05:58 AM

IBM Researchers Help Cure Blogger Writers' Block

Many bloggers complain about not being able to come up with relevant topics to write about (my problem is I have too many ideas).

IBM was one of the first companies to encourage blogging by its employees. However, only 3 percent of employees begin blogging, and 80 percent only post five or less posts.

IBM's researchers have come up with a solution to encouraging more blogging and also creating content that readers want to read. They have created a system they call "Blog Muse."

This is how it works:

It solicits suggestions from a pool of prospective readers, proposes them to potential writers, alerts readers upon publication of the requested post, and encourages comment.
Topic ideas can go viral and build audience interest ahead of publication, as prospective readers can see which suggested topics are the most popular. The tool can also generate topic suggestions automatically.

In a test with 1,000 IBM employees:

- Proposed topics were six times more likely to be written about than topics without votes.

- The "Muse" inspired blog posts received twice as many comments.

- The posts received three times as many high ratings.

There is more information here in a paper authored by IBM Researchers Casey Dugan and Werner Geyer.