Continuing Continuing

WP 4 Years!“Four score and seven…” (Ahem.) Excuse me, I meant… “Four years and seven (or more — it’s gotten hard to keep track) lifetimes ago, I brought forth upon this WordPress (dot com) a new blog, conceived in lunacy, and dedicated to the proposition that all blog readers would subscribe eventually.”

“Now I am engaged in a great deal of introspection, questioning whether that blog, or any blog so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. The truth is, the world will little note, nor long remember what I write here. It is for us the bloggers, rather, to be dedicated here to adding a few more drops to the ocean. Tiny cries of small critters in a very large wilderness.”

And at this point, I’m way off script[1]

So.

Four years. Just over the 500-post mark — this one makes it 503. (There are a bunch of “pages” found in the menu across the top, so technically it’s more like 530-some odd things you can read here. And some of them are fairly odd, or so I’m told. But 503 posts.)

FPTwice Freshly Pressed. That was… interesting. The first time, as I constantly complain, wasn’t original material, so it was a disappointing way to represent. (What are the odds? I rarely re-publish other work!) The second time, this spring, it was an original post, and it was one I liked, so while I may always remember my first, the second one was way better. (Actually, come to think of it… Actually, never mind.)

The attention being Freshly Pressed garnered those two times (late 2012 and early 2015) almost seems to reflect a change in blogging and WordPress. The scope is far more global now, and the percentage of spam and commercial bloggers seems much higher. The idea of “long-form” blogging — of longish, thoughtful, original content blogging — seems in decline. Our collective attention spans seem no longer up to the task.

crowdWhat alternately depresses me, pisses me off, and makes me laugh hearty (yet bitter) tears, is that according to WP, I have 2000 (and one) Followers. Given that any post I publish gathers about, frankly, zero to a dozen or two reads in the first month or so seems to indicate that at least 1900 of you aren’t keeping up your end of the bargain.

The number of regulars — people who respond and participate — is even smaller. I can count them using just many of my fingers. (Participation is ideal, but even feedback sometimes would be nice. It’s weird seeing page hits jump when someone obviously somewhere posts a link to an old post of mine, but never seeing anyone show up to say, “Nice post!” Or even, “WTF?”)

So.

Four years. 500 posts. A handful — literally (and I do mean “literally” literally) — of real Followers (my mini-legion). A blogsphere[2] that may be in decline, and the repeated realization that every time I take a blog break, I find some part of me likes not blogging a lot more than blogging.

I’ve been kind of on break lately, and it’s felt very nice.

tau-2In fact, I missed posting on some significant dates in June. There is the Summer Solstice, of course. I’ve expressed my melancholy regarding that several times here before (and so, in some sense, seems a fully covered topic). There is also Tau Day, which in many ways is superior to Pi Day (but has less pie).

Mom’s birthday was, or would have been, in June, and while I’ve never been an actual Father, I got Samantha The Puppy on Father’s Day in 1994. I have notes and a rough draft of one more post about our life together that I’d targeted for Father’s Day this year.

There was also that, after an exciting May, in June the Minnesota Twins really cooled off. They managed to end June still five games above the .500 mark, but they came into it eleven games above! They went 11-17 in June. Really let the air out of the balloon!

baseball-sadBut (or maybe, due to the Twins, “so”) I’ve been feeling a serious malaise of late and just haven’t been into posting.

It does seem important to commemorate Blog Anniversary Day, though. I did in 2014 and in 2013 (oddly, not in 2012). And WordPress sent me a whole notification — It’s sort of almost kinda like an Anniversary Card. (Apparently they think I’m doing good blogging and want me to keep it up.)

So.

It’s been four years since I said, “Hello, World!” here. Lotta posts down the river.[3]

And I’m really tempted to just call it quits. (And, no, this isn’t a plea for readers to weigh in and beg me to keep on blogging. (Assuming you would in the first place.) This is my decision and I’m just explaining the way it is. Call it a State of the Blog Address.)

ripe bananasI recently encountered the idea of “No Obligation Blogging.” In other words, post when you really feel the desire and have something to say, not according to some schedule or perceived need to “publish or perish.” My blog isn’t a banana; I can leave it out untouched for as long as I want.

I’ve been enjoying “taking the summer off” from blogging. Yet I find myself sometimes writing notes for a future blog post. I think the truth is, bloggers gotta blog. Way back when, I defined art as “what artists do” which pushes the definition of art onto the artist. A key characteristic of an artist is the need to create.

