up to date

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.

17 thoughts on “up to date

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  1. For what it’s worth, I like the one-photo format. I’ve stopped following people who deluge me with pictures. It’s more than I can–or want to–take in.

    I don’t understand how blogs become visible. Some of my followers are, oh, you know, lawnmower companies and dietary supplement sites. I’m sure they’re riveted by my posts, even if they never do leave a like. But for whatever the information’s worth, the algorithm that runs the internet and probably the entire world is suddenly shoveling views at me–people who never follow or leave a like but who do show up in the stats, mostly looking at posts about Britain going metric, foods that are native to Britain, and hats in the House of Commons.

    Why those? Why anything. The world’s insane. We’re a strange species.

    Do any of those views do me any good (to be crass about it)? Probably not. Would a similar breeze blowing across your site do you any good? I can’t know. But it’s better that 30 people see your photos than that none do.

    Besides, if you quit, I won’t get to see them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Ellen, I appreciate the feedback and support.
      Honestly, I’ll probably wake up with a lot more bounce and energy next Saturday, so I’ll have a much more positive mindset about everything and be wondering why I posted such a moany piece today… Yes, we’re a strange species!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Besides the fact that some of us enjoy your photos (I’ll let you know the minute I find one) what do any of us really do this (blogging)? I was really into this a few years ago, poured my efforts into writing about and photographing several different subjects in as many blogs.

    And while I did, actually enjoy doing so, I wasn’t breaking any records. I would read and listen to “famous” bloggers about how to get my readership up, follow those rules which didn’t depend on coins from my pocket. But nothing really ever worked the way they said it would.

    I too, got disillusioned with the lack of readers and more so, the lack of responses for each and every post. The only ones to do so were fellow bloggers who “get it” and understand it is not just a voyeuristic endeavor.

    You are correct though that those who want to play in the big pool, must pay to do so, which doesn’t seem fair, but nether is life I suppose.

    Either way, love your work. Keep it up. Maybe I’ll join you in a few weeks and get back to my blogs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Mike.
      Of course, there are a few different avatars than usual today, as if someone is watching what I said and trying to make me happier!
      Let us know if you start something up!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What Ellen said ^ only I will be more crass and say f—
    No. I will curb myself because “those people” I was about to tell what to do with themselves aren’t even here… Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you need to ask yourself why you do it (blog, that is). Do you seek fame and/or fortune? An outlet for your creative endeavours? Interaction with like-minded folks, sharing things of interest to them? I’m in the latter two categories, myself. My ‘audience’ is tiny, but that doesn’t matter. I enjoy writing, but it’s pretty pointless doing so if nobody else gets to read any of it. Like Ellen, I appreciate the fact that you make the effort to share your work with those of us who give a shit.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a strange world the blogging world (and don’t get me started on the ‘real’ one) what with algorithms and advertising and followerbots and god knows what else. I wrote a post ages ago about why I only got interactions with a tiny proportion of my ‘followers’ and I’m sure you’re doing okay!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There will be more shenanigans from WP, I’m sure of it. I’ve thought for a couple of years now that they seem to have been moved towards focusing on monetising everything they can think of, which was what all that Pro account rubbish was about, and now paid advertising.
      I’m certainly not so tied to it that I couldn’t just walk away if they annoy me too much.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Amazingly, this one has been here for more than five years now, which as you know from my other adventures, is positively ancient and uncharacteristically consistent for me! Yes, hopefully their messing about with their users/cash generators leaves us unscathed.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. There are over 600 million blogs so it’s a wonder that we get even one follower. YouTube is no different. There are channels that have close to a million followers but only get 20,000 views. The follower count is rather meaningless since only a fraction of those will actively engage with your blog.

    I stopped writing because no one was reading my posts. What’s the point after all? My photo blog gets 15-25 views which is underwhelming but typical of most of the blogs I follow.

    The value of a blog is that it serves as an archive of our creative content which can be shared with family and friends. Anything more, I suppose, is a bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

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