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.