In a sense, I’d be writing blog posts in my head all the time anyway, so I might as well record them. (Don’t you hate having a really interesting idea, but not being able to write it down, and then forgetting it?)

Kickin Back

Kickin’ Back! Takin’ the summer off!

So.

Four years. 503 posts. Somewhere between 2 and 2000 (actual) Followers.

And you ain’t seen the last of me, yet.

So there.


[1] I do know Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address in November and that it actually has nothing to do with July 4th. I won’t be held responsible for that weird (yet very creative!) stuff that comes out of my head. (I suppose I do have to take responsibility for actually sharing it with you.)

[2] Note the classy dropping of the second “o” — a habit you should adopt immediately. The silly “blogosphere” sounds like something out of the comics. Or a corrupt politician from Illinois.

[3] 503. As previously mentioned.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

52 responses to “Continuing Continuing

  • E.D.

    I hear you loud and clear WS. You are so right about the followers. I have 5000 – Yes! can you imagine a little ole blog like mine with quotes and pics. can pick up 5000. Odd that! Might also add I get little else. The usual likes from the usual people make the blog look respectable. (I guess bloggers mean well.) I often like their blogs too. Comments? naaaaaah – I guess the quotes are not interesting enough. I, like you, have lost interest lately. I cannot think up anything much to say due to having so little encouragement. I used to write my own posts but the same thing happened – they mostly went by without a word from fellow bloggers. Maybe it is the set up on w.p. – somehow, the system they have created it wonky and no match for the instant replies and feedback one gets on Face book . I prefer Face Book because I want someone to talk to. Blogging, does not fulfill that way – perhaps blogging has just become mundane. very best Eve p.s. I am having problems writing in the little box here. Do feel free to correct mistakes.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      5000! Wow!! I was patting my back (which is very painful) over 2000. Looks like you’ve been blogging about two years longer than I have (I started in July of 2011). Maybe your topics have more broader appeal than mine do. At the rate I’m going, I definitely won’t see 5000 in two years!

      I suppose that makes it worse? To have that many followers who don’t participate? What’s your page hit count like? I get about 25-30 a day, always a mix of pages old and new. I get the impression a good fraction of it is people searching for something, finding your blog post in the hits, checking it out, but then seeing it wasn’t really what they were looking for. I can’t imagine how else people are finding all those random pages.

      You’re right that blogging is different than Facebook (which is different from Twitter (which is different from Instagram (which etc.))). They all have an operational model and attract a certain group of users. There seems, to me, a primary division between “short-form” and “long-form” content with blogging being one of the only long-form models. Twitter is the epitome of short-form models, but Facebook and others don’t really encourage long-form posts, either.

      As you also mention, there is more of a chat-like atmosphere to most short-form platforms. Long-form blog posts do almost seem to make “Nice post!” comments a little drab — they beg for thoughtful comments. That does take time and (obviously) thought and (therefore) energy, and you can see how — given the way the interweb works — people tend to just move on. Be thankful if they at least click the [Like] button! XD

      A lot of short-form is re-posting of other content rather than original content. Long-form may reference or link to other content, but it tends to contain a lot of original material and thought. That, too, sets blogging off from most other forms of social media.

      Blogging has a similar model to online magazines. The former write “posts” while the latter write “articles” but the distinction vanishes with some bloggers who write “article-like” posts (not to mention, as the world becomes more and more informal, magazine articles with a “post-like” informal tone). One of my struggles as a blogger is between a formal “article-like” tone or a casual “post-like” tone. I keep reaching for the latter, but my background seems to pull back towards the former.

      I think it has to do with writing for an audience (of size 1+) versus writing for one other person. The tone I reach for is similar to the tone of an email (or a comment!) — it’s between me and one other person. It amounts to a conversation. The moment there’s more than one, now you’re speaking to an audience; it’s not a conversation. Trying to reach multiple people changes the whole approach.

      But that would be true regardless of my conflicts about blogging at all. Also true regardless is my bottom line. I’m an artist. I have to create. I’m a writer. I have to write. And as an artist, I have to put what I create “out there.” On some level, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

      Maybe, for you, blogging is one of those things that sounded good at the time, or was good at the time, or for a while, but — for whatever reason — no longer floats your boat merrily down the stream. Maybe, as you suggest, the “social” in social media is a bigger attraction.

