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Interview

For this week’s challenge, let someone else do the talking.

Image by kumsval (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Blogging is such a powerful medium for self-expression and self-discovery: every day, I read dozens of posts that channel their authors’ personalities and voices, giving me a glimpse of each blogger’s viewpoint.

Every once in a while, though, it can be rewarding — and fun — to let someone else do the talking. And there’s something particularly exciting about being the one who asks the questions and leads the direction of the discussion.

For this week’s challenge, we invite you to conduct a Q & A with any person you know who might have something interesting to say (read: anyone). It can be a family member or a close friend, a cab driver or your favorite barista. Or it could just be the first person who agrees to answer your questions.

Speaking on record

Everyone has (at least) one good story; your goal for your interview is to find it and share it on your blog.

Note: Make sure to ask permission to share your interviewee’s answers — especially if you mention his or her name, or any other potentially identifying information.

Interviews don’t have to be formal, two-hour affairs; every time you engage in a conversation with another person you’re, in effect, interviewing them. Consequently, you can format your post in any number of ways:

  • The classic interview: offer your interviewee a set number of questions, then share their replies. (If you’re not sure what to ask, take some inspiration from the famous Proust Questionnaire.)
  • Conduct your Q & A as an informal dialogue and write it down from memory, or compose a story in which this conversation assumes a central role.
  • Omit your questions from the post entirely, presenting your readers with the uninterrupted flow of your interviewee’s words (the Humans of New York project has really perfected this form — take a look and see if you feel like giving it a try).

Don’t have anyone to interview? Think again! You could:

  • Check out other bloggers on our Community Pool and request an interview with one whose blog resonates with your interests. (Note: if you go this route, please contact the bloggers in question on their site, not on the Community Pool’s comments section. Thanks!)
  • Compose a fictional Q & A with any historical figure you wish, living or dead. Write a short story about interviewing the first alien making contact with humans. The possibilities are truly infinite.
  • Ask a complete, random stranger. You’d be surprised how far a big, friendly smile and the promise of attention might get you.
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  1. Hello. This is really helpful. I only publish interviews on my blog – about people who live or work in Islington (a borough of 220,000 people in London) but I’ve always struggled to find the right place to share this with other wordpressers. 1) Is it longform? Or local? As I’ve done more than 100 interviews (one a week) it’s a shame I haven’t cracked this. 2) I usually use two categories – man or woman plus something else distinctive (eg, lives in/works in/history) would it be better to use just one category?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. http://islingtonfacesblog.com

    Like

  2. I agree, blogging is such a great outlet for every person. I can’t even express how good it feels to let out my own opinion as often I am overlooked or don’t speak up. Even if nobody sees my posts, they’re an escape.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I actually like this, the whole concept of interacting with different people and just simply talking without judging them or without any reason. And strangely i often talk to myself and interview myself. I don’t know how odd it is but in the end it helps me to get a clear picture of lot of things. I have always imagined somebody is interviewing me and i have reached a level where actually somebody would be interested to know about me and i am talking about life, love, friendship and almost everything. In fact during my teens my friends and i used to do our own chat shows and i used to interview my friends who would portray fictional characters, even then it used to be more like exchanging ideas rather than formal interview. While reading your post i don’t know why but i really felt i should share my thoughts even though if they are not relevant.
    I would like to thank you for sharing this post, it brought back lot of my memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I loooove this idea. It’s the basis of my blog – WordsWithMichelle. It’s fun getting to know people by asking a few questions and making that connection. It’s even more fun when you get off topic and talk about random things.

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  5. Absolutely loving participating in this weekly exercise… discovering many beautiful blogs/pages I would never have found in a random search 🙂 Looking forward to next week’s challenge…

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    1. Could you please copy and paste the URL of that specific post here? We want to investigate why the pingback doesn’t work, and having a specific post to look at will really help.
      Thanks!

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    1. Others might have different perspectives, but I feel like it would really depend on your blog, the topics you cover, and the amount of time you have to invest. Conducting interviews can be more time-consuming than writing a straightforward post, what with the back-and-forth, the extra logistics, and the editing of the interviewee’s responses. It’s well worth the effort, but important to take into consideration.

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