Sunday, June 27, 2004

Blog Lessons-Part II

I wrote my first Blog Lessons piece soon after I started blogging and published a piece entitled "Fire Rumsfeld". Venomous Kate found the piece somehow and linked to it from her site. I got a lot of traffic because of that. I learned a little about blogging and wrote it down.

I later found her to be such a nice lady (despite her attempts otherwise) I decided to host one of my sites with her.

That was all in the beginning...way back almost two months ago...

I have been a little discouraged with this entire blogging thing as of late. In fact the last piece of any substance I have written was back on 17 Jun. I do not anticipate that this piece will be of great interest or relevance. I just want to write it because this is what I am thinking.

I was excited a couple of months ago when I started this little experience. I joined up with the Rebel Alliance and thought, “gosh this is great, a group of pro-Southern bloggers”. Then of course we had our little spat over there and I thought, “gosh, the blogsphere is just like the rest of the world, churches, clubs, political movements…folks disagree, get mad, attack each other and things fall apart”.

I suppose my naiveté was misplaced. The blogsphere is made up of just humans. So why should I expect that things should be different. Ok, lessen learned, got it. So I have learned that people here are the same as they are in person, maybe some are braver behind their keyboards but still basically the same.

I have figured out it is easy to be misunderstood on the blogshere. I get email now from some guy at Freeway blog asking for support of like minded liberals. I get a kick out of that. Maybe he found one of my post regarding the War in Iraq and assumes I am liberal.

I have figured out that it is pretty tough to get an audience. Well tough if your subject matter is limited in the scope of possible interest. My basic subject is the South. I do comment on politics in general from what I perceive as a very principled Southern perspective. So I realize that from the get go I have limited my potential audience.

Then of course there is the fact that my views on the Southern Movement are very pragmatic. Some in the movement would call me heretical and for that they immediately tune me out. My small potential audience just got a lot smaller.

I have noticed on some of the very popular blogs that people tend to talk about items that I would consider impolite. They often pepper their postings with extraneous profanity. Since I do not do these things I guess I limit my potential readability more.

I check the logs here from time to time and it seems I get about 17 unique visitors a day. Of those about five read more than one article. Most of the folks that find me for the first time come from search engines. This is, I believe, not the way most successful blogs get most of their traffic. So by being unorthodox in the way I attract folks I seem to limit my possible readership.

I have a theory that a lot of the folks that find me in search engines are not really regular blog readers. I could be wrong but my analysis of the log files supports my hypothesis. If I am correct then these sort of folks are not likely to return day after day. They found what they searched for on Tuesday, on Wednesday they are doing their regular thing.

I have read the “rules” of building a popular blog and I have basically followed none of them. I did not start this with the intention of conforming to the rules or writing in such a way that folks added me to their blog rolls. This is not and was not a popularity attempt by me.

I still wonder at times if this is an effort worth continuing. I guess that out of the 17 daily visitors I discussed above and the five folks that read a couple of post each visit that in a weeks time I might actually put an idea or two in at least one person’s head. I guess if that math holds up I am generating about ideas in 52 folks per year. Small impact indeed, but hey, that is 52 people with 52 ideas influenced slightly by me.

I will of course have to pretty much put this thing away for a few months when I leave in a few days. Maybe while I am gone I will develop a new and different perspective. Maybe not. As it stands right now I find it hard to get the inspiration to write much more than simple commentaries in items of interest to me. The fire to write anything more meaningful escapes me.

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem
El Cid

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