      Me, I’m a card-carrying, dues-paying, rally-attending, original member of The Misanthropes Guild, so I don’t actually like people (although I frequently do love them).

  • E.D.

    well done on two freshly pressed… I never made it. But I don’t care. I feel it is a compliment. 😉

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I’m pretty sure it isn’t random, so it’s definitely some form of compliment. It shoots your hit counter through the roof for a week or so — there is also a rash of Follows. You do get a lot of comments and reblogs, but the comments tend to be variations of “Nice post!” You spend a lot of time writing “Thank you!” replies.

      You never hear from 99.9% of them again.

  • E.D.

    Now I see the real comments page. So sorry for the many mistakes on my first try. Maybe the reason people do not leave comments is they sometimes don’t find the right place to comment. That is when one uses the reader, the comment box provided at that point is wonky.. I had a dreadful time trying to write in the smaller comment box. It took me three attempts to find this finer place to air my thoughts. I hope you keep on blogging, your style is delightful and your topics are interesting, at least to me. I like you casual writing, your don’t much care attitude that always comes over in your posts.

    So I say well done..

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Yeah, the Reader sucks. It’s part of WordPress moving more towards supporting the mobile device crowd. I assume the Reader is optimized for mobile devices, because it’s pretty damned useless for desktop or laptop users. I use email notifications on the blogs I follow. (I have been getting into RSS feeds lately… they’re kinda cool.)

      On the rare times I do use the Reader (or Freshly Pressed), I do the right-click on the title link and “Open in new tab” thing to get directly to the blog post.

      I really do think the influence of mobile devices has something to do with the decline in long-form blogging. It’s certainly a challenge writing at length on a cell phone (let alone effective editing). I can imagine that reading a long article on a small device must also be less than wonderful. No doubt it results in fewer comments.

      Thanks for the compliment! As I’ve said, I can’t not blog, so I’m stuck with it, and y’all are stuck with me.

  • dianasschwenk

    Twice freshly pressed, congrats Smitty! I think you shouldn’t blog when you don’t feel like it and you should blog when you feel like it. Pretty deep huh? By the way, Happy 4th of July! ❤
    Diana xo

  • E.D.

    my viewings? about 179 per day through google. Well, that was last year, I have let the blog go now, the count is way down. I have plenty of quotes or pieces from well known authors that people often look up or search for. I will leave your blog up another 24 hours to see if anymore people “like” it, but I have a feeling that the likes may be automated or some of them are. Not sure.. Eve

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Sounds like you get quite a bit more traffic than I do! (I agree. I think there are Likes that come automatically — people just trying to use clicking “Like” as a way to publicize maybe? That’s got to be the case with all those Follows.)

      • E.D.

        how would they create the automatic likes? can it be done easily? – and what is the point? – seems like it beats the purpose, eh?

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Keep in mind this is guesswork on my part… I think the purpose is self-promotion. Likes do show up on a post, and others can see them. There was a time early on when I sometimes clicked the more interesting ones to find and explore new blogs.

        I sort of meant “automatic” in the reflexive sense. That people may see a post in the Latest posts tab and Like it reflexively just to self-promote their own blog. That said, there are also ways of actually truly automating responses. All that spam we get comes from programs, not people.

        And, yeah! Totally defeats the purpose. (But I’ve never been entirely sold on the whole Likes thing. Never did like popularity contests.)

  • SelfAwarePatterns

    My own blogging frequency has gone way down this year, so I definitely know where you’re at. In fact, my overall online activity has gone down. In my case, life and work has simply become more intense and my mental energy for blogging has been crowded out, at least to some degree. I’m also in a state where I’ve posted on most of my philosophical and scientific views, and posting on them again and again is starting to seem, well, repetitive.

    On commenting and feedback, I think it pays to remember that, generally, only 1/10th of your readers will *ever* comment or even look at the commenting section, and of them, only 1/10th will comment regularly. (Most of these will be bloggers.) In other words, your regular commenters are about 1% of your readership.

    For me, I think the thing I keep trying to remember is that a blog post doesn’t have to be a large scale production. Even a short insightful thought will often be interesting to our readers.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Good points, all, especially that last one. A lot of the time I spend on a given post often involves the searching for “just the right” images to use as counterpoint. I keep thinking I should stop doing that and just write. Maybe that would reduce the perceived “energy barrier” I have for blogging. (But that’s exactly the policy I do use on my Hard Core Coder blog, and I write there even less than I do here.)

