Saturday, March 16, 2013

I'll Show You Mine


I have issues with the blogger-verse. The more I explore ways to increase traffic to this blog, the more I'm convinced that the only people who read blogs are other bloggers. I'm also fairly certain that not as much reading is going on as you might think. It's more like one giant game of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours," at least here on the (very) low end of the blogosphere.

When I started this blog, I wasn't sure who might read it. I wasn't sure I who I wanted to read it. After I wrote my first blog post, I created a Facebook list called Inner Circle, comprised only of people I knew loved me and wouldn't mock my efforts (unless soundly deserved). I posted the first few posts only to the Inner Circle. After a few posts, my cursor hovered over the little blue Post button in the Facebook status box for quite a while before I took a deep breath and put myself out there by sharing with all my Facebook friends.

Now that I've fully embraced the blog, I would like to increase the number of people who read it. I'm under no illusion that I will make money with this little endeavor and have made no effort to do so. However, if I'm going to take the time to write and put it out in the world, it would be nice if someone read my work. I confess to stat-checking and love to receive comments. I suppose it boosts my ego, but it also feels like I'm interacting with people while sitting at my desk instead of just talking to myself. If I only wanted to talk to myself, a journal would have been the way to go. Instead, I have a blog with its own web address and a Flotsam of the Mind Facebook page. I'm trying to reach beyond my loyal friends and family who already care (at least a little bit) about what I have to say.

To that end, I've listed my blog at some blogger websites. I have begun to lurk less and comment more on the blogs I read. I've begun to take note of how other bloggers behave.

The one behavior I dislike is the You-follow-me, I'll-follow-you etiquette. Bloggers do it all the time. If advertisers need to see numbers, this is one way to increase your numbers. On some of the blogger sites, people will come right out and say it--Like my Facebook page and I'll like yours back! (This sort of person relies heavily on the exclamation point, in my experience.) The less blatant but very common practice is to Like another blogger's FB page and to post that you are doing so from your personal page ("so it counts"--still haven't investigated that one) but are from such-and-such blog. This implies that it certainly would be swell if that person Liked your blog's FB page right back.

At a minimum, it suggests that the blogger check out your blog, and to that end I have less of a problem with this practice. Personally, I would love to learn about a new blog as long as there is no expectation that I will Like it or follow it as a matter of course. That is what I desire for Flotsam of the Mind--to get greater exposure, to introduce it to new people. I hope that those new people will like it (lower-case L like). If they like what they see and might want to see more in the future, I would enjoy nothing more than if they officially (capital L) Like my page, become a follower, comment on a post, or even just put Flotsam of the Mind in their RSS feed, read, and lurk for a while.

My own practice when exploring a new blog is to browse a couple posts, read the About page, and if I think I might like to read more, put it in my Google Reader (as of this evening, Feedly) feed. Less frequently, I may comment on a post or (infrequently) link to one of my own posts that I think is relevant. If I particularly enjoy the blog, I will Like its Facebook page so I learn immediately of new posts or see any additional content the blogger offers. Only after I like, do I Like. I'm stingy with my Likes, and I think others should be too.

That's my little rant for today. This one has been bugging me for quite a while. My sense is that, if this offends you, we weren't meant for each other in the first place. Look soon for all the things bloggers can do that make me click away as fast as I can instead of "liking them back!!!" I'm full of complaints.


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