Spring Cleaning

Hello dear reader(s)!

I want to let you know that I truly value each and every one of you.  I am so happy that the thoughts I put out there have resonated with some people.  I love it when I see a comment on something I write and I love reading your blogs.  I’ve only been posting semi-consistently for a few months now, and am just thrilled with the response I have gotten.  So, I love you, my dear reader(s)!  You are truly dear to me.

Do you know who is not dear to me?

All of my followers.

Which is why I am expecting a big drop in that number over the next few days.  And I am actually thrilled about that.

“But Josh.  The more followers, the more people your posts reach!”

I beg to differ sir/madam.  As of this morning, this blog-type-thing has a total of 280 followers.  In any given day, the same 70-75 people visit my posts.   At these numbers, it is pretty easy to tell who they are.  That means I have roughly 210-205 (Oh my God, I just did math!) followers that never view my blog-type-thing.  And that’s okay, because I’m not a blogger.  Never have been, don’t want to be.  Some of the people who follow me, but never visit, post things that are of interest to me and I will continue to follow, regardless of lack of reciprocation.  Others however…

I’m not even sure how they found my blog-type-thing in the first place.  Perhaps they just browse tags and hit follow on every post they come across in their reader?  I am not an automatic re-follower.  However, if someone’s posts are interesting enough to me, even if I disagree with their views, I usually follow them after checking out a couple of their posts.  And that had been working out well, until…

We have the woman who absolutely hates other women.  Her tone has completely changed since I started following.  Anger and spite and nothing more.  Everyday a couple of posts on the attack, using baseless arguments.  Self-hatred projected onto every other woman who believes that women should not be treated as inferior beings.  Where as before her arguments were that men and women are different and people should accept that (yes, I can see the point where generally men and women are different), it became men are better than women and women deserve to be treated as less.  Then she goes off on people who identify as different genders than they may have physically been born.  Nope.  Not on my reader.  I can tolerate different points of view, but I can’t tolerate intolerance.  From Austin Powers, Goldmember:  “There are only two things I can’t stand in this world.  People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures…and the Dutch.”  Just kidding Dutch people, it is an obvious joke.

Then we have the multitude of bloggers who, at the point I followed them, apparently hadn’t developed the theme for their blogs and would post on all kinds of topics of interest.  Maybe somewhere along the way they became born-again, or maybe, like Creed, they realized if they became Christian bloggers there was a built-in audience.  I suspect the latter.  Don’t get me wrong, Christians; if you post about your religion here and there I have absolutely no problem continuing to follow you.  If you want to post about it all of the time, I wish you the very best…but it is not for me, and you probably aren’t reading the things that I have to say either.  If I wanted to read about your religion, all of the time…I’d just read the Bible…again.  Especially if you choose to focus on Leviticus in your writing and not the teachings of the person your religion is named for.

The haters.  I don’t care what you do to promote new bloggers, that doesn’t make up for your hatred of some of the people who you are helping to build their audience.  I’m not offended, so in that you have failed, I just don’t care to read your negativity all of the time.  When I first started following some of these people (I bet you thought I was talking about just one blogger, didn’t you?  No, because he has spawned clones.) there would be something funny, or thought-provoking, or worthwhile reading, or something of value.  But that doesn’t get as many views as the race-baiting, controversy for the sake of traffic type posts, does it?

The whiners.  If someone needs to vent, I’m more than happy to listen.  If someone wants to be critical…hell, welcome to my happy place.  However, if someone posts every single post about how mean WordPress is and how awful their life is, and how they are not even attempting to do anything about it…I’m not interested.  There is a big difference between complaining and whining.  There is a huge difference between criticism and droning on and on about how terrible you think everything is.  We all whine, we all complain.  But every single solitary post, with nothing to add?  Come on.

So, when and if they notice I am not among their followers, I expect my follower count to plummet.  And I couldn’t be happier about that.  Because I expect my views and my engagement to stay roughly level.  It took me some time to recognize which numbers matter to me.  Followers are not one of them.  I am not a blogger.  If you are, I wish you well.  And I know I’ll still end up following a lot of people who don’t stop by, and I’m okay with that.  I’m not looking to drop 200 blogs off of my reader.

And so I ask, why do you post?  What numbers matter to you?  Can you tell who is using you to increase their count, as opposed to who is one of your dear readers?  (Notice the lack of parenthesis on the s, in your case.)  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

50 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning”

  1. Hmm interesting topic. Everyone likes to keep an eye on their stats even if they don’t like to admit it right? Or even if it is not their main reason for blogging. I think numbers matters to me a bit more than normal due to the nature of my blog but the most important are comment numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I ask myself why I post every single day. My SO was the one who suggested it, and I’ve always loved to write (and rant), so here I am.

