Archive for November 28th, 2012

November 28, 2012

portrait of a beginner blogger: please ‘like’ me

Tuesday 27.11.2012

As soon as you wake up you check your email to see if anyone has ‘liked’ your latest blog post. Your mood for the rest of the day depends on a) whether anybody has noticed you posted, b) how many people have ‘liked’ it, and c) who they are –  are they just ‘liking’ you in order to drive traffic to their blog, or might they actually have looked at your post? You spend all day constantly checking your email in the hope that you’ve received more ‘likes’.

You care so little about the self-promotional side of blogging – you are above that sort of thing, of course – that you don’t actually know why or how your posts get seen by the random people in the blogosphere who seem to ‘like’ your posts.

You don’t actually read other people’s blogs, or only the well-established ones, by people who actually know how to write. Your time is far too precious to waste reading people’s rambling, poorly-articulated efforts.

Gosh, 10 people are ‘following’ your blog. What does that mean? Who are they? According to WordPress they think your latest post was ‘awesome!’ WordPress is suggesting you click on links to ‘awesome’ things these people have posted because you might like them. Ok. Who’s this? Oh, this takes you to pictures of scantily-dressed young women. You’re clearly not part of this blog’s demographic. You don’t think you’d like this person who ‘liked’ you. Ok, who’s this? A self-styled, self-help guru on achieving mindfulness, fulfillment and inner peace through a macrobiotic diet. You don’t believe for a second they read your post about wine tasting. You don’t ‘like’ them back. The next one sends you to a post about being a missionary in an African country. What could you possibly have in common? And the one after that links to a post about eliminating swearing from his writing, and your posts are full of what he calls ‘f-bombs’. You are beginning to suspect that WordPress pays people to sit in front of a screen all day watching blogs being updated and randomly ‘liking’ posts. They’re like drug pushers, getting you hooked on being ‘liked’.

Look at this guy’s posts. Quite well-written, but no way are you going to read to the end. You toy with the idea of making a helpful suggestion in the ‘comments’ section about keeping posts short to ensure they’ll be read. But then you remember that you are not in this for the self-promotion, all that sordid, mutual back-scratching. You will attract readers to your blog because of the quality of your art.

You haven’t told anyone you know about your blog because it’s not ‘ready.’ When you’re satisfied that you’ve achieved a sufficient level of excellence in your art you’ll notify them. You’re not sure how. You’ve tried dropping hints to a couple of friends and family members about what you’ve been spending all your time doing but they’ve shown no interest in finding out the address of your blog. You long to belong to a community of mutually-supportive quality bloggers, who always read and comment on each other’s work.

In the mean time you guess you’ll settle for being ‘liked.’