I read a post at a business blog in which the author said his blog was more popular than ever before, but that comments were diminishing to a commensurate degree. He sourced this issue to other social media, especially Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. His solution was to close comments at his blog and participate more in those other media.
I have seen a similar thing at my own weblog - more readers than ever before (hi everyone!) but fewer comments, and not even much use of the anonymous "reading quietly" button. I don't think this is a reflection on how blog reading in general has changed, for plenty of blogs still get a lot of comments. I think it is more a matter of how people read weblogs like mine.
I imagine if I posted more about my days, and about my daughter's wonderful adventures, I might attract more comments. That kind of blogging would be a drawing in. Famous people and popular bloggers also get a lot of comments - people want to be part of the experience. What I do here is more a giving out. The energy makes for a different audience response.
To be clear, I'm not complaining, nor asking for more comments. I've always been interested in these background issues of web journalling, and now and again like to write about them.
This post is actually not about comments, but about how blogging continues to shift - moving, I think, closer to the heart of what people love best about internet connection, which I believe is the connection aspect. The chance to experience, through words and especially images, the experiences of other people, kindred spirits, those doings things we wish we could be doing, those who are able to articulate our own half-dreamed thoughts, those a little ahead on the same path we are travelling. I don't believe we (generally speaking) use this as a substitute for "real" friendship, but as a special kind of community of its own, and yes a kind of friendship. (Would you refuse friendship with a blind person just because they couldn't see you?)
I've seen several weblogs which I love go silent as their authors move over to Facebook or, more commonly, Instagram. I haven't followed many of them to either place. Public Facebook lacks soul, and there's something about Instagram which troubles me, although I can't entirely articulate what that might be. Something about oversharing? About speeding towards a future way of being in society that we haven't considered deeply enough? Or maybe it's just me not wanting the extra expense of buying data for my phone.
So because Facebook and Instagram don't offer me a sense of real connection, I'll be continuing on with my little weblog for a while yet. (I mean public Facebook, not my beloved private feed.) But the truth is, I am an overthinking late adopter and always feel a little silly when I finally concede to the merits of an idea or experience. You are all welcome to laugh at me when I do open a KTW Facebook page or an Instagram account. In the meanwhile, I'll keep trying to open my life experience so others may share the beauty of my surroundings and the goodness I find in the world.
Photos processed with Kim Klassen textures for Texture Tuesday.