    None of the numbers matter to me. My usual reaction when I see the little (+) sign in the notifications is “Oh God, why?!” I will “hate-read” blogs just like I’ll “hate-watch” television (The Following springs to mind), but I won’t follow them, that’d be too much. I know I’ve got one follower who is definitely a “collector”, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, writing and ranting and expressing myself are needs. But I couldn’t care less if someone follows and never reads. And when they do, I am always pleasantly surprised because I just don’t think anything I post is that good!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it is hard not to. And I’m not attacking those who go about things differently, it just isn’t for me. Even if someone has hateful views, I wish they wouldn’t, but I’m not going to hate on them for expressing them. I’m merely pointing out that I, personally, don’t want to read it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I started this blog to serve cathartic purposes. I only have a little over 200 followers, but I never expected to have that many. Like you, I don’t suspect they all read my posts and I’m fine with that. I’ve had to unfollow blogs for similar reasons: being overly negative, click-baiting, posting a dozen or more times daily, or our interests not meshing well.
    I don’t consider myself a “blogger” but I do keep an eye on my stats, just out of curiosity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Even if someone’s interests don’t mesh well with mine, I can usually stay with them if they make a compelling argument or add to the discussion. But I really don’t like the hate. And surrounding myself with negativity makes me succumb to it too easily so I need to keep it at a distance. That is my weakness, not theirs.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was an interesting read, Josh! I echo your sentiments on purging the negativity. I choose to spend my free time focusing on and filling my mind with positives (and cartoons), and that’s reflected in the bloggers I follow. I don’t get too hung up on numbers either (although, I’d like to see myself break 100, because my husband said that when I do he’ll buy me a cake), because, for me, it’s a hobby.

    Keep writing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahhhh. As per usual, I come to your blog, and now feel ALIVE! You’re awesome. I’m awesome. I noticed Fannie commented up there- she’s awesome…um yup. Positivity at it’s finest! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s just it. I really love the vast majority of people I’ve come across while doing this. It is just a realization that hit me when I saw the 280 figure that it isn’t important to me. Quality over quantity, and there are some serious quality people I follow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup. Every week, I breeze through “who” I’m following…And why? As long as I can look back at my posts and feel good, AND feel good about reading other’s musings? Um..it’s good!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I started this bloggy thing as a way to show something of my side business as a self-publisher and a writer–it shortly turned into something else. Something between personal, observational perspective with a side of my original goal. I find myself reading more than writing and my personal filters determine who (or is it whom?) I follow–overall content and personal style usually win out. For the first time a few days ago, I actually blocked a couple of blogs because of race-baiting and just obnoxious vulgarity (maybe is was that and their immaturity) that seemed add little to uplift the conscious realm. Out of almost 100 followers, I to know who my readers are…some of them actually comment or like. Interestingly enough, some will communicate with me on other media to say something instead of commenting on a post. Odd.
    Well sir, I am for purging as I am for encouraging others to continue with what it is that works for them in this world. Call it what you will, you have a perspective in your observations and releases that is interesting if not appealing

