And Who Do You Blog For?

Imagine What a Great Blogger Twain Might Have Been

OK, I’ve ignored my blogging responsibilities long enough now, so I think I’ll reconnect again – with your kind permission, of course.  But, perhaps to your dismay, my hiatus has put me in a philosophical mood – and as I entertain the idea of restarting my blogging efforts this morning, I find I’m faced with a basic blogging question: ‘Who does a blogger write for?’

Do we truly -as I was wont to think when I first started blogging- write only for our own satisfaction?  Although I’d like to think this is so, I’m now of the opinion that a writer needs -more or less- some outside reinforcement that they are somehow making a contribution to the world outside of their tight personal sphere – and in a real way, blogger comments accomplish this, at least to some extent.  But I believe that most bloggers miss the greater arena of influence of their efforts – their otherwise unknown readers.

One of the more subtle elements of blogging, which may well fly undetected over the heads of most bloggers, is the fact that there are hundreds (in my case!), maybe thousands (in most other cases) of otherwise undetected ‘visitors’ to your blog each post – they don’t leave comments, footprints, or any other kind of evidence that they’ve been around, except that WordPress (my wonderful blogging host) counts them – so if I want to, I can go deep into my stats, and see just how many otherwise unidentified folks have ‘visited’ recently.  And, for all I know, there may well be some way for me to learn exactly who they were – but for me, that last fact is much less significant than the mysterious recognition that, Yes, there were 97 unknown readers of my blog last week.

At the risk of offending my regular blog readers who regularly leave comments, when faced with the question of who it is that I write my blog for, I’m forced to admit that I don’t write for my friends who regularly leave comments – in most cases, their skills already surpass mine, so there is little I am able to pass on to them.  No, here is my true audience – I write for all those unknown readers – perhaps they’ve come as a result of a Goggle search, and because they too have just discovered a new taste.  And the reason why I write for them is that down deep inside me is a desire to share my passion for good food and my occasional discovery of a new taste.  And I especially enjoy having worked through the process of a particularly difficult recipe process, and discovering how one can avoid the problem areas of that process – this is not done well by most recipe writers, and this is the reason why my posts are generally so long and detailed.  I write to meet the needs of the unknown, and that brings me satisfaction.

I know I’m out of the mainstream of both bloggers and commenters, which I immediately see as I myself explore the world of food blogs out there – the internet is a world of the minimalist, of which I am perhaps the antithesis.  I search -most often unsuccessfully- for those like-minded bloggers who share my own passion, my style, and maybe even my own philosophies.  But frankly, I’d be quite satisfied to occasionally stumble upon the passion part – a well written blog of someone who truly loved good food, and a desire to share their love and passion.

As proof of just how important are comments to the production of an excellent blog, I present as evidence the hundreds or more of wonderfully done blogs I have come across over the years that literally continued to move forward without the benefit of any significant comments.  Perhaps their authors need to better understand more about the nature of ‘search technology’, so that they might be discovered more easily (my problem as well).  But my point is that these bloggers too are writing for the huge number of unknown readers, and for the simple pleasure of sharing their passion and love.  To them I say, ‘Bravo!  and may you have the strength of purpose to keep up the effort.’

###

BTW, please allow me to end today’s return to blogging by reporting that my eye surgery has gone very well.  My problem was that I had developed a macular hole in my left eye, the result of which was a black spot in the middle of your vision of that eye – surprisingly, the black spot was only evident with the right eye closed, otherwise the ‘good’ eye compensates for the failure of the eye with the macular hole, and the vision seems fine.  Of course it is not, but the brain is such an amazing tool that it actually not only corrects the problem (sort of) but also makes us unaware that the problem even exists – amazing!

The good news is at this point -3 days after surgery- I cannot detect any black spot in my vision, even with my good eye closed – so all is well, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed as I go for my checkup tomorrow.  And I promise to be right back with a wonderfully delicious banana cake (not at all like banana bread) to use up all those over-ripe bananas we all seem to accumulate.

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About drfugawe

I'm a guy with enough time to do as I please, and that my resources allow. The problem(s) are: I have 100s of interests; I have a short attention span; I have instant expectations; I'm lazy; and I'm broke. But I'm OK with all that, 'cause otherwise I'd be so busy, I'd be dead in a year.
This entry was posted in Musings and Mutterings, Opinion, Philosophy, and Assorted BS and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to And Who Do You Blog For?

  1. Frances Quinn says:

    Hey, Dr. Glad to see you back. Happy the surgery went well and may your eyesight stay in the pink. Haven’t really done anything of great value lately except to make some cheesy, garlicky biscuits. Am looking forward to St. Patty’s Day corned beef and cabbage and potatoes. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and your family and please, stay well.

    • drfugawe says:

      Hey Frances,
      Good to see ya – Yeah, St. Patty’s Day! Almost forgot – I think I must be the only Irishman who isn’t crazy about corned beef and cabbage – I’d much rather cover it with a mustard and brown sugar glaze and bake it – not much of an Irishman, I guess.

      Yeah, eye is coming along nicely – hoping this surgery will work – I’m not ready yet for vision problems.

      Enjoy St. Pat’s!

