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IBM researchers devise a system to help bloggers get past the 'wall'

Proper writing -- you know, novels and stuff -- shares a few common traits with blogging. The most common is 'writers' block' or THE WALL. You simply run out of things to write. It can either creep up on you slowly, or just suddenly emerge before you like a big... brick thing... but either way, it's a problem. And IBM has a solution! In true, researchers-are-not-very-good-at-naming-things fashion, it's called 'A Topic Suggestion System for Blog Writers and Readers' (PDF).

In essence, it connects blog readers with blog writers. Readers suggest topics they're interested in, and then writers decide if they want to address it or not. It's actually designed with employee blogging in mind (IBM has a huge intranet), but there's no reason such a system couldn't be applied to the Wordpress or Blogger dashboards.

Initial results at IBM were positive: in a study of 1,000 users that tried out Blog Muse (someone coined a more catchy name for the system), blog posts "got twice as many comments and got more views as well, and they got 3 times as many stars (or likes)." Posts weren't any more frequent though; they were simply more engaging.

The in-depth analysis at GigaOm doesn't hint at IBM using Blog Muse outside its intranet, but with the research paper now out in the open, I would expect to soon see a similar system appear for Wordpress or Blogger.
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Tags: blogging, blogs, ibm, research, technology, wall, writers block, WritersBlock, writing

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