I need more reader interaction. Especially comments. Blogging is a lonely world. You don’t ever meet the people who have caught your interest. You don’t get to go hiking with them or visit for tea or meet up anywhere. There are all those incredible people you come to care about – but not a real love. More like the “love” one might have for an anime character.
I say I am madly in love with Hitagi Senjogahara (Monogatari Franchise) but I am really enamored with the concept, what she represents. A damaged woman fighting to become complete again. A hard person allowing herself to become vulnerable. Romance and happy sexuality finding a way to climb up through the rubble of sexual assault. Refusing to play the victim any more. Intelligence in harness with emotion, rather than in conflict. Since Araragi-kun was the catalyst for this change, I love him as well – even though the character starts out with serious moral shortcomings.
I would “hurt” if she bled. I would love her even more (if that were possible) if she bled for a good cause. If she died, I might cry but I would not be depressed. You are supposed to cry for a tragic story. You are not supposed to grieve as if a real friend had died.
Blogging and other social media have the advantage over an anime character in that you can interact. You post and get replies and likes and maybe even a troll artist to block. That moves it a step closer to reality. More of a connection to the other person. It isn’t “real” yet by any means but it is a lot closer.
I have managed to become real friends with one person thru social media and that is because I knew her 35 years ago when she was just a teenager and I was a 20-something. Wife and I have gone with her and her husband to a protest march, a concert and an art exhibit and the two of us went to visit an old friend who was terminally ill. Social media is rarely useful for generating IRL friends.
I’ve also met some good people through the Meetup.com site. I leaned about nude theater in Los Angeles through social media. (Might as well give it a shout-out here.) I got in touch with hiking groups, writing groups, and naturist groups. I met some fabulous people there. That’s the advantage of having a group focused on a narrow interest that meets in public places but still allows members to retain privacy. They are very low risk.
In the blogging world, it is sometimes difficult to know if your content is being noticed, let alone read and thought about. That is where likes and follows come in. However, even that is not any kind of good measure. When I wander though my likes and follows, I sometimes find commercial sites.
Then there are the people who like or follow me but I have no clue why. I visit their blog and we have nothing in common. Our values are different, our politics are different and our interests are different. I let these slide because just maybe they are looking for something different. In reality, they are probably broadcasting likes to everyone and following whoever just to get likes and follows in return. This is the shotgun approach to building traffic. When you see someone has liked 5 posts in a row without the clock ticking up even a minute, one has to wonder.
And of course we have the people who like a lot of your posts and also follow you. A little nagging insecurity in the back of your brain still asks if they really read the post and really liked it or just saw the posts in their followed sites list and liked it out of courtesy. That takes us to comments.
I have read every post that I have liked. If I am following you, it is likely I have read some of your posts and then commented on some of those. That probably isn’t possible for people who have a thousand followers and a hundred people they follow.
Akismet does a good job of filtering out the spam. I don’t get much but it is still obnoxious.
I am still disappointed when I see so few comments on my own posts. I’m really hoping to stimulate a conversation. I never know if my posts are uninteresting. Maybe the occasional nudity really bugs you. Maybe they are so well written there is nothing to comment on. Or so poorly written they aren’t worth commenting on. Or the photography is blah or great. Does nothing I have to say reward you, or pique your curiosity, or bring up any memories or emotions?
My activities aren’t always FB safe. On my blog, I add NSFW to the title if I haven’t edited out the parts the fundamentalists wouldn’t approve of. Sometimes I have two versions of the same post, one that is FB safe and one that has honest nudity. (I am hoping those who follow me don’t mind the real version.) Without comments, I can’t know if it bothers any given reader and that bugs me. My definition of NSFW might need to change in either direction.
Without comments I don’t know what I’m doing wrong or right. Or if anyone even read the post.
I’d probably continue writing even if nobody saw what I wrote because it serves other purposes in addition to communication of my experiences. Somewhat like a diary, it solidifies my thoughts and feelings at a certain point of time. It clarifies my thoughts on what has happened. It keeps my mind active and creative.
But please. If you read a post let me know what you think about the subject matter, the writing itself and the photography. Maybe even hint on how it could be improved. Interaction makes everything better.
March 24, 2020 at 02:35
I’m always here for you, Fred! My job is ridiculous, so I don’t get as much time to like and comment anything anymore… But, I try to! 🍻
March 23, 2020 at 14:04
Agreed. It can be a lonely world. That is what detoured blogging, for me, several blogs ago… well until this one. I read the posts I like. I only follow the ones that strike interest to me. I cannot read every person I follow – BUT I do like knowing that READER is made up of people that I have read and appreciate that which I did. I have not made friends on blogs IRL. I have friends that I used to game with, some for 10+ years, and we stay in touch. A lot of farming and grinding nights… and there were frustrations… Oh – the good-ol-days.
