The Blogosphere Ebb and Flow

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Tropical lagoon and green algae swirls at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Brisbane, Australia 2019

The swirls and ripples of the blogosphere will let your post resurface any number of times to an ever-widening pool of readers.

Never underestimate the infinite lifespan of a blog post.

Your post may not make a big splash the first time, nor days later, but it has the potential to be viewed many times into the future.

I know, because I have certain posts which haunt me.  In the nicest possible way, of course, but it is still rather disconcerting when an old post gets a sudden flurry of views.  It’s like they tread water waiting to bob up.

The reason behind my floating posts remains unclear to me.

Where, or why, my original blog story becomes resuscitated could be caused by any number of factors from reblogging to tweeting or—

  1.  linked on someone’s page
  2.  kindly mentioned in a comment
  3.  family members on Facebook
  4.  topic of interest and my tags swum into view
  5.  tumbled into the lake of eternal blogs…

I’m sure the tech pond at WordPress is teeming with answers but that’s too factual for me, I prefer the serendipitous, the happenstance of it all.

Overall, I am always pleased and still thrill to see those stats wade across the WordPress map!

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

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Tropical lagoon ebb and flow of green algae at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Brisbane, Australia 2019

Am I Sharing With The World Or Just Getting Stuff Out Of My Head?

Please Shut The Gate Sign

Writers need to write but do readers need to read?

From early on I made the decision not to Like a post unless I had read it.  As you can guess, its hard to do.  Every day millions of posts circulate around the world on countless blogging platforms and social media sites to such an extent that most of them will NEVER be read.  At least, not fully.  I think I am pretty safe in saying that.  We are doing the modern equivalent of shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.

Which brings me to the heading of my post.  I will answer my own question.  It is preferable to get things out of your head and onto a page for personal satisfaction rather than thinking you are making a useful contribution to the world.  Plenty of specialists are making useful contributions but I guarantee they are writing to a niche audience, not the world.

Another decision (note I use the word ‘decision’ because we are given choices then have to make one decision) I made is not to seek Likes and Followers and not to maintain a prolific output to pursue a high profile.  I have not activated my Comments because the majority of blogging sites appear not to have worthwhile comments or replies and, if they do, the bulk of them are from fans bordering on sycophant behaviour.

I’m not a tortured genius nor do I have a singular agenda so I am way down the favourites listicle.  I am happy doing my own thing and don’t pine for kindly Likes.  However, I am very grateful for those Likes and Followers I do have because I feel confident they have actually read my blog posts.  You can tell by my Home page that I am not going to stick to a theme, although I do have Photo Of The Week and I’m loosely hung up on the importance of literacy.

Why did I write this post?  I will probably feel differently tomorrow but today I wanted to get it out of my head.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Like or Not to Like

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Launch yourself from an author platform!  Get yourself out there!

Emerging writers are advised to expand their author platform by widening their online presence, broadening their social media and linking websites.  Recommended tips are video highlights and engaging with other writers on blogs and internet discussion groups.  No doubt new writers mull over the difficulties of going from guts to glory.  Or, in 21st century terms, Likes to glory.  That’s it, isn’t it?  The biggest number of Likes, page views or virtual friends you can get will make you the winner.  Or does it?

I have read well-written books and I have read badly written books and sometimes those badly written books make it to the top.  Why?  Marketing the brand, the buddy system, freebies?  Or is it because it’s fantastically easy to Like someone even if a reader forgets they tapped Like because they were texting, drinking coffee, looking for food in the refrigerator?  Once you’ve reached published paradise via internet or bookshop, sales still remain a genuine way to gauge popularity.  It’s a longer process to engage the reader and it involves thinking about the purchase.  Tacky as it sounds, when money is exchanged you’re heading in the right direction.

Millionaire writers at the top of their literary game probably don’t put in the same internet hours the novice does.  A rookie writer spends a lot of time staring at a screen, tapping away at a keyboard to keep the “me” momentum going.  Only to find that if they neglect an area of connectivity for more than a day, they are already stale news.  Their post and avatar moves on, drops out and someone else steps into the gap, glowing with instant recognition.  Instant, that’s a tricky word, online presence needs to be instantaneous.  But it’s usually not permanent, it does not equate to stardom, it just means that they hover in the pack of thousands for an instant.

It’s difficult to know how much networking is too much.  Creativity can suffer.  Another driving force for the evolving author is the ever-present fear that an editor from a prestigious publishing house will scorn their week-old post and think they are not up to the job.  This raises an online conundrum; content versus frequency.  The pressure is on.

So that my thoughts can become words, I am using a good media platform right now.  However, I’m under no illusions that suddenly it will make me readable, bankable and popular.  Personally, I think perpetual loyalty to the internet crushes originality.  Ah, a lightbulb moment!  As long as you feel fulfilled as a writer, you will write and you will love what you write.  Don’t be too concerned about the initial lack of Likes.  To gain any sort of recognition, I think we should remain steady and plod along and work hard yet with a happy heart.  Stay true to that inner core, that part of our soul which says “Do it, you know you want to, you know you can” and accept the outcome.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward