Monday, February 15, 2016

My Blog - Looking Back And Looking Ahead

When I began blogging in September of 2009, it was in hopes of working up to a sizeable readership, thus giving me a platform of sorts from which to launch the publication of my book. Things went slow at first, but then sped up slightly when “Budd Shepherd” at The Lazy Farmer gave me a plug on his blog. I deeply appreciated his help (and still do).

The readership kept growing, until I got to about 215. At that point, some things were becoming obvious. My blog would be forever offensive to large numbers of people, since I’m not politically correct. Even if I tried to be very polite about some subjects, a few folks were still offended, often by entirely misunderstanding what I’d said in the first place. There is not a large audience for my blog, considering my tendency to be so eclectic on the subjects I address and the nature of many of them. My blog appears to appeal mostly to middle-age and older folks of slightly above average intelligence who are conservative both politically and religiously, and actively so. Conclusion? I’ve probably already peaked in readership.

A couple days ago, I went completely through the list of folks who are willing to publically admit that they read my blog. They’re down to 187 now, but even that number is inflated. Many are bloggers. Many who used to comment regularly on my blog haven’t posted anything for several years. I know that many had health problems. I suspect that more than a few are dead. I don’t know what they do with inactive blogs; do they leave them there forever? Many others have quit blogging and removed their blog, but maintain their online identity, I suppose so they can continue to easily read the blogs they like. A surprising number have gone to invitation only blogs, where I wasn’t invited and to which I won’t bother to ask an invitation. I figure many did it to avoid trolls, without having to bother with moderating comments. That’s their prerogative, though it’s not my choice.

So, looking things over, I suspect that only about 75 of the 187 actually still read my blog on occasion. Those who still comment are only a handful. I look for the numbers of both to keep shrinking as we all get older. Will I continue blogging? Yes, for now. I enjoy spouting off when I choose, and I enjoy telling stories from my youth, and current life as well. I also enjoy reading the blogs that I follow, and sometimes respond to those who haven’t made their blog so “secure” that comments aren’t worth the effort.

Another thing to consider is that as I grow older and my acquaintances keep croaking, my Blogger and Facebook friends are the bulk of my social life. This is worsened by my wife’s increasing reclusiveness. As a result, I very much appreciate those of you who bother to comment on my posts. Some of you feel like true friends, and I believe that you are.

This has convinced me to “make arrangements” for my blog and Facebook account if I become unable to blog, or croak outright. I will try to get everything together for either a friend, or my stepson, to let you know what’s up, and then remove my blog’s name from your list of followers. That way, you won’t have to wonder what’s up with my “disappearance.” Hopefully, that will be many years in the future. Until then, thanks for lending me an ear, and may the Lord bless richly. © 2016


Vicki said...

Gorges, I'm glad you will be around a while longer. I may not comment all the time, but I truly enjoy your writings and links. Even though I have just a few followers (I blog for me. Followers are the frosting on the cake.), I, too, have made arrangements to let readers know should I wind up staring off into space while drooling on a bib or when I go toes up. Let's hope that time is a long ways off for both of us.:)

kymber said...

i LOOOOVE your blog but only comment when i feel i can add something. i do that to most of the blogs i follow. but i love reading your stories, seeing postcards that are 100 yrs old and hearing about your walks with your little dog! i like the links that you provide and always check them out as i believe that if you refer them in a post then it is something that i should read.

other than all of that - i hope the you and yours and me and mine have a wonderful 2016. and i look forward to reading more of your posts!

sending much love! your friend,

Hank said...

I check for your new posts 2-3 times a week, but rarely look at the FB side. Heck, I rarely post on my own FB anymore ... primarily read it to keep up with my oldest kids who are all over the country and world. Besides, I far prefer e-mail, as you know!

deborah harvey said...

i'm sure that many more read than ever comment.
i love your web site and i love the stories, especially.
good health to you and have you got that library card yet?

Gail said...

I have been reassessing my blog too. Been at it a long time.

I just found you recently and do enjoy what you share here. You have never offended me so keep trying...teasing.

Yes, the blogs are forever unless we take them away.

Have a blessed evening.

Ralph Goff said...

I've been following your blog for quite some time now and have not yet found anything I'd call offensive. Sometimes you have to put something controversial out there just to keep people interested. I've heard it said that whatever you put on the internet will be there forever. I'm no Mark Twain or Budd Shepherd but I'll likely keep at it for a while, mostly for myself. And I've appreciated your comments there.

