Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Poll: What Do You Want from Keepa, Anyway?

Poll: What Do You Want from Keepa, Anyway?

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 07, 2009

The opening of September still feels like New Year’s to me, though it’s been eons since I walked off to school in pigtails with a pristine Pink Pearl eraser in my pocket. Heck, it’s even been years since September marked the significant beginning of a new TV season.

Still, I can’t help but want to make resolutions and get serious again about stuff I’ve let slide.

In that spirit of getting serious, won’t you please help me figure out what I should be concentrating on here at Keepa? You’d be especially helpful if you commented in greater detail on what you most like and what you think is a waste of time (I promise not to be offended … very). If you want most posts about the church in other countries, which countries? If you want more reviews, do you want them for new stuff, or old stuff you might have missed? Any specific requests for posts?

If this worked right, you should be able to mark multiple categories.




  1. Ardis:

    I think a good mix of “all of the above” would be just the recipe for a successful blog. Or, more to the point, just exactly what you have been doing with Keepa. :-)

    Comment by Brian Duffin — September 7, 2009 @ 10:25 am

  2. :) Thanks, Brian. It’s not that I can change a whole lot about what I post — I have little control over the timing of a fortunate discovery of an unknown Saint who did something extraordinary — but when I do have a choice I want to put the effort where you want it.

    Comments on some types of posts have dwindled so far that I wondered if you were tired of them. Maybe not; maybe we’ve run out of things to say because the novelty has worn off, but you still enjoy them. Or not. That’s what I’m hoping to discover.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 7, 2009 @ 10:33 am

  3. Mostly I have enjoyed everything to some degree, but the things I voted for are the things I have enjoyed the most. Thanks for the considerable effort it must take to keep this going all by yourself.

    Comment by Marjorie Conder — September 7, 2009 @ 10:58 am

  4. Thanks, Marjorie, that’s the feedback I need.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 7, 2009 @ 11:34 am

  5. I read and enjoy much more than I comment these days. Your blog is, as always, a delight.

    Comment by Jami — September 7, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  6. So far so good. Like others say I have voted for the things I liked the best though I like most of it anyway.

    Comment by JonW — September 7, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

  7. Thanks, Jami and Jon. This is helpful. (I know I shouldn’t pay attention to comment count, but I *do* need the reassurance either from comments or from a poll like this that I’m on the right track.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 7, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

  8. I suppose it isn’t that helpful to check all of them. No? OK, I left out the military stories.

    Don’t worry about the number of comments–it is summer. People are on vacation. I return to work tomorrow, so I’ll have much more time to read and comment.

    Comment by ESO — September 7, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

  9. Ardis,

    Please be so kind as to try the recipe before you post it and find out if it really does have merit. When you can recommend it as a real treasure of the palate then by all means pass it on. For some of us singles, good food is one of the joys life can still afford us!

    Comment by Velikiye Kniaz — September 7, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

  10. I voted for the stuff I liked best. I started to read Keepa because I felt my Mormon history education was not broad enough. Your blog has helped to solve that problem (not that it is really solved yet, but, you know). So I guess I’m saying keep Keepa varied.

    Maybe instead of testing the recipes yourself, you could post the recipe and several of us could try it out and post our reviews. We could rate each on a scale (1-10?), or even fill out a poll so the overall results can be viewed easily.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — September 7, 2009 @ 4:13 pm

  11. No voting from me, I wouldn’t know which thing to click. But I’d like you to know that Keepa is the site I look forward to checking every day. I may not comment often (and when I do, it tends to be a little off-the-mark), but I am visiting constantly because you publish what I like to read.

    Comment by Coffinberry — September 7, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

  12. I love your work, Ardis. I especially get a kick out of the reprints of advice columns from the ‘teens and 20’s.

    Comment by Tracy M — September 7, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

  13. I voted for my favorite, but I find it instructive that so many categories received so many votes – and there isn’t a runaway favorite. That actually is my favorite thing about Keepa – that everything appeals to someone and lots of things appeal to lots to people.

    I don’t comment much anywhere lately, but I still rank this blog as my absolute favorite “personal” blog. I don’t see that changing in the near future, since this site is in a universe of its own, imo.

    Comment by Ray — September 7, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

  14. Frankly, that’s why this blog is the only one that I highlight separately on my own blog with a feed of the five most recent posts. I have a separate blog roll, and Keepa is included in it, but it also stands alone in a separate section directly following the blog roll.

    Comment by Ray — September 7, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

  15. I concur that I really enjoy the mix you have here, but voted for those items I enjoy the most. Here are a few things of interest:

    As for the jokes and the advertisements, I think the novelty has worn off, and so I don’t comment much, but I still like reading through them.

