Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One of One Hundred And Fifty Six Million

Question of the Day:
Would you rather have more blog readers or more blog comments?

     I have seen a few debates on this topic on different forums.   I have also read some posts where the author discusses this very subject.   A common thread throughout is usually an admission by the author that he or she did not start writing their blog with the intention of gaining a following.   That is usually followed by an expression of amazement by the writer that other people actually find what they write interesting.  An added bonus, claims the author,  is that their post would actually prompt the reader to leave a comment.
     I suspect that if a blogger really wanted to keep his or her blog private, they would have made sure their privacy settings accommodated that desire.
     Okay, enough of this "I have a friend who" smoke screen.   I admit I am talking about myself.
I did start out writing my blog to help me deal with a painful time.  The urge to express myself through writing was strong.  I found it to be more effective than seeing a counselor once a week.
     But why not just write in a journal for my eyes only?
     At the end of each of my posts I add an entry from the diary of a woman named Anna.  Anna faithfully recorded the events of the day in a journal.  I'm sure she fully expected that her diary would remain private.  Perhaps only seen by her children or grandchildren.  I can't imagine how she would feel if she knew that strangers were reading her diary on a daily basis.  Perhaps people from all over the world even.  (Okay, sorry I got carried away with visions of my expanded readership.)
     Anna obviously had daily face to face interactions with family and friends.  Confidences were shared.  Support for one another was a matter of common practice.  I think therein lies the difference between the era of Anna's diary, 1929, and my 21st century blog.
     Short blurbs in a tweet, or an occasional facebook comment seem to have replaced in depth personal conversations.
     Even the phone has evolved from being a device that allows for long talks to a "no nonsense I don't have time for anything but a brief text message" method of communication.
     I don't see myself as ever becoming a blogging super star.  And let's face it, with156 million blogs out there in the blogosphere,  the competition for readers is pretty stiff.  I don't have designs on becoming a famous writer, so, I don't view my blog as a stepping stone to something else.
The initial purpose of my blog is essentially as important to me as it was one year ago.  But it has expanded into something more.  It is a recording of me.  One that I hope my children and grandchildren will be interested in passing down to their children and grandchildren.  And perhaps it will influence them to want to do the same for their descendants.
     It has become my place to be expressive and creative.
     Stating the obvious;  if I didn't have readers, then there would be no comments.  I don't have to have tons of comments,  (it's a good thing, cuz I don't) but the comments I do receive are supportive, and encouraging.  Confidences have been shared and exchanged.
     So my answer to the question is that even though I did not start writing my blog with the intention of gaining a huge following, I hoped that someone would be listening.  I am amazed that other people actually seem to find what I write somewhat interesting.  And as an added bonus I am thrilled that my post would actually prompt even one reader to leave a comment.

Here is today's entry from Anna's diary:
Thurs. March 7, 1929
Jean home. Interview for Essex County Chapter.  Didn't get it. Visited Maggie and Louise. Also Mrs. Poole. Supper at 360.  Home early.  Mrs. Brown phoned re: new owner  of house.

Click here to see the post where I introduced Anna's Diary.


  1. I think, for most people, any form of writing (even that meant to be "private") is an attempt at communication--whether with other people or only with ourselves. I originally started my blog as a sort of platform for what I hoped would be a newspaper column. In the history of printed literature, I picked a horrible time to do this since newspapers everywhere were cutting back in all sorts of ways under pressure from the internet. Since then, the blog has morphed into something else altogether so that it is some combination of writing practice and social interaction. The social aspect is relatively new and for much of the time, I had few readers (8 followers, once it became possible to keep track) and fewer still commenters. I would probably blog with or without readers or commenters, but the interaction certainly sweetens the deal.

  2. I've dropped in on your blog a number of times and always enjoyed your writing and your stories from the day.  It is a weird process this blogging thing.  I admit that I totally look at the numbers of people who have visited my blog.  It wasn't my intention going into it, but it is rather fun.  I also find that I wish there were more comments because then I'd know what all those readers think.  I'm enjoying writing for an audience which surprised me and I find I want to learn what things they like or don't like. 

  3. I like to read what you write, Lynda.  And I like your photographs.  And I like the cameo appearances from the dapper Mr. Ross.
    I don't know why I write a blog.  I sometimes wonder.  When I first started no one read it except for me.  Now a handful of people read it and I'm good with that.  I don't have writing aspirations - no books for me, thank you.  But I do like playing with words.  Even if I am the only one who reads it.
    I also think you are right on - In Anna's day, there appears to have been more socializing, perhaps more genuine conversation.  Now I have conversations at work but they don't generally line up with the topics about which I like to write. Not that the conversations back then would have either.  Hell, I don't know why I write.  It's fun?