Chickenmom said...

Don't you ever stop blogging, Gorges! I love the stories about your family and your life growing up. Politics and religion are what make you, you. All of us readers are so grateful that you take the time for us. You are very special, Gorges. Don't ever change. And a lot of us don't do that Facebook thingy, so I wouldn't worry at all about that! Just keep being you and keeping us happy! :o)

Gorges Smythe said...

Let's hope, Vicki!

You're too kind, kymber! I hope you two have a great year, as well.

LOL - Not yet, dh!

You, too, Gail. I enjoy your posts, though I don't always comment.

Thanks, Ralph. I enjoy reading what you and Budd have to say, since it reminds me of my (small) farm roots.

Thanks, Cm; you're one of my most faithful online allies!

Pumice said...

I think the blog platform has peaked and is in general decline. I hear the same for Facebook. Those of us still doing it enjoy the chance to express ourselves. The big question is how long it will remain free of charge and uncensored by the government. Much of what we say could, and probably does, generate attention from NSA types. At this point we are not worth the effort to silence. So keep it up.

Grace and peace.

Its Time to Live said...

I lurk here and on face
book all the time but rarely comment but, I am still here!

Scooney Adrift said...

Keep it going Gorges! I enjoy your stories and just day to day events that unfold in your life. Your writing is real, which makes it great to read in this synthetic world we live in. Like you, reading blogs and doctor appointments make up most of my social life, sad I know, but it's about what it has boiled down to. I have let my own blog lay dormant for a long time, afraid I may get on some government list for expressing my feelings regarding all of this political correct-ness! Hang in there!

Gorges Smythe said...

I figure we're already on all their blacklists, Pumice. Christians, conservatives, constitutionalists and outspoken.

Glad you are, Dale. Thanks for "lurking." lol

Glad you're hanging in there, Scooney. I suspect we're both already goners when the evil comes.

buddeshepherd said...

I'm a bit late to the party. I've been having computer problems for a couple years now and have been using a smart phone. I never have gotten the hang of the smart phone and while I post to keep my readers until I figure out how to properly blog again I find it hard to read other people's blogs.
I don't think people care much about blogs any longer. The same is true for Facebook.
I suspect people want short comments which they can skim and probably a picture. Mostly of a cute cat or do or else BOOBS!!!
I've lost a few readers. I'm really expanding. We have the same readership I suspect. I find I write mostly for my regular readers in the hopes they will comment.
I'm not sure what the point of it all is.
My blog is kind of self therapy and thus is a bit "stream of consciousness," and a bit unpolished.
I really enjoy your essays.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I haven't been on blogger daily for awhile. I think in the winter we just don't have as much to say. I enjoy your blog though, in fact there are about three that I make sure to look for every time I log in.

Gorges Smythe said...

You're probably right about blogs and Facebook, Budd. Since we have this little community going, though, I'll continue for now. I hope that you do the same.

And I appreciate that, Kathy!

Mike Hotel said...

I actually see your role as a blogger that brings other bloggers (and readers) together. I get hits from your site and have made a few good friends because of it. You were one of the first to follow the original Sharpened Axe blog on blogger.

It's still there, btw. And I haven't done anything with it. Blogger doesn't seem to be worried about old blogs laying around. I'm actually going to start taking old articles from there and republish to our wordpress site. When I was running the tiny homesteaders blog, I averaged about 300 hits a day and I had a lot of readers. We've become more eclectic at the Axe, and I was just recently able to get the old domain name out of a legal tie up (when I originally used it, the domain name was purchased by a "friend" who was going to help me with SEO and bring me soooo many hits - never happened and he sold it to a third party company, as far as I can tell) and now we only average about 40 hits a day. It takes a while to build readership.

I enjoy reading your stuff. I don't always comment, but I do read. Write because you like to write. Whether or not anyone reads is inconsequential. You're a writer and writers write. Who knows, your kin might compile a book of your blog posts when you hit the hereafter. Heck, you could beat them to the punch.

I think this is the longest comment I've ever left anywhere! Sorry!

Gorges Smythe said...

Speak your piece, Mike! Always! I appreciate your comments and information.

J Bogan said...

I reckon you have more readers than you might guess. I lurk and almost never comment. But I am still out here.
Jesse in DC