You may have noticed that I have recently tried to post more frequently and regularly than I have managed before — in fact posting as many of my pictures in the last few weeks as I did for each of the two previous whole years — but nothing has particularly changed with the amount of attention my blog gets since trying to revitalise it.
On the face of it, and according to WordPress who like to make you feel good about these things, there are 970-odd followers, but in fact only a core group of about 30 followers appear regularly, in a different mix of around 20 each time, to view a post. Those that come are generally WordPress users also, so have an avatar and leave a like, and of course I thank you for doing so.
Do we think the about 940 others came as well but didn’t like it enough to leave a like? Well, no, not according to the stats page showing post visits, which also shows that it is not getting any more attention from outside of the WordPress universe either.
I shouldn’t really be surprised I suppose. I used to go months with there being nothing new posted here, so I guess a lot of people just stopped checking in any more. Or perhaps it’s that I don’t provide a lot of value for your click, just some brief text and a single picture? Perhaps people want more about the photo gear and process? Perhaps, like a recipe book, they need a page of back story before we get to the point? Or perhaps people who started coming for the black and white landscapes ran away when I started doing colour abstracts!
But compare and contrast to when I posted my most popular picture on the social network Mastodon. It got over 600 interactions at time when I had no ‘followers’ at all. A mixture of ‘favourites’ (likes) and ‘boosts’, which is the equivalent to the Twitter ‘retweet’. The little notifications ping nearly formed a single continuous tone at times. And there were some print sales from it.
It’s obviously not a great thing for my self-belief that I could get more people seeing the photos I show here if I just emailed copies of them to each of my family members. No formatting, no making sure all the WordPress foibles are covered, no dealing with the fiddly bastard block editor and its bugs, making sure all the links work. Just send them a copy of the latest one.
And there are worrying signs from WordPress too. They tried to mess with the account levels at first, to make hobbyist ad-free sites like this one fall under a Pro account level costing many times more per year. They’ve now reversed that one. They’ll probably try again.
They’ve already removed some of the things that used to help discoverability, to bring the occasional new reader to your blog. Now they’re introducing the ability to boost your blog by paying to advertise it within their network, which is starting to feel a bit like Facebook with their pages, and also cynically feels like the thing the reduction of discovery features was heading towards. They’re effectively saying ‘we’re not helping any more, but if you give us money, your website can be more popular‘, to which the flip side is ‘if you don’t, it won’t be‘..
I don’t like it.
So what am I going to do about it?
I don’t know. It’s probably my fault for not pro-actively charging about all over the place shouting ‘come to my place, look at my pictures!’ all the time. But I’m not really in it for any commercial need, it’s not my living, so it doesn’t matter if it’s 30, 1000 or 10,000 viewers really. And it also wouldn’t matter if I just stopped.
It would just be nice to see a new notification sometimes that wasn’t along the lines of ‘investforquickriches659786840212 likes your post’.
I just can’t help feeling a bit of ‘Why am I bothering?‘ with it all at the moment.
Anyway, here’s a picture. I took it this Thursday . It’s not a particularly artistic one, but it is at least colourful and up to date. It was a lovely day, and I wasn’t as grumpy then as I obviously am today.