      I keep vowing to take a less formal tack with shorter posts, but I keep falling back into my usual style. Oh, well, it’s my blog and I’ll write long, involved, detailed posts if I want to. I’ll cry if I want to, too! :\

      One percent, eh? If so, based on my low page-hit counts, my readers (clearly a superior class of people) are actually a little more prone to comment than average. Bravo readers!

      There is, perhaps, some value in repetition in that very few readers ever explore your post history. On the assumption that new readers come along, it can be worth reprising favorite old topics for that new audience. I have a long ways to go for that, though. I have topics I opened and never finished discussing and tons of notes about possible blog posts. And there are always new movies and books.

      If nothing else, we space fans can write about Pluto and New Horizons. Eight days away now! And did you hear about the glitch that put the spacecraft in “safe mode” yesterday? Nine days to go, and it scares the crap out of us! Looks like NBD, but not what you want to see this close to the mission’s Main Event!

      (And I’m still waiting for the Dawn spacecraft orbiting Ceres to return images proving that The Bright Spot is actually a crashed alien Von Neumann probe… an event I’ve waited for all my life! XD )

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        Excellent point about the fact that readers rarely explore our archives. If we want to promote our views, we do have to keep doing the repetition. For some reason, I didn’t have an issue with that when I was just commenting on other people’s blogs and articles, but I’ve always felt a bit self-conscious about it with actual posts. Guess I just need to get over that.

        Yikes! I hadn’t heard that about NH. That’s scary, particularly since it’s looking like the window to get clear pictures is going to be brief. I’ve been surprised by how close NH is having to get before it get take clear pictures, but I’m sure it has something to do with being 32 AU out and sunlight being pretty dim out there.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        It’s apparently the second time NH has entered safe mode since it started, but it sounds like that can happen sometimes. (As you surely know, for safety, systems are designed to do that if they see any anomaly in system data.) Given the timing, they want to be very, very sure about what happened before they continue with the science program.

        As you say, the encounter will be brief — NH is moving about 14 km/s with respect to Pluto and this is just a pass by. (In contrast, the Moon’s orbital speed is only 1 km/s. NH is moving with just under half of Earth’s orbital speed of 30 km/s.) AIUI, the angle of the cameras is the primary limiting factor (along with the briefness of the encounter). They’re optimized for great photos at the close encounter range, so we’re not seeing much yet. (But what we are seeing is still pretty cool!)

        I was very surprised to learn that there’s more light out there than one might think. (Certainly more than I thunk!) NASA has a great site that really communicates the reality: Pluto Time! Enter in your location and it tells you what time of evening in your location has the same light level as Pluto. For me, today, in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, it’s only 9:08 PM. The site also has photos (you can submit your own) showing images people took at “Pluto Time” in their area.

        It says something about the light the Sun is putting out!

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        Man, I’m glad I’m not the sysadmin for that thing. It would truly stink if it zonked out at the wrong moment and have to be responsible for fixing it. Although given the environment it’s in (probably about 30 Kelvin), it’s amazing it’s functioning as well as it is.

        Pluto time? Interesting. Just set an alarm for my local Pluto time. (8:14 CST) I’m curious to see what it looks like.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Pretty light out, right? Being that far out you’d think it would be way darker. I’ve had to seriously re-adjust my perception of what Titan must be like (or Ganymede or Europa, for that matter).

        (I think I must have mentioned the pair of James P. Hogan books about an alien Von Neumann probe that’s stricken by being too close to a supernova and ultimately crashes on Titan where it becomes the source of a diverse race of evolved intelligent machine life. Hogan essentially does a Darwinian evolution thing — complete with sexual reproduction — with machines. (Hogan is an “ideas” writer. He spends a lot of time describing the evolutionary process.) I’d always imagined Titan as being very dark, but even with the cloud cover, it’s likely far closer to twilight than night.)

        How much must it suck to be the guy responsible for the error that costs a satellite! It’s bad enough being the guy on the team that loses The Big Game. A better analogy might be training for the Olympics and then seriously screwing up your Big Chance. There are things that are not the result of human error — cosmic ray glitches, unexpected failures (as you mentioned, the environment is harsh!) — but sometimes it’s also, as they say, “pilot error!”

        No reason to suspect that with the NH, but how’d you like to be the guy responsible for the loss of half the data traffic from the Titan lander? I believe that one was pilot error. And what a bummer to lose half the science data. Be very, very glad they intentionally split the picture data into both channels!