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I post to get out new ideas and share funny (or not so funny) stories and poems. After writing and performing a play about my mom, who has Alzheimer’s, I needed to start something fresh and different, that might lead to a new play or book or who knows . . . that is why I blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Though I haven’t been here before, I definitely plan to come back now! Lively discussions on blogs like yours are awesome! I started writing publicly to gain some perspective on my journey with overwhelming health problems that started in my early 20’s and took away my ability to drive and work. Originally I just wanted a place where I could complain, flail about, and shout into the abyss on days when I was well enough to look at a screen. I thought for sure that no one would read it, and that I would be unable to write about anything constructive or meaningful.
    Gradually, having a place to write and connect with caring individuals with chronic illness, and seeing that people find my blog when they search things like “I have chronic pain and I want to die” on google, has given me the push that I needed to find more positives in my new normal, and to help others connect with the support and education channels that they need. I don’t ever want people who are as desperate and grief-stricken as I was a year ago to leave my page feeling judged or hopeless about where they are in their journey. That haunts me.
    Six months in, the fact that I have more pageviews than followers on most days really confuses me. The fact that my blog has brought me invitations to amazing support groups full of inspirational people who all challenge me to find a way to be creative and work from home despite my limitations is something I have a hard time believing but am overly grateful for. These same people now check on me when I’m offline for a few days, celebrate my tiniest successes with me, and help me to more gracefully accept the bad days and the new symptoms as they come.
    Quality over quantity, for sure.
    I guess my numbers have nothing to do with what I have gained from my blog, but I am fascinated by them all the same. Stats have helped me figure out what topics are of the most interest, where to focus my energy, and even when my posts have been linked to from sites with larger readerships by far and I didn’t even realize it until I looked back at that week’s stats and saw that 60% of my pageviews came from Amy’s Daily Fibro News or Rest Ministries, etc.
    However, it’s the people I meet and the growth that they foster in me that drives me to keep reading and writing. The numbers just give me a benchmark to measure myself against as I continue, and sometimes add a little excitement into blogging that wouldn’t be here otherwise. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure, I completely understand that. I try not to pay too much attention to that because I feel it pigeon-holes my voice. I have said once before if I really wanted to get followers and views, I could just tag and write every single post about cancer and I’d have that built in audience. But I’m more than just my cancer experience, even if it is a huge part of me and gets a lot of traffic when I do need to write about it. The other route, would be to seek controversy, but the negativity just wears me down. But I would never criticize anyone else for doing things differently or paying attention to stats, because our reasons are our own.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally get where you’re coming from, and I think it’s an admirable way to go about this.
        If I had started a blog earlier or later in life, the theme would have been different, I think. Although, without the blog itself the first part of my journey through illness would have been completely different too.
        Now that you’ve brought it up, it’s obvious to me that I will have to make adjustments later on to make more room for my identity separate from pain, but I actually needed the blog and the people I met here just to get those parts of myself back and see that it was possible to have a good life despite severe pain.
        I do try not to let what happens in my stats determine what I write about. This is all so new for me, and I only have 80ish followers so it’s not like I’m gaining too much in the fake followers department from writing mostly about illness. Chronic pain is extremely unglamorous and I’m not trying to be “inspirational” or anything, the opposite really. If I have one motivation other than selfishness for starting my blog, it would be to raise awareness for others who are walking a similar road, to help validate them and their experiences by talking openly about the uglier, messier stuff. I’m still not quite there, though.
        Thank you for the thought-provoking discussion outside of my usual realm on WordPress!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Why do I post? Because I don’t like therapists. Or copays. And it is really awesome to connect with people experiencing similar things as I am (whether it’s depression, parenting stuff, or just share similar general interests/humor). Wish I would have gotten in on this years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great reasons! I honestly believed it has helped me some with my Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Not so much with my PTSD yet, but there is a great blog I follow that gives mindfullness practices in order to help that seem as though they would work, if I could just get myself to do them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely helps with the social stuff–I get my interactions in on here and no longer feel obligated to talk to people in real life 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I started blogging as a way to display my writing and photography to potential freelance clients but it has morphed into something so much more.
    I have met so many interesting people from all over the planet, of different age groups and such diverse backgrounds that it amazes me. I enjoy interacting, exchanging ideas, and engaging at times in intelligent but respectful debates.
    At the beginning I used to follow-for-follow automatically, but in practical terms it just doesn’t work because very few have time to engage with hundreds of individuals daily and still have time to live life.
    Now my rule is simple, if what someone posts doesn’t hold my attention for the right reasons, I push the unfollow button and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Since I have so much time trying to get better, and can speed read, and get bored easily, I like to follow a lot of people, but I certainly don’t expect everyone to be able to. I like your thoughts on it. That is basically where I think I am heading.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. When I started on WordPress last September I admit that every number mattered- followers, likes, comments, views, etc. Now, a little over six months in, the truly important number to me is the comments. I have an awesome group of people who regularly engage in discussions on my posts, and for me that is what it’s all about!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I never considered myself a blogger, and was one of the most ‘old-fashioned’ people I knew. I stayed away from SNS as much as I could. My husband encouraged me to start a web-page/blog to be a portfolio of my photos, especially as I became more serious about my photography. I never dreamed that others would find their way to my humble page, so it’s been a wonderful adventure. And I’ve also had to pleasure to ‘meet’ so many interesting and wonderful people.

    I agree with you, there’s simply no time to waste on the haters. Life is hard enough as it is 😉
    As always, thanks for another thoughtful & thought-provoking post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m very pleased that your husband encouraged you to start your page so that people can see your amazing photos and read your great thoughts. Tell your husband I say thank you. And thank you to you for sharing!

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