Posted by: Donna Cunningham | February 28, 2010

Articles that made Readers Want to Share

©2-19-2010 by Donna Cunningham

I love it when we get a party going in the comment section, but it’s always a surprise party for me. What is it about certain posts that make readers show up in droves and get a lively discussion going? And why do other posts that I think are just as good and informative get no comments at all? What’s the magic ingredient? I haven’t a clue!

 So today I’m putting it out there to you readers to help me understand. What makes you want to chime in with your thoughts and experiences?  And what makes you shrug and go on to the next article? Below are links to several articles that started wonderful share-a-thons in their comment section.   

Have a look at the ones that appeal to you, and if you can figure out what got the party going, leave a comment in the comment section of that articlSkywriter, Donna Cunninghame.  And if you form any conclusions about what these 10 posts have in common, come back and let me know in the comment section below. This would be a big help, not only to me in figuring out what readers want and need, but to other astrology bloggers as well. Consider this a bit of reseach for astrology blogs as a whole.

So, readers, did you get a sense of what it was about those articles that made people want to share?  What would it take for you to want to add your comment?  Thanks!  Donna  

 

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Responses

  1. Hi Donna — I love that you asked these questions and that you care enough to want to make your blog the very best. I enjoyed all of the posts you listed, and I believe they all share a couple of things in common.

    Put simply, the posts that most appeal to me are the ones that strike the deepest chord. Like everyone else on this planet, I have strengths and weaknesses, gifts and challenges. For me, Astrology is at its best when it helps me to understand my unique path and the lessons/blessings I’ve encountered along the way. I can’t speak for anyone else — but for me, I believe there must be a greater point to all this – some intricately designed master plan, made specifically for me, in order to help me evolve into the most mindful, conscious, loving, fully-functioning human being I’m capable of becoming. My biggest hurdles have always been in understanding the lessons, which is where I believe Astrology can be most useful.

    And when other readers share their stories, it helps me to make sense of (and validate) my own experiences. And once I get the whole “me” thing down, then I’m better at the “we”. I love it when a reader writes something that I personally relate to, or that makes me look at some aspect in a whole new way. In general, I just love it when people share – something I’m not shy about doing.

    The blogs (and posts) that least appeal to me are the ones that are overly simplistic in their approach, or that seem designed primarily to make people feel good (when maybe they shouldn’t). And although I’ve never seen this on your blog, I’m turned off by the sites that seem to encourage people’s lower instincts, as opposed to their higher strengths. As an example — I have Mars square Pluto, and I made a conscious decision early in life, to turn this powerful energy into something positive – I enjoy reading about how others have transformed similar “hard” aspects into something life-affirming and constructive. I’d like to see more posts related to that.

    And lastly, I enjoy the posts that make me think, but also make me smile. Everything doesn’t always have to be serious – it’s good to lighten up once in a while. I love your blog, Donna. Of all the sites I visit, I feel most at home here.

    • thank you so much for taking the time to share all that, LB. It’s helpful to me to know what I’ve done that makes people want to share. It sounds like the very posts that scare me to write–the ones where I dare to share what I’m really feeling–are the ones people respond to most. Most of the venues I’ve ever written for–magazines, journals, and books–discourage this type of emotional honesty in preference for sounding detached and ultra-professional. It’s blogging that is giving me the freedom to open up more. I’m so very happy I tried it! Donna

  2. I think people share when they get a good chance to talk about themselves. So if you present a simple subject a lot of people can understand that a lot of people also have in their charts, like a stellium, then the comments come in.

    Or in the case of something like the Mars-Neptune post, the post was structured to give people permission to judge others, something humans very much like to do. You started out the article by dehumanizing people with a certain group of aspects (Mars-Neptune) and then invited your readers to symbolically (with words) dismember them. It’s very satisfying for a group to do this (groups reinforcing each individual’s feeling of moral rectitude), so of course it brought a lot of responses. Very Mars-Pluto, actually.😉

    • Thanks, Earnest. Ouch, though, on the Mars-Neptune post!! I was just trying to recuse myself from writing about that aspect, because I know it’s not fair to do so when it happens to be one I have a bias against. Donna

  3. Most of these articles have a very personal angle, with insights that get people thinking about their own lives reflect their astrological charts. When you get people thinking, it stimulates new insights which people want to share, I think.

    The article about the sweatbox deaths is not so much about your blog visitors own lives, but it invites thought about events people have been reading and thinking about.