        The pictures from the Venus and Titan landers are some of my all-time favorite “space” pics. (Mars, too, but that one is becoming almost old hat.) Images from (the surface of) an actual alien planet. So impressive!

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        I actually missed Pluto time last night. Something came up with work and I was busy dealing with it. The sky was heavily overcast anyway; it had been raining all day. Maybe this evening.

        The latest reports make it sound like they have NH under control. But I think everyone’s going to be nervous now until it’s passed Pluto.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Yeah! Their news release says, “The underlying cause of the incident was a hard-to-detect timing flaw in the spacecraft command sequence…” That does sound like a design bug of some kind, and one has to wonder if the “timing flaw” is systemic or confined to the one command sequence (which they say won’t be repeated during the flyby). This is the second time the spacecraft has entered “safe mode” so on what little I know, I’m nervous! 😮

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Looks like we can relax. The anomaly is well-understood and due to specific actions. Should be no problems for the flyby.
        http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/07061400-new-horizons-back-in-action.html

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        I read that too. Emotionally though, after being reminded that things can go wrong on the 4.4 billion kilometer distant probe, I’ll be relieved when it’s made its pass and we’ve successfully netted cool pictures and data.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        True dat! I think I’m just flashing back to my field tech days. There were times a machine had a problem, and over the course of trying to diagnose it, you never find it, but the machine starts working anyway. You walk away wondering if it was a “one off” or a symptom of something hidden (or maybe something you fixed just in poking around).

        But if you found a cause, then you had higher confidence you understood the situation. That happened because this happened. Still, as you suggest, there are no guarantees. My clients sometimes used to complain, “But it was working yesterday!” Yeah, well, light bulbs work right up to the moment they don’t.

        Less than a week away! It’s starting to get exciting. It’s been a long, long wait!!

  • Steve Morris

    Congrats on the milestone! Most people don’t make it that far. And Freshly Pressed twice! Awesome. I understand your feeling though. I stopped blogging last summer for a while, and felt a kind of freedom. But I returned (bloggas gotta blog.) Post when you have something to say, otherwise shut up. A good strategy, which should be applied more widely (not just to blogging.)

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Thank you! “[A] kind of freedom.” Yeah, exactly. Posting weekly — let alone daily — feels like work. And I’m retired, I supposedly put all that behind me! (Although, in my case, I have to admit there’s no lack of something to say — that’s never been the problem. It’s more that the effort-benefit balance is unfavorable. But, as you say, bloggers gotta blog.)

  • rung2diotimasladder

    I tried to leave a comment, but I guess I took too long to hit “post” and it didn’t go through.

    Well congratulations on your number of followers and posts! I don’t know how people get so many followers.

    I’m adopting the “no obligation” philosophy to blogging…and writing in general. I see no reason to sacrifice sanity and happiness for self-imposed deadlines.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I think it’s possible for a comment entry window to “time out” and refuse to accept entry. There are systems I’ve worked with that definitely kick you off after a certain period of idleness (and I’ve designed time-sensitive systems myself).

      Being Freshly Pressed brings in a lot of Followers, although you never hear from them again. As I implied in the post, based on evidence of their actual existence (mostly page hits), I have 50 Followers tops. Ten or so comment, at least on occasion; about five do regularly. Over the four years there have been maybe five others who were regulars, but who’ve moved on.

      I do seem to have a community, but it’s a very small one (my mini-legion!). I try to return the favor in all cases.

      Life is short; eat dessert first! I think it’s like a lot of things: You have to do it (writing, in this case) mainly for yourself. That need to create — regardless of response — is (I think) at the core of being an artist. It’s the difference between imaginative and artistic people; the latter have to express their imagination via some medium. In a narrow and restrictive sense, I only really think it’s art when it does come from that need. Bespoke art, or self-imposed deadlines, add a tinge of “work” to the art. That need not affect the quality, but it can affect the “feel” or “soul” of the art.

      I can often sense the love of subject and need to create behind some of the smaller movies. There is something that shines through that elevates and otherwise low-budget (sometimes cheesy or downright “B-movie”) production. You can almost feel how much everyone involved wanted to make this particular movie. Auteur films often have this quality, since they’re usually labors of love.

      But I digress… XD

      • rung2diotimasladder

        I like having a little mini-legion. I feel like we’re all friends. It’s great.

