest setting that takes up the whole page (which can sometimes be annoying due to the loading time especially when there are a lot of pictures) but at least big enough to make out details. I use the settings on Picasa album (Blogger's default photo album) to pick the size I'd like my photo to be displayed in. The reader can always click on the picture itself if they'd like to see a bigger version in my opinion :)

Next, I don't like to be hit with a wall of text. Long posts are fine as long as they're broken up not only into paragraphs but perhaps interspersed with photos. I do take the effort to read blogs that are mostly text but sometimes, it does get tedious. That's my two cents. Hope that helps. Feel free to email me anytime.


Wendy said...

Hi Elizabeth,

I dont' think you should write your blog according to what your readers want. Your blog is a place for you to write about what YOU want to write about. People will either read or they wont. I've read posts from bloggers where they've tried to write posts for their readers and it just doesn't work. It has to be whatever you feel passionate enough to write about on that day.

Anonymous said...

Stitching only with floss and hoop! No quilting or sewing machine involvement! True stitching with needle in hand!!! Thank you! Paula

The Handmaden said...

Hello, I'm here via a link on Flossbox so it's my first visit. I'm a bit of a devotee to Mary Corbet's blog - actually I don't know how she does it, all that stitching and still time to take photos, upload photos and find content to write about 6 days a week!
I think good, clear photos are absolutely essential for an interesting blog. Learning is important to me and inspiration as well. Tutorials are great too.
Good luck, I hope the survey helps to give you direction.

Anonymous said...

I'm also here from a link on the Flossbox - I love seeings works in progress and how they are built up - I also love seeing close-ups of work but have problems myself with keeping the quality of the photo, getting a decent one in the first place with lighting and macro ability.

I read a very good article not long after I started blogging regarding blogging ettiquette and interacting with people who leave comments and I find that to be one of the things I like most about blogging - building connections and friendships. I nearly always try to reply to a comment via e-mail and I also try to visit the blogs of people who visit me - for me blogging is a mutual sharing of ideas and interests, not just about showing what I've been up to.

I know that you can link in photos from flickr and I think that helps to keep the quality - trouble is, I've not figured out how to do that yet!

Your stitching is beautiful :-)

Bluebell Woods said...

I am not sure if this is where you want a response. What I look for and enjoy in a blog They do not need to be big, you post very nice ones as it is. I enjoyed knowing how you did the 3D effect. I would like to know where to get some of the products you use, meaning the metalic threads in particular. You could show those. If you see a great magazine, maybe feature that. I love the Australian ones don't you?
What I find boring is when people post the same picture over and over I really dont know why they do that?
I can find stitch tutorials if I need them so I am not so worried about that unless its a very unique technique like your butterfly and poppy. Also the bugs were interesting. As to your blog I would also love to see some of Yorkshire, where do you find your inspiration? I once lived in England, home of my heart. Now I live in Michigan so you can imagine I love seeing pictures of home. Share some of your life with us. How long does it take you to finish a project and how much time do you spend sewing.? Those are some of the things I would ask you. I hope that is of some help?
By the way, my EONS group enjoyed the pictures I posted of your work