Passing the 20,000 comment mark recently, traffic increases leading to the need for a different hosting approach and the subjects that pop up that I have covered before several times got me thinking about the structure and aims of the blog, what next for Think Defence?
With just under 900 posts and a huge wealth of knowledge in those comments I wonder if the aim of Think Defence, which was and is is to stimulate debate, get people thinking and talking about UK defence issues, has been achieved.
It is difficult to keep up and write things that are reasonable and informed and I must thank the post contributors for their valiant efforts but there are only so many hours in the day and I don’t want them top be wasted on the wrong things.
Remember, Think Defence is just a blog, we shouldn’t take it too seriously, no one is getting paid for any of this and its not RUSI or the Defence Academy.
So a few questions for everyone;
- Are our neutral stance and loose objectives still valid?
- Should we be campaigning for more or reflecting realities
- Is the sites organisation and navigation making good use of the wealth of knowledge in comments
- Is the mix of trivia, news, comment, history and suggestions for the future right
- UK Centric or Global
- Are there enough posts on containers and mexeflotes
- Should Cease Resistance and Join the CVF Supporters Club
Are our neutral stance and loose objectives still valid?
All I wanted when setting up Think Defence was to counter some of the ill informed nonsense that seemed to characterise the defence debate in the UK and get people engaged. To do this I have been pretty neutral, as long as people were advocating a strong debate on defence issues then that’s job done but in the recent online spats with other blogs and my ill considered threat about comment deletion that neutrality has been questioned. Now things have calmed down a bit, password reset requests and accusations of being an RAF lobbyist ceased, I wonder if in countering these I strayed from the middle path, over reacting.
Being neutral is hard because you are always fighting human nature and ingrained bias, does having a different viewpoint make you blind to logic so I could do with a reality check from readers.
Is Think Defence biased, blinkered or just different.
Should we be campaigning for more or reflecting realities
I know I get accused of depressing defeatism and even though I do enjoy the odd flight of fantasy the fact is some obscure blog isn’t going to change the political landscape and priorities given to defence so as painful as those realities are should we be discussing how to make best of use of what we have or banging the drum for more.
When I look at other similar blogs I see comments in the tens but on Think Defence, some articles reach into the hundreds, that tells me there is a massive well spring of knowledge and opinion out there who are interested enough to contribute, I get the feeling I am not harnessing this properly or using it to best effect.
Some of the comments are better than the posts!
How can I better organise the posts and comments for example.
I have been thinking about creating a richer category and menu system with posts grouped into subject areas, would this make accessing the content easier for new and existing readers?
Do you all follow the Think Defence twitter feed by the way, I do a daily roundup of online stories of interest, could this be expanded or used differently?
Is the mix of trivia, news, comment, history and suggestions for the future right
I tend to avoid doing too much on detailed operational news because I am far too removed to have a decent opinion and despite requests from a number of news organisations have always declined invitations to appear or comment.
Would you prefer fewer news related pieces and more of the longer posts on a less frequent schedule, more pictures and videos or fewer pieces on suggestions for the future?
Would you like a reference section for organisation, equipment and projects.
Is the mix of content right, I would like to do more history for example.
UK Centric or Global
There are lots of interesting things happening outside the UK and there are lots of great blogs discussing them.
Would you like Think Defence to have a wider outlook or would we be just duplicating already great sites?
Are there enough posts on containers and mexeflotes
No need to answer that one, of course there aren’t
Should Cease Resistance and Join the CVF Supporters Club
Ha ha, only joking!
If you have any other suggestions how Think Defence can improve then please shout up and as always, the door is always open for anyone to chip in with a guest post