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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thoughts on Blogging-

My Internet friend Willow has a very nice blog. She has 1201 followers at the time of this writing. Her blog combines excellent writing skills with very fine photographs. It is largely about her home, Willow Manor, and her life there. Now, success cannot simply be measured in numbers. I suspect a lot of bloggers have utilized "tricks" to make their numbers stand out. Still, 1201 followers is a pretty impressive number for a personal blog.

Many of the numerically successful blogs I have visited have several elements. The overall appearance is clean, professional and inviting. There are plenty of pictures, and many are "eye candy" quality. The pictures themselves are well composed and attractive. A visit just to look at the pictures is worthwhile.

Another element is good writing. Crisp, well written prose, with a sharing personal quality. You feel welcomed in, and it is like a nice conversation with a long time friend. Not too long, but full enough to seem fulfilling in the reading. If poetry is used, it must be of good quality. Hallmark style poetry (which I think is derivative of some of the works of Emily Dickenson) will not do. Original works are especially appealing.

These places are just nice places to visit. Warm. Comfortable. Appealing.

While I would love to have a massive readership, I tend to write my blogs as a shared mode of exploring ideas. I do not know if that is as appealing as great food images and recipes. Based on numbers, apparently not. However, a larger number of readers could provide more feedback, and aid me in refining my thoughts. That alone makes expanding my readership appealing.

I do know that I value blogs. I like to see things from the perspective of other eyes, hearts and minds.

Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube have opened a level of sharing that is quite rich. It also provides some contact points for linking blogs. Ideas are published raw and fresh and unfiltered. No editors other than the writers. No marketing directors deciding what will be seen by whom. No economics involved, other than the reader deciding where to spend their time.

I would love to have the readership of a mighty newspaper column writer. My erudite opinions out there shaping the world. However, I haven't earned that, in the blogosphere or anywhere else. Those writers usually had to claw their way up through a very competitive industry, eventually earning the print space to do a little of what I can do right now on the Internet.

This would be a great way to make a living. Some try to do that, using tools to draw hits on their blogs and encourage people to click on the ads. Unfortunately, the ads are generally the best content of those blogs. Even though I did include ads (mostly because it was easy, and I actually could use a few bucks) the revenue is not the purpose of my work here.

I love thinking, I love writing, and I love reading. Blogs are good for that.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to write something.


Pam said...

I am happy to be one of your readers. We are a small, but obviously, smart group of people!

willow said...

Thanks for the lovely compliments, kind sir.

Jerry said...

I’m fairly new to this blogging thing, and there is a lot I don’t understand. I don’t know what the ad thing is all about and I have yet to figure out how to post a picture. But the key thing that attracts me is the words – the expression of ideas. I want to pull up a blog post and lean back and appreciate thought-provoking ideas, or someone’s special combination of words that makes me laugh.

I guess most of us desire a larger audience. I am not sure that I would appreciate the implied pressure that a massive audience would put on us though. I fear that somewhere the emphasis might shift from simply writing what I want to write to ‘how do I entertain’. Would writing for a crowd make my words less intimate? I don’t know. But I figure I’m simply not going to get hung up on readership numbers.

I find it tantalizing to find those hidden jewels. Here I’ve found one – that is why I keep returning.

Keep doing what you are doing.

mac said...

I like your writing, Mike :-)

Like you, I enjoy the interaction between different folks. I like seeing others peoples perpectives. I hope I might learn something from them. And, sometimes, I just like to laugh. I've found a few blogs that do, indeed, crack me up :-)

Jerry said...

I hesitate to tell you that I have awarded you the 'Sugar Doll' award. Now if it were up to me to pick the title of the award, it would be something like, 'An Award for Prestigious Writing' -- or something like that.

If you choose to find out what this is all about, you can head over to my way-too-long blog entry 'Pifflesnit' and be either bemused or dismayed.

You will also note that I have successfully mastered embedding pictures because of your help.

[I really regret that it is called 'Sugar Doll'....]