Wednesday, May 03, 2006

An affront? I don't think so

As vain as I am, I had been discouraged these past several weeks by the steady dropoff in new and regular visitors to my blog.
I began thinking that perhaps my blog was growing tedious in visitors' eyes. Repetitive. Stale.
And then I stumbled upon this statistic published by Technorati, the blog-tracking service:

"Percentage of bloggers who still maintain their blogs with new posts after three months of blogging: 55 percent."

That, coupled with warmer weather (and with it less time spent by people in front of their computers) seems to explain the shrinking audience.
I created this blog just before Thanksgiving, and confess that my ardor has cooled since then. From posting once and often twice or more a day, I now update it just a few times a week.
I still think it's a great way to commisserate with people I otherwise would never meet, in far-flung places I might never visit.
I still think blogging is a great exercise in interconnectedness.

I also think it's a great exercise in writing as its own reward, even if it winds up being for the writer's own eyes alone.

Now, if only I can begin vieiwing this blog as an exercise in non-attachment.


Tom said...


I am not sure on what basis you see your readership as falling off, but whether it is or not,you are probably doing rather remarkably well, based on the volume of comments you get.

Even your highly non-controversial posts get a good thread of comment.

And interested and engaged readers connect better than surfed-in-for-a-spell looky-loos.

There are things you can do to boost your readership: Register on directories of various sorts; write link-rich posts that comment on others' blog entries; advertise on google ads or in the New York Times; wear a sandwich board advertising your blog when you take a walk in Manhattan; hire a sky writer to write your URL in white smoke over New Jersey; unfurl a banner off of the Empire State Building; post naked pictures; post classified information that will get you in trouble with the government; or
start ranting on political topics such that you get mentioned in Slate articles and on CNN.

-- Tom

Michael said...

Hiya Tom,

Points well-taken, and thank you.
With my blog, I think I sometimes focus on the wrong thing -- instead of focusing on the writing, I become overly concerned with the reaction to it.
I think both focal points are equally valid, but for me it's a question of balance. Now that I'm aware of the imbaalance, I can work to correct it, or perhaps change my viewpoint entirely and be honest with myself in considering my motives.
Anyway, as always, thanks for your food for thought.

~~Silk said...

And then there's folks like me, who rarely comment, and who read from RSS feeds - and I don't know whether a feed ever bumps the hit counters. You may have quite a few of us appreciative lurkers....

Matt Kohai said...

Heck, I check in here every day or two, usually. I've linked to you, found out about you through Kim. You're always a good read for me - I just don't always have something interesting to say about it (my fault, not yours, my friend).

I suppose you could measure your blog's "importance" by the influence it has - as Kim showed me with the books she's reading now, in no small part due to your influence... :-)

Jules said...

Hi Michael,
I do pop by now and then, I just usually find I don't have much to contribute in the comments section. I think you should know that your blog is a source of inspiration for me, and probably for many people, and that few comments doesn't necessarily mean few readers.

I hope you're doing well.

qaminante said...

Sometimes people are just on holiday (or as you would say, vacation) - as I'm sure you know from what you do (or don't do) with regard to visiting/commenting on other blogs!

Tom said...

I want to ditto what Silk said. There is a hidden readership of your blog in the RSS feed! Like Silk, that is where I usually read your blog.

I would guess that bloggers' RSS feeds represent a growing percentage of readers.

Michael said...

Thank you, one and all, for your thoughts.

Tamar said...

Hm ... interesting. I have found that too with my blog. Perhaps it's the good weather out there and people are taking walks, photographs, playing instead of sitting by their computers? Or perhaps my blog just isn't as interesting as it could be.

In any event ... I love to stop by your blog. I don't always comment but I love to read your posts.

Michael said...

Thank you, Tamar!