    I enjoy the obscure Saint’s story. And I like how you tie it in to world/church events or then-current affairs.

    I love hearing folks in their own words. And especially outsiders’ view of the Mormons.

    I love seeing how things were done or taught, the way we were, “in the olden days.”

    I know it’s time intensive, but the photos that accompany many of the posts are wonderful.

    I love any and all scuttlebutt (perhaps the Twitter updates will give me the fix I need? Nah!). More scuttlebutt, please.

    The best EVAR are the “I have a question” and “She had a question” posts. I never tire of these. They are so interesting!

    I have to say, though, that one other thing that I love about Keepa that is not on the ballot is the fact that commenters get regular and interesting responses by the post writer herself. I enjoy seeing a response to my comments; I also enjoy that other commenters get feedback. Ardis’ heroic effort to regularly respond to comments is one thing that keeps me coming back for more.

    Thanks for the chance to sound off!

    Comment by Hunter — September 7, 2009 @ 9:53 pm

  16. Ardis: What I expect from Keepa is to be surprised and amazed. While I can not say that I have been surprised and amazed by every post here, I have enough times that I keep coming back.

    Comment by Matt W. — September 7, 2009 @ 9:59 pm

  17. I appreciate it when you post upcoming events like the Arrington lecture featuring Kathleen Flake. I don’t know I would have found out about this is I hadn’t read it on your blog.

    I wish you would do more reviews. I could really use your opinion as to the quality of books on early Mormon history. When I read Mormon history, I feel keenly my lack of knowledge and ability to know when an author is being fair. I’ve seen you mix it up many time on blogs and I admire your willingness to speak your mind, even if I don’t always agree with your positions. For example, I am reading the new Leo Lyman biography about Amasa Lyman. I know you have strongs ideas about Brigham Young. Your take on the Lyman bio particularly in regard to

    I just don’t know enough to to decide how fair or unfair Leo Lyman is being.

    Your opinion on such books would be

    Comment by Sanford — September 7, 2009 @ 10:13 pm

  18. Oops — I hit the publish button by accident before I was done.

    Anyway – what I am trying to say is I would appreciate your take on books that are coming out that fall in your area of work and study.

    Comment by Sanford — September 7, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

  19. like others, i like all of it. i voted for the topics i especially like.

    something you didn’t include in the poll that i find very valuable is your own perspective. you lay out your premises for posting something which you think readers might find controversial, and you remind us to remember the context in which some information is posted. that is the measured constraint of a true historian.

    Comment by ellen — September 7, 2009 @ 10:31 pm

  20. Like several previous commenters, I voted for my favorites but am perfectly happy to leave the selection up to you. I read and enjoy many more posts than I comment on. Sometimes I don’t have time to comment and sometimes I just can’t think of anything that hasn’t already been said. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    Comment by Tamary — September 7, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

  21. Keep up the good work, Ardis. I agree with the all-around keepa-on keepin’ on.

    Comment by Jared T. — September 7, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

  22. I had a hard time selecting areas I like, because frankly, you haven’t posted anything that I disliked. Most of the time, I don’t get on Keepa until late night, and by then things I would probably comment on have already been said (much better than I would say), so I don’t always comment.

    Comment by Maurine — September 7, 2009 @ 10:56 pm

  23. Ardis,
    I’m a lurker. I don’t ever comment. But I read EVERY post and all the comments. Keepapitchinin is my can’t miss blog. So, just because it doesn’t seem like you get comments, that doesn’t mean you don’t have readers. Always add +1 to your totals for me.

    Comment by Jeannine — September 8, 2009 @ 6:48 am

  24. Thanks, all, for your support. I guess I’ll just keepa doing as I’ve been doing, trying perhaps a little harder to look for stories in a few categories that seem especially popular.

    It’s especially good to hear from lurkers like Jeannine and Sanford, along with the stalwart Keepa’ninny commenters.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 8, 2009 @ 7:59 am

  25. Oh, Ardis, I never get tired or too busy to read one of your posts. :-) I am not a frequent commenter on the Bloggernacle, but I do read a lot of posts, especially yours.

    I know the success of a post is often gauged by the number of comments, but that doesn’t always hold true. You should sign up for Google Analytics, if you have not done so already, so you can see how many hits you are getting for each post.

    I think you will find that a majority of your readers don’t comment, but spend some quality time reading your posts.