Best – joe
March 23, 2020 at 17:10
There’s “friends” and there’s friends. I consider internet friends to be pen pals. I cannot imagine asking to meet them IRL, unless it were at a convention or some other public event of mutual interest. I write much better than I interact in the flesh.
November 18, 2018 at 13:44
For me and the world of blogging, all that really matters, speaking of blog stats, is the number of comments, especially if they are meaningful, long and wrote with constructive approach. Other things like likes are not so relevant due to the fact that many people, including myself, sometimes like something that we do enjoy, like the title of the post, or a theme etc, but we do not read the post, or at least not the whole post (also I´m not a fan of to long posts with many pictures or photographs, it´s better to write more shorter posts like when you´re writing series) . Most people click on like button just because it´s a post that was written by some of their friend or relative, and that is cheating.
October 7, 2018 at 06:43
I know what you mean. It’s great that you’ve read every post you’ve liked! With school and other commitments, I just don’t have the time to check out blogs as frequently as I used to. I’m hoping to find time to read more posts and comment more!!
October 3, 2018 at 03:59
This hits close to home. I’ve been taken aback by the vanity of all this blogging stuff. I’d say I’ve only got 5 followers that actually engage with my posts; you being one of them. Fortunately for me, the goal was never to accumulate followers. The goal is just to upload short stories for the fun of it.
As for the nudity, I say if folks can’t handle it, that’s their problem!
October 5, 2018 at 00:45
The important aspect of writing for me is to put onto paper what is important to me, hopefully in a way that is interesting to others. At the same time I am bringing order to an otherwise chaotic brain and maybe figuring out a bit of myself. I also enjoy the writing process itself.
I’d rather have 5 people who truly enjoyed my work than a thousand who just did it to market their own site.
October 5, 2018 at 10:54
October 3, 2018 at 01:34
Here’s what I’ve learned in five years. Long posts aren’t often read. Your posts are often long. Second, uh, nudity. I don’t personally care about it one way or another. It’s meaningful to you, not to me. But that’s normal between people and Yay for the difference. Some people have a visceral negative reaction to it and when they might otherwise have a lot in common with you, they’re going to run away. By the same token, those who are all about nudity but might have nothing else in common with you might follow you just for nudity bonding. Like, “Yo, naked people!” Something like that.
I hiked a lot in California in urban areas and very often saw NO one. That right there is information. So here we have hiking and nudity and those are not big sellers.
I don’t have a lot of followers, either, for having been blogging here for 5 years. Last year sometime toward the end I rounded 2000. Many people have thousands more followers than I do. To attract more followers, I’d have to be the person I had to be for 38 years in the classroom — all things to all people. To me, retirement means I don’t have to do that anymore.
I enjoy your blog — I don’t read the anime posts because anime doesn’t interest me. I enjoy the hiking posts very much and have found your stories of your childhood/youth very interesting. Often men (IMO) are not as self-aware or candid and I respect you for those things.
October 5, 2018 at 00:37
I love your blog. It is so candid about your difficulties and yet so full of love of life. I look forward to seeing them for many years into the future.
Feel free to ignore anime posts or NSFW posts. I won’t be offended. I will be delighted to have your appreciation of the rest of them.
“Yo, naked people!” is exactly right. Threw away the closet decades ago. If someone can’t accept me naked, they will learn quickly enough that the NSFW posts aren’t for them. If the mere fact that I’m clothes free (sans explicit photos) on many of my hikes is too much for them, they won’t like my blog at all.
October 5, 2018 at 00:44
Thank you. <3
I don’t mind nudity — I was a nude model in college and that happened spontaneously. I’m not in the least offended. I suppose if I met you on a trail and you were naked, I’d say, “How’s it hanging?” and crack myself up — possibly you, too.
October 5, 2018 at 00:49
I’d consider that an extremely positive reaction. (It really HAS happened!) But usually I hike where I hope to be alone or where nudity is traditional. It is not surprising you never met me, though I’ve been hiking since I moved out here in the late 70s.
October 2, 2018 at 22:53
Any post that I give a like to I also read from start to finish. I do not always comment mainly from my own insecurity thinking who’d give a flip de do da about what I think anyway. Sometimes I am compelled to comment if the topic strikes a chord with me. Fortunately I have not been in any social media wars. I stay out of the fray mostly and save the real meaty discussions for IRL.
October 4, 2018 at 23:31
No social media wars allowed here. I would kill such a comment and block such a person the minute I saw it.
Please do not sell yourself short! Of course I “give a flip” about what you say. I read your posts and comment on them because I care what you say. Why should comments on my posts be any different?
October 4, 2018 at 23:41
I’m like that with everyone. It’s a curse of being raised to be seen and not heard. I’m trying to grow out of that. But habit is hard to break
October 5, 2018 at 00:50
The internet is a lovely opportunity to be heard and not seen!