31 Jan 2007

Sticks and stones may break my bones. . .

I'm a fortnight in to my blog and I wanted to record a couple of things that I've learned so far.

Apart from flexing some writing muscle that had atrophied over the past 5 years, due to lack of activity, I have been asking myself on a daily basis. . .'What's the point of this blogging lark?'

At present I have a point - I've been given the task of getting more traffic to my agency's web site - and I'm seeing if blogging can help. So far I've delivered a full SEVEN visitors to my company's site. . .

So for me this is no more than an experiment. But there's a whole community of bloggers out there - some more and some less mercenary than myself. Some just seem to love having a voice. Others are unmerciful in their commercialism. I found one young chap, who can only be in his young teens (or wants us to think that he is), who seemed to be putting down some great content - but who had also diversified into merchandise. I think it will be a long time before I'm selling t-shirts and mugs. . .

As far as my experiment goes, Friday was a hi-point. I'd stumbled on myweblog.com in an attempt to get some stats for my site. And in doing so, I started to make some friends. One of them - my guru - blog tipped me on thurs/friday, sending my readership soaring up to 80 in a day. Once I'd got my head round blog tipping and realised it wasn't painful, I was very grateful for his intervention. I don't even have 80 names in my phone book!!

So it seems that I've blagged some readership (and now I'm looking for more gurus to inspire me - or forums where I can set my stall out). But having visitors sent me into another tailspin. What did people look at? Did they hang around? Was I 'interesting'?

I suppose anyone who has ever done any writing is probably super critical of the quality of their own work - and I had conveniently parked this concern in my frenzied attempts to get sufficient content 'up there' to give people something/anything to look at. But with with traffic on the up, I started to think about what would constitute quality content and judged myself to have failed miserably so far. .

This seeded another set of anxieties. In my research I'd uncovered a number of blogs that I'd earmarked as 'good stuff' - a view shaped very much by current work challenges and personal musings. But I was worrying about the superior intellect and writing style in evidence. And I was feeling increasingly inadequate - my blog is generic, widget free, rambling, random and most of all lacking original thought.

Before my downward spiral turned into a complete nose-dive I reminded myself that the WorldWideWeb is a vast space full of ideas - good, bad and indifferent. And in this climate original thought is pretty hard to come by. Brilliant. I could stop beating myself up before I suffered a broken rib. And then I spotted a posting by one of the chaps who I had been nurturing a growing respect for - Russell Davies. Anyway, this guy appears to be a bit of a pro-blogger who had (because he can do Trackback - something I haven't mastered yet) tracked back to some ungenerous criticism of his blog.

Despite us all being told by our parents that 'sticks and stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me', it's still really hard turn the other cheek if someone starts doing you (and your thoughts and opinions) down. Anyway, now Russell's got supporters queuing up to to tell him how great his blog is. And quite rightly so, should he ever pay me a visit he'll realise what fully fledged rubbish is available for criticism on the open market.

For me, still clawing my way up and slipping back down the bottom of a long and steep learning curve, I'm glad and amazed to have some visitors. I love it when they leave me comments - please do, please, please. And I suppose I'm prepared to accept comments - good, bad or indifferent. But of course that's easy to say when you're blog visit stats have fallen back to three fifths of bugger all!!

1 comment:

eagle said...

Hey Sara,

Thanks for your tip. I realize that I do not need the store and as such I have removed it.

Great Blog you have going on, Keep up the great work.