    Comment by Brian Duffin — September 8, 2009 @ 8:09 am

  26. Based on the voting so far, I think you have no choice but to keep offering us the whole menu of choices. ;-P

    And: I agree with Brian D. Often I don’t comment because I don’t have time or don’t have anything to say, but Keepa is one of the few blogs that I read religiously. I used to stress about number of comments or even page views of AMV’s posts — until it became clear that it’s easy to chase comments and hits because the bloggernacle is no different from anywhere else in that posts that are about controversy, sex or celebrities bring a lot of traffic and comments, but rarely anything really interesting and satisfying.

    Comment by Wm Morris — September 8, 2009 @ 8:49 am

  27. I love Keepa because somehow it manages to capture the “feel” of history. Looking at the old photographs, reading the old advice columns and Sunday lessons, seeing the coloring book pages from The Friend. Somehow it helps me appreciate my heritage and connect with my forebearers in a unique and intimate way.

    Like most of the other commenters, I like nearly everything that’s been posted. Magazine covers (and photos to a lesser extent) are fun to look at, but hard to comment on. Don’t mistake the lack of comments as a lack of interest

    My favorite posts are the “Talks/Reminiscences/Letters from archival sources” and “Cultural Issues.” They help me sort everlasting gospel truths from current policy, creating some enlightening moments. Oh and I love the “forgotten saints” series. And I’m looking forward to the Brigham Young posts too. (Maybe you can publish your biography of him in serial form on Keepa :-)

    One last comment: The “Doctrine/Practice (how we used to do/teach things” series has alot of potential, but many times they are several lessons long, and I either give up or have all my good comments ooze out of me by the time I get done reading. Maybe posting one lesson per post, with a few questions at the end (a format similar to the “ugliest lesson” post) would generate more response.

    Comment by Clark — September 8, 2009 @ 8:50 am

  28. Hey Ardis, thanks for soliciting feedback from us. Of course we love this blog or we wouldn’t bother commenting. Personally, I mostly love the lesser known saint stories and other old stories. I rarely make it through the “how we used to teach” posts, but that’s just me I guess. Just keep throwing stuff at us and we’ll take (and appreciate!) all we can get.

    Comment by Rob — September 8, 2009 @ 9:00 am

  29. Ardis,

    I love the variety on this site, but the main thing that keeps drawing me back is the stories about the people, about the choices they make in the circumstances they have. You’re very good at presenting them.

    Comment by Martin — September 8, 2009 @ 10:17 am

  30. I like the trivial, fun, early domestic facts you feature on occasion, such as excerpts from the Young Women’s Journal and Woman’s Exponent. I also enjoy your coverage of events of LDS interest, such as Joe’s fascinating 10th Ward Discovery! Thanks!

    Comment by A Fan! — September 8, 2009 @ 10:21 am

  31. Keepa is a wonderful gift I look forward to each morning. I never know what is going to show up, and I love the variety and unpredictability. My favorites are the stories about interesting but lesser-known or unknown characters. Your posts on the cyphers and the efforts to stop Mormon immigration were outstanding, and they relate to my own writing projects. Thank you for your hard work and please know that it is appreciated.

    Comment by Phoebe — September 8, 2009 @ 11:14 am

  32. Aw, shucks, everybody … my blatant begging for back-pats has been amply rewarded.

    (Seriously, thanks for all of this. Everything seemed to get some show of support, even the unnamed “other,” so I’ll keep it all on the roster and keep looking for more. The comments are especially helpful, beyond the poll clicks.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 8, 2009 @ 11:43 am

  33. # 10&17 describe a lot of things I love here. Four things I would appreciate, (even though I hadn’t found you in 2009) would be

    1) occasional reposts, or links to severals older posts, in a current post. It could be done on a particular day of the week. I like hunting through the archive, but sometimes I feel lonely way back here (2009) and it would be interesting to see what new comments or thoughts might come up. (If you personally don’t want to take the time, I would be happy to send you links to some of my favorites from the week. Maybe a “Junior-Editor Explores the Archives,” or something, kind of series, with all the posts being at least 12 months old?)

    2) I would like a general idea of what Keepa’s cost is. You have the donate button, but it would be nice to know what your cost is in a month or year, so I can make my donation appropriate. (Also an option besides Paypal, which I have now tried to unsuccessfully use three times, would help me.)

    3) Maybe I have missed it somewhere, but a general policy that describes what you look for in a guest submission would be nice.

    4) Some place to ask general questions, not necessarily related to a particular post. I have emailed you several times, and I don’t know if the lack of response is because there are problems with AOL, (it has been mentioned in older posts that there have been problems with that in the past) or if there would be a more appropriate way to address the questions, especially on older posts.

    Hope you see this!

    Comment by Julia — September 20, 2012 @ 3:08 am

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