  2. Mariana says:

    Hello. I noticed your interesting name after leaving a comment on Celia’s blog; clicked; and here I am. It’s really funny I stumble upon your question of ‘who do I blog for’. A friend thinks I don’t do anywhere near enough to ‘advertise’ myself to attract more visitors. I simply don’t feel the need. I’m a hospitable kinda gal, and if too many people begin to visit and leave comments, then I know I’d while the hours away replying to them all. A handful is fine by me.

    I actually write my blog for my kids. I don’t think they realise it. They hardly ever visit. That’s okay. I feel that if I put myself out there with our homecooked food and accompany that with the story of the day; then there is a place for them to go, if they ever feel the need to visit. The day will come. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow; then I feel certain they will treasure my blog. I feel they can come by and read some of my ‘trivia’, maybe have a little cry, be reminded, know there is somewhere ‘warm’ and ‘familiar’ to go. I hope I don’t sound too morbid. But that’s who I blog for.

    • drfugawe says:

      Mariana,
      Morbid? Not at all – to me it sounds personal and warm, and it’s an emotion I can relate to well. Yes, I think ‘writing for the kids’ is one of the things I was thinking of when I started out – of course, in the early days, almost all your comments came from family, so that was natural. But, yeah, I had the same thought – you know, just because you live 20 years of your life with a person doesn’t mean that you’ve had good opportunities to really have the kinds of discussions that are needed to really know someone – now that’s something sad to admit, but I think it’s probably more true than not.

      Hey, thanks for visiting – hope we get more opportunities to talk more.

  3. Interesting question, Doc. I write for myself – it’s good therapy for me, and helps me stayed focused on all the really good things in my life. I’m very happy when people read and enjoy the blog, but I try very hard to make sure what I write is a reflection of my day to day. For me, the blog is a journal – a record of my time – that I can look back and reflect on, but I love that it lets me keep in touch with my friends as well.

    My boys are both still at home, but if I’m still writing in the future, I’m sure that like Mariana, a lot of my stuff will be aimed at keeping in touch with them as well.

    • drfugawe says:

      Yes, we are a part of an emerging new genre of writing (as the pingback below interestingly notes), which is taking the place of the diary/journal – and it will be quite interesting to see where it finally takes us – or, where we take it!

  4. I write because someone suggested it and now it is a habit. I often wonder about who visits and what they are looking for/hoping to find and sometimes when I look at the Stats that WordPress give me I think, ‘oh dear, they probably didn’t find what they wanted’ Do you look at the search terms stats, they are quite interesting? More people pitch up on my blog looking for how to make jam than anything else. Remember though, that the number of ‘hits’ is not the same thing as ‘individual and unique visitors’. If you want to see how many of those you have you need something like the Flagcounter on your blog.

    I write usually with someone specific in mind, but that person may vary, so the posts come out differently. Some wonderful blogs don’t get comments, you’re quite right on that. But they don’t necessarily need comments as the posts aren’t asking anything of the reader. I think there is quite a divide between blogs that are complete unto themselves and the more chatty, join in sort of blogs. WordPress put the Like button on to try and address this. So that people could say I read it and I liked it. Kilroy was here.

    And… very pleased that you are sailing through your eye works, that must be a huge relief to you all ! Joanna

    • drfugawe says:

      Hi Jo,
      I can always count on you to teach me some new bit -or two- about WordPress – much thanks – and I will spend some time looking at those stats.

      And thanks too for your good vibes – may need them.

  5. Pingback: The Genre of Blogging | TRAVELITERATURE

  6. Glenn says:

    He Doc! Mark Twain would have kicked butt had he blogged- in many ways he probably set the standard(s) that we all try to attain in our writing.

    Glad to ear you’re on the mend-you’d been awfully quiet lately!

    We’re still digging out from the storm we had earlier this week-yowza, c’mon Spring!

    As to your post and it’s query I’d say I blog because I can!

    • drfugawe says:

      Hey Tup!
      Yeah, Twain is one of my heroes as well – for me, he made me understand that a writer can use common language to convey complex ideas and emotion, and the result still be considered fine literature. But I just recently learned something new about him and his work – with the release of his recent autobiography (the one he mandated be withheld until 100 years after his death).

      I had always thought of Twain as a writer who withheld nothing (personal opinion) from his writings, but it’s clear through his autobiography that there was much that he was unwilling to put down in writing, at least while he was alive. How much of that was due to his concern for offending potential buyers of his work, or how much was simply a result of an insight into the nature of interpersonal relationships of a general nature, who knows? But to me this is a very interesting revelation.

      And I may have just convinced myself to go get a copy and see what else I can discover.

  7. Hi!Thanks for your post!

    On the subject of people leaving comments that you mentioned in your post; I wonder about that too. Perhaps there are those who have the instinct to write and those that don’t?

    I have had people tell me that they loved my blog but don’t write anything. Not even an encouraging like. That puzzles me. Others will leave a comment. I try not to worry about things like that because it may spoil the relationship I have with my writing. It’s nice to get feedback though and it is probably better to get it from like minded writers and not comments for the sake of making them.

    The great thing about making a comment is that it will spark an idea or a thought. Then I will be able to write some more.

  8. Pingback: Imagine a perfect day.. | My little bubble

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