In a recent email, a friend said he’d “been enjoying” the recent posts on the blog. “But you haven’t liked them!” I retorted. Of course that raised the subject of what the like button signifies to each of us and why some of the posts here are more popular than others. Which also raises the question of what blogs are for – especially this one – and whether I should be deliberately posting things that I think will generate more followers and likes.
On the WordPress support page about traffic, they clearly state that Size doesn’t matter. Perhaps intending to console those of us whose blogs are updated regularly and, I think, competently, but never get really popular, they say:
Finally, remember that it’s not the size of your audience, it’s how much you care about them and they care about you.
The readership here does grow slowly, and of course I’m thrilled to think that a number of people have signed up to read what I have to say on a regular basis. I look at some of their profiles, though, and wonder what they expect to find here. From what little information is available about stats and reader activity, most people seem to read a single post and immediately click “follow”.
How can you know what my blog is about if you only read one post?
As the DCTN name and tagline imply, my original intent was to write first person posts, both poetry and prose, where the opinions and experiences may or may not coincide with my own and shouldn’t be assumed to reveal very much if anything about the actual facts of my life.
That’s such a broad remit that I am probably sticking to it, at least to some extent, although I’m posting a lot more photographs than I expected to, and a lot less poetry.
I’m lucky to have a decent digital camera but I do little more than point and shoot, so I always feel a bit of a fraud when I see that a new follower is a skilled photographer; I suppose it suggests I must be doing something right. (Incidentally the photo of half-drowned daffodils that appeared in the post narcissus a few months ago has been included as an illustration in the Purdue Perennial Flower Doctor app.)
As far as the texts are concerned, I think in part I’m using the blog as a kind of writer’s journal. You won’t find many fully polished recent poems here, unless it’s when they’ve been published elsewhere. Instead, you’ll find texts that, although edited and (hopefully!) correct, are often still a kind of first draft that I hope to come back to later and actually do something with. By putting it out there in public, I may get a preliminary reaction from readers, and I also make some kind of public statement of commitment to an idea.
This is borne out by the fact that a couple of months back I took an old post that talked about the village and I re-hashed and polished it to submit to a themed anthology. I heard last week that it’s been accepted. (Full details when the book comes out in the Autumn.)
For the moment, though, I’d just like to remind readers that none of what’s posted here is necessarily true; and most of the texts are works in progress.
As for the photo accompanying this post? Well, I can’t be sure what the readers will like, but personally, I happen to like nasturtiums.
3 thoughts on “what’s not to like?”
My original intent to blog had more to do with a secret (and unrequited) desire to be a best selling author than anything else. They take on a life of their own after a while.
And yet your comment comes linked to the address “I blog to earn” and other people who “like” the post offer weight-loss tips and tricks to look ten years younger. None of which is very relevant to a blog that’s just been described as a writer’s journal, is it?
I fear we are heading towards a “blog event horizon” where bloggers are all slim SEO experts who look good for their age.
The one thing about the “information superhighway” is that the world is zipping past everything at speed. Getting people to slow down and follow usually requires a “Services” sign, a pointer to their next destination, or maybe a Electronic Sub-Etha Auto Hitching Thumb, if you’re lucky.
Sometimes people will just slow down for a beautiful embankment, a car-crash or because they want to get out and stretch their legs.
Carry on the metaphor as you see fit.