        I agree about art, which is why I don’t enjoy hearing writers complain about having nothing to write about. I just think, “Well, then don’t write! It’s that simple.” On the other hand, there are people who actually make a living doing what they love, and these are the ones for whom art could easily turn into work. Deadlines are not self-imposed in these cases, and I can sympathize with these people. I feel pretty lucky to be able to take my time doing what I do.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I’ve been online since the 1980s, and this is what happens. Groups of people drift into “virtual clubs” that turn up at the same watering holes over time. You get to know people, and often conversation crosses from topic to personal. It’s especially cool because the club is global — you can have eFriends from all over the world. And these friends, because of the common interests that brought you together in the first place, often are a wonderful resource for when you get stuck on some problem.

        And, generally, you never actually meet any of them. (Some of the groups on the Newsvine platform used to stage annual parties that would attract members from all over the USA.)

        I agree. When art is your avocation rather then your vocation, you have that wonderful freedom. While my profession wasn’t particularly artistic (computer programmer), I really loved what I did. That made work something I usually looked forward to, but it did still impose constraints that sometimes chaffed or took the fun out of the work. (It’s that same feeling of necessity that makes me rebel against blogging regularly.)

        The distinction between “commercial art” and “personal art” is important. The former is always bespoke and often has a specific agenda (such as selling toothpaste). The latter, to some extent, is more what people sometimes mean when they refer to “art” — an attitude that (rightfully) bugs commercial artists! 😮

        On quite a few levels, we’re pretty lucky to be complaining about not blogging! XD

      • rung2diotimasladder

        I often wonder what it would be like to stick all of my “mini-legion” into a room together in real life. I don’t know that it would work out…I imagine a lot of awkward silences as we all realize we’re not who we thought we were: “Wow, Tina was so thoughtful online. In real life, she’s really a ditz. And so-and-so won’t shut up and stop interrupting. And so-and-so is too quiet.” Etc. Or maybe not, and we’d all end up having the best time. Who knows.

        “On quite a few levels, we’re pretty lucky to be complaining about not blogging!”

        Yes, exactly!

      • Wyrd Smythe

        From what experience I’ve had actually meeting people I’ve known for a while online, it can be a little weird (but often it works out okay). Being social online is a different skill than being social in real time. But the social part is there; we’re hardly total recluses.

        Probably, as with any party of mixed strangers, you want to have activities or something that serves as ice breaker and gets the ball rolling.

  • hitbag

    We will continue till our last breath…

  • E.D.

    just a word or two. what happened to hariod, i don’t see he/she around anymore, although the blog is going well. More like a personal fan club, now how does he./she do that? 😉

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Hariod used to visit my blog a lot, and we had some very interesting dicussions, but he vanished a few posts into my Special Relativity series and hasn’t been back since. We’ve exchanged a few words on other blogs, though, so he (it is he) is still around.

      There may be a personal element involved here. He deleted a comment I’d made on his blog because “it doesn’t really add to anything as far as other readers are concerned, and it sounds a bit tetchy if I may say so”. That pretty much determined me to stop visiting his blog, since I have a different opinion about why he deleted my comment. Specifically, I think he found my questions a little too probing, and that may be why he’s avoiding me here. Or maybe he just decided I wasn’t his sort or whatever. Or maybe it has nothing to do with any of that, and things have just changed in his life.

      You never know… one of the sagest pieces of advice I ever heard came from someone’s grandmother who taught her daughter and grand-daughter (and through the latter, me) that when it comes to people acting negative in any way, it’s best to keep in mind that it may just be that their shoes hurt (either literally or metaphorically).

      • E.D.

        not surprised. i had a feeling he was visiting many blogs, commenting, and suggesting, as he did to me, to change things. i felt uncomforable with that.. I visited his blog, nicely laid out etc. but i couldn’t never understand it.. Others gushed. I left. No my thing either. Sadly blogging is a lot less friendly than F.B. where i do actually get to know the people well, and many are very supportive.. Errrrr – however, i have not found this in blogging.. But hey, i am going to try you tubes – more fun.. Eve

      • Wyrd Smythe

        He’s selling something. His book, for sure, but also a point of view that goes along with it. From our very first conversation, the way he talked about it raised red flags for me. Not saying he’s a con man or snake oil salesman, but con men and snake oil salesmen use language and hand-waving very similar to what I get from him on that topic (but not on other more mundane topics, such as dogs, beer, or music — we do very well there).

