Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Continuing to Blog in Obscurity
I've been thinking more lately about the nature of blogging. (Don't worry -- I'm not giving it up. I know you were panicked at that possibility! Ha!)
Specifically, I've been thinking about what makes blogging work, and my own blog, and somewhat disconnectedly, whether I want to put more of my old writing online.
My blog has a small audience. Although I'm always happy to hear and see evidence that people read it, and I've made some connections through blogging with people I consider true friends, I would be lying if I said I did it purely for readership. I mean, if that were the case, I'd be the most depressed person on earth. Forty page views a day? Sad!
It's more about organizing my thoughts, processing my experiences of the world, communicating with friends, and recording things I'd otherwise forget.
In fact, I kind of like the cozy atmosphere. I almost never tout my posts on Facebook and I don't Tweet or do anything else to get them "out there." I've thought about it, but every time I think of all 500 of my Facebook friends reading my blog, I blanch a little. I don't mind if they find it, but I kind of don't want them all here at once. This is a small party. The room is not that big.
I read an article the other day, on a site which sadly I can no longer find, about the nature of a successful blog. The writer of this post said that successful blogs (measured in quantities of readers) are rarely personal journals. They tend, instead, to be about specific topics. So that might be part of why my readership is what it is.
Also, I read in the most recent New Yorker that the "ideal" Internet post takes seven minutes to read. And in a separate article the same magazine, I read that "effective" Internet posts (at least according to this guy) are those that become viral. "The way we view the world, the ultimate barometer of quality is: if it gets shared, it's quality," he said. "If someone wants to toil in obscurity, if that makes them happy, that's fine. Not everybody has to change the world."
I guess I'm cool with my own little corner of the Internet. I am definitely not changing the world.
I've also been wondering whether I should try to post my earlier journals online -- going back and blogging all the writing I began back in the late 1980s (judiciously edited, of course). The advantage is that I'd have a searchable index of my journals, and also safe storage of all those years of writing. (And yeah, a few people could read them, if they so desire.) The disadvantage -- well, I'm not sure there really is one, except that it would take a lot of probably fairly tedious work.
I know this isn't exactly a cohesive post. (Did it take longer than seven minutes to read? Someone let me know!) But it just goes to show what's been rolling around in my head vis-a-vis this little platform of mine.
(Photo: Walking a dog near Kensal Rise, Dec. 6.)