Thursday, May 21, 2015

The occasional reader survey

It has been a while since I had a reader survey. I am not sure I have very many human readers left since this blog seems to be dying. It is well over a hundred in blog years after all. However, I still find it useful as a reference source to myself. I am also reluctant to let it completely cease to exist for purely sentimental reasons. The Golden Age of blogging has long passed and so has the Silver Age. At best we are now in the Iron Age. This blog has always occupied a very small niche, but lately I have been feeling I have come close to exhausting its potential, at least for now.  So blogging will probably continue to be slow for a while. On the other hand this thing has survived four continents. 


Withywindle said...


Lorraine said...

Please don't let the "death of the blogosphere" rhetoric get you down. The media narrative is shaped by corporate players, and of course corporate players want you to believe that "social media" makes blogging obsolete. These are the same people who are trying to kill general purpose computing (GPC). Killing blogging (and by extension, RSS) and GPC both have the effect of casting the end-user in a passive role as a consumer rather than a producer of both technology and content.

I have a low-readership blog. I don't post frequently, but I always have at least one post under construction, as I do now. I'm writing for several audiences, not all of whom can be captured in visitor stats. One audience is future people, including perhaps people who haven't been born yet. I believe future historians, cultural studies types, etc. will study the blogosphere. Sure they'll study Facebook, too, but only so much. In Facebook you encounter "memes" which are basically sound bites, or short, sweet talking points that ultimately don't matter because you're a smart person and already knows all the arguments simple enough to make it in "the main swim" that is Facebook. The future info-archaeologists, of course, will also be too intelligent to find Facebook interesting.

Here are some notes on my blogging strategy:

I'm assuming that at some point people will actually have sophisticated search tools for the archived web content or our time, so mainly I want to create content that will stand out informationally in that crowd. We're talking high signal-to-noise ratio. I've noticed some bloggers mention that they're trying to cultivate the habit of being frequent and regular in their blogging because they think it conveys to readers a sense of "professionalism." They may be right about that, but I figure the odds of being "discovered" as a writer during my own lifetime are remote enough for that sort of gesture not to be worth my time. My momma taught me "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." My editorial policy as a blogger is "if you don't have anything new to say, don't say anything at all." I won't post a line of argument that can already be found elsewhere, for example, unless at least I can put a completely new spin on it. The short-term result, of course, is infrequent posting and maybe fewer visitors, but I'm OK with that. Another thing I do is neologisms. Certainly if I were an info-archeologist one of the first thing's I'd do is start with a dictionary of early 21st century English (or any other language, of course). In general I'm interested in making my blog as much of a statistical outlier as I can.

derRach said...

You have touched my life in a profound way. I pray that you continue to write about the tragedy of ethnic Germans in Russia and all of the other ethnic minorities who were deprived of their homes, livelihood and their very lives within Russia.

arminius said...

Whatever you decide to do, don't delete the blog - and , if possible, archive it somewhere. Too much good stuff is fated to disappear down the 'memory hole' (and bad stuff too fwiw) but we have to have access to the past, good and ill, especially as now we are not subject to the mice-nibbling/fire eating destruction of out books of old. We should make it a principle to safeguard the mental growth of our species *with* this new technology, and not *against* it.

Yeah, blogging may be passe, but I haven't seen a reasonable, non-infantile replacement as yet.

And if I forgot to mention it, I have found your blog both very informative and unique, as well as enjoyable. How's that for setting it apart?

INCOMING!!!!!!! said...

Still dropping by semi regularly.

anagory said...

zomg if arminius reads your blog, then of a certainty you offer a perspective that is unique among mortals and your content is singularly original.

so don't delete and do archive, and then rinse and repeat.