        I accept that I don’t know it all (by any stretch) and may have blind spots my mind doesn’t easily go. So it’s possible he’s on to something valid and I just don’t have the capacity to get it. But there isn’t much in life that I don’t get, at least to some middling degree, so I’ve always been on the fence about whether he’s just above and beyond me (which is possible), he’s fooling himself (which is fine if a bit sad), or he’s fooling everyone else (which is cynical and bad).

        The more we discussed that point of view of his, the more I became convinced it was snake oil. It was my trying to pin him down on what the fuck he was talking about that caused him to delete a comment I’d made on his blog. No doubt he didn’t want his fan club confused by someone who wasn’t buying into his schtick.

        OR… I’m just a big asshole. Wouldn’t be the first time.

        You’ve been lucky, I guess, on Facebook. Many complain about the bad behavior of people there. (I deleted my FB account over a year ago because everytime I logged in I wondered what I was doing there.) Apparently it’s worse — much worse — on YouTube, and that I am familiar with… some pretty nasty people out there. I just watch the videos that interest me and avoid reading (let alone contributing) to the comments there.

      • E.D.

        My facebook a/c is good. Often have great conversations there. My main interest is photography,, so I join the groups where other photographers post. So my life there is good.. You tube can be nasty, and commenting is always to be cautiously applied . My you tubes will be those about Rumi the Poet, not anything that would draw out the bad in people. Yep, something was not quite sincere with H. He used to give me a ‘beware’ feeling, although he came over as very nice and extremely high class, educated. I have no idea what his agenda was – selling his book? – I found his writing hard to understand.. Of course he had a following, all those that thought they were very very clever, and understood everything he wrote on.. Well so much for word press and their blogs.. eve

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Yeah, I can see that photography probably isn’t something that generally gets peoples’ dander up. I’ve seen people on YT go off on someone for some really minor stuff, though, so you never know.

        It’s actually nice knowing I’m not the only one who reacted to H that way. I was always painfully aware that it could just be me.

      • E.D.

        I felt uncomforatable from the start, a) he was always commenting when no one else did. He often did not like the posts and in a round-about-way pointed out their short-comings. He was always out there – like trying to gain support. Whatever he did, it worked. He has a huge following, loads of comments on his blog posts, and hundreds of likes.. Now, he is nowhere to be found on our blogs. Personally, I think he was into somesort of marketing game, i certainly did not understand. I only intuited that he was not that sincere… Eve

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I don’t always click the [Like] button if I’m commenting. I figure a positive comment includes the fact that I like the post, although I suppose some bloggers might wonder over a perceived disconnect. As you mentioned on your blog, the [Like] button has so many meanings (“I read”, “I liked”, “I support you”, “I want you to visit my blog”) that it really has no meaning. (That’s why I’ve never turned on [Like] for individual comments although the notifications system allows people to [Like] comments anyway.)

        Haroid is still active on some of the blogs I visit, and we’ve interacted on those blogs. As I mentioned, there may be a personal aspect to why he doesn’t visit my blog. It’s possible he realized you weren’t buying what he was selling and moved on. [shrug] It is what it is.

  • E.D.

    sorry about errors, late here, has not been a good day.

  • Marvin Edwards

    I don’t have that much to say. There are just a few topics that I believe I might understand better than most people. So I’ve posted about morality, religion, free will, college honor courts and maybe a couple others. Then I do a search on the tag and address the specific topics that interest me on someone else’s blog.

    I’m kind of curious what constitutes a “follower”. Is that the same thing as a subscriber? If it is then your lack of visits would be less significant since the subscriber would get an e-mail notification, and may just read it there.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Welcome to the blog, Marvin!

      “Follower” and “subscriber” are basically the same thing, although the former may be more generic. The latter implies notifications of new material sent to the subscriber, whereas followers may need to check something (like the WP Reader or their RSS feed) to see new material. I’d call a subscriber a follower, but not vice versa (to me, subscription means “gets notified”).

      Those outside WP can’t use the Reader, so they have to subscribe based on their email. Or constantly check back for new posts or comments (which makes them informal followers).

      Just to make it confusing, you can follow or subscribe to the comments of a given post.

      Of course, that’s just my take on it.

  • wakemenow

    Take your time and post whenever you feel like it, Wyrd. Like you said, bloggers gotta blog. And it’s not like we really have that much of an obligation to “the readership.” Screw it. Just say whatever you feel like saying whenever the mood sways you. 😉

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