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Social Media Roundup: Don’t Strand Your Users

How the abrupt shutdown of EveryBlock, a noted hyperlocal site, caught its users off-guard: Was there a better way? Also, why your blog should change with you.

It’s time to shut that old project down.

You know the one. It’s been a stick in your organization’s craw for months, and you’re not sure how to fit it into your long-term strategy. But it has an audience—and users—to this day.

Is there another way? Lessons from one site’s shutdown in today’s Social Media Roundup:

Don’t Leave Users High and Dry

Last week, a service called EveryBlock closed its doors. While it was under the radar nationwide, it was popular in some major cities because it offered community news by the neighborhood—down to the city block. When NBCUniversal shut down the service, many regular users (along with its creator, Adrian Holovaty) felt betrayed, as it was taken offline with little advance notice. Now, Poynter reports that the company’s chief digital officer, Vivian Schiller, is having second thoughts, and NBC may consider selling EveryBlock. There’s a good lesson here about not abruptly taking services away from dedicated users. If  you retire a service the wrong way, it reflects poorly on your organization. Is creating a suitable replacement an option? (ht @NiemanLab)

Your Blog Ages With You

The thing about blogging is that, ultimately, you don’t end up where you started. Your tastes change. Your opinions change. You become less (or more) of a stick in the mud, depending on how things go. That’s why Maggie McGary’s most recent post will speak to any blogger. Her take? You should embrace change. “Passion is what keeps people reading, so following your passions—even if they change over time—and writing about them instead of a predetermined topic, I would think, will keep current readers interested and attract new ones,” she writes. “Or at least will keep your blog fresh and keep it fun to write, instead of a burden and a chore.” (ht @jmcnichol)

How do you keep your blogging endeavors exciting? What do you do different now compared to a few years ago? Let us know in the comments.

(Top Photo Group/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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