    Usually (not always) I find your own posts more interesting than your guest posts, because they are much more likely to stimulate thought. Some of the guest posts offer really worthwhile wisdom, but in a way that makes it all seem predigested and not always immediately applicable to people’s immediate lives, which are always a bit more messy and more difficult to resolve than the sweetness of New Age wisdom would suggest. You seem to really get the messiness part, which makes your posts very engaging and more likely to stimulate thought.

    • Thanks for the observations, Margaret, especially about the guest posts. I choose them because they write about things I want my readers to know but that I don’t have time to write about–or because they move me in some way. But, yes, you’re right–I had noticed that there weren’t many comments on most of them, though some seemed to touch readers deeply.

      I believe a lot of the authors are constrained to be professional and in the “helper” mode rather than self-revealing, as I always have been constrained when I write for more conventional venues. It’s a departure that has been hard for me to make, but I think it’s easier, too, for me to step out of the helper mode since I am retired from direct client work. Donna

  4. It’s the catharsis that comes through anonymously sharing what we don’t always share with ourselves.

  5. Hi Donna! i think be loved this kind of posts because there saying something about us and they helps us to know or may be, work our inner self, you know is lovely to hear that the sun is near jupiter but …this is going to improve my self?
    As LB says:” I enjoy the posts that make me think, but also make me smile.” Yeah! Me too!!

    • Thanks for answering, Rosario. It helps me get the picture. Donna

  6. I agree with Rosario!

  7. Hi Donna,

    I was moved to add a comment for the first time when you shared your distress about not being able to see your dear friend (I hope she is improving) in the stellium post. This is the most emotionally honest post or article I’ve ever read by a professional astrologer. I notice that you add your personal comments to other posts and I applaud you for doing this! This is what makes your blog so readable, so engaging! I look forward to every new installment! You are strong in your vulnerability!
    All the best, Barbara

    • Thank you for those observations, Barbara. What I have learned over the years is that when you’re honest, no one can hurt you. And, yes, my friend is slowly improving, though it will be months before she’s able to drive again or go out on her own. Donna

  8. Hi Donna,
    I love your Blog and would comment on every article……(I think my Mercury in Leo trining Jupiter and the Moon)…if I were more knowledgeable. I will usually comment if I feel I have a good grasp of the subject.

    I would have loved to comment on the stellium as my husband has one in the 5th, but I don’t understand it as yet, so kept mum on that one, hoping someone else would post on a 5th house stellium and give me more understanding. Which reminds me I need to go back and see if anyone did that.🙂

    I am now going to take the time to go over the top 10 articles and to read all the commments. I think it will help to increase my knowledge.

    Thanks again for giving us so much help and information through your blog. And for sharing your pleasures and your pains.

    Susie

    • Thank you for sharing, Susie. To understand the houses better, see the recent post, The Houses–a Floor Plan for your Life. It’s got links to about 30 articles on the houses. Donna

  9. Hi, Donna. Thanks for asking. One of the comments above mentioned that it’s better when all of the content isn’t predigested. I thought that was a great insight. When I read your stellium blog I felt moved by your honesty and your attempt to reveal yourself. But I think I commented because it was left open; you didn’t give us the conclusion, but something to ponder and digest slowly.

    It was also important that you stimulated my desire to be of help to others – I could feel you reaching out and by the time I read the post, others had begun to comment which made me want to support the whole discussion and learning. I think that was what was most exciting for me – it seemed like we were all teaching each other, no experts, just people sharing with people.

    As an astro blogger, I learned a lot from that post and from this one too.

    • Good points, Ellen. I think that is exactly the climate I want to create on this blog. Because we do all have more to learn and we all have something to contribute.

      I spent a number of years working in group homes and work placements for severely retarded people, and they taught me many things (like the proper way to open a sugar packet and handle trash bags)….but the most important thing I learned from them was that I am of value for myself, NOT for my intellect.

      They could not read a single word I had written–not even the word the–and yet I got a standing ovation every time I showed up at work. It was a beautiful phase of my life and I loved them dearly. With Jupiter in the 12th natally, I’ve learned a lot of spiritual lessons from working in institutional settings. Donna

  10. Donna-you just gave me a longed for understanding of Jupiter in the 12th. I did a chart years ago for a psychiatrist and the huge thing is his Jupiter in the 12th which I puttied over by saying that he had great spiritual protection and inspiration. But in my own heart I said “UMH!! the 12th who can understand?
    Well this is a man who is a professor in a medical university, has published a wonderful book on the importance of love in any healing. The book was written with other professors. uh! Duh! thank you.


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