When I first spoke about guest authors posting at Blogging Tips I advised readers that authors will sometimes have a different opinion from myself on some topics but I was of the opinion that it could a good thing.
Mani Karthik posted an article here last week entitled ‘If you are reading this on an RSS reader – your’e a loser!‘ which has made me think more about this topic. Mani talked about the post yesterday and mentioned how the title was intended to provoke some readers into commenting. Mani had emailed me about the post last week and was curious to see how readers would react. My opinion on the subject is that whilst an offensive type post title can help encourage comments, it can also alienate readers. It’s not something I would personally do intentionally, not my style 🙂
Having a different opinion from your authors
Your bound to have a different opinion from your guest authors on some topics but I don’t believe this to be a bad thing. Infact, I believe this to be a very good thing. I wouldn’t want a guest blogger to mimic what I have said and I don’t believe readers would either.
I like authors to have a different view on some subjects and I like my opinions to be challenged from time to time. However there is a world of difference between two authors having a different view on something and completely contradicting what the other author has said. For example, imagine I wrote a post this week telling readers that taking part in link trains was a waste of time but 2 days later a guest author posted about how fantastic link trains are. It would confuse readers and I’m sure the blog would lose it’s reputation because of it. Clearly two authors giving conflicting advice is bad for a blog.
Do you need to read from the same page as your authors?
Multi author blogs and blogs who frequently have guest authors are in a position to give their readers a different opinion on some topics but as I mentioned, conflicting advice is not good for a blog.
Whilst blog authors do not have to be ‘reading from the same page’ per say, their views should at least be on the same side of the fence for major issues.
Some may disagree with me on this but I believe that minor issues can be discussed publicly on your blog. For example, I would consider my difference of opinion with Mani about using a post title to ‘provoke’ comments to be a minor issue ie. it’s something that some people will agree with Mani on and some people will agree with me on and I’m open minded enough to appreciate that (infact someone has already linked to Mani’s post stating that he agrees with him).
There has been some debate recently about whether guest blogging is a good thing or not but I am someone who is in favour of it. You need to give authors freedoom to post about what they want on your blog but it is also important to remember that your readers do not want to be reading an opinion on something one day and a conflicting opinion the next. Speak to your authors beforehand if you believe this could be a problem.
I have not seen this topic discussed anywhere else on the web so I’d love to hear readers opinion on all this. If you know of a good article which has covered this please leave a link in the comment area.