|"Can I please get some respect here?"|
What Hath I Wrought?
"If you open a can of worms you might as well make spaghetti." "When you bust a beehive you'd better run like hell." Maybe you've heard those sayings before. I never have and I think I just made them up for this post. You're welcome to use them whenever you want to. Be sure to link to this post if you do use them (so this post can get more hits).
In any case, my Monday post Do You Feel Respected as a Blogger? did a little of both of these things. I sure busted the beehive and got swarmed, but I ain't runnin'. I'm gonna face the swarm and the stings and try to calm the buzz that was created by that post. The spaghetti thing sounds disgusting but that probably is the best solution to the controversy stirred by the post in question.
I'd planned on taking the respect issue to a different level today and tie everything together neatly into a compact little post. Fat chance of that I guess. First there were your comments. Thanks to all who left such fantastic comments on my "Respected Blogger" post. I know I can usually count on my readers to provide great comments, but this time you outdid yourself. Did you ever! That threw one monkey wrench into my short sweet Friday post idea.
Then Alex J. Cavanaugh went and threw a hornet's nest into the bee fray with his response to my post. Time to be afraid! We had bees and hornets and earthworms all over the place and everybody running like crazy. I will say that most everyone was running to the same place but I won't get into that today if I'm going to have a relatively short post that more than a dozen people will read. Today I just want to define some of the terms being used and elucidate what may have been misunderstood in my Monday post.
A Clarification of What Some Wondered
In answer to the question "Did your blog post go viral?", the answer is no. Nor did I expect my Monday post to go viral. The content for virality wasn't there. My Monday post was an information gathering post and I think it was pretty successful in that respect.
My ratio of comments to page views was 50% which is way higher than I normally get. That was until Alex's post drew more traffic and the ratio dropped to just under 40% which is still not bad. On a typical post I get an average of 25% of those who stop by leaving a comment which I find acceptable. As the page view numbers increase the comment ratio decreases. On my posts that have surpassed 1000 views the comment ratio goes down to about 1% --and that's getting into the realm of more comments than I can handle comfortably so 1% of the high numbers is fine by my estimation.
However let's save the stats issue for another post as it gets a bit more complicated--too complex to get into on a short Friday post. Alex and many others brought up the stat issue and it's an important one for bloggers to address. There were other issues mentioned as well that will be examined in a later post. As it is, today's post is getting too long if I am to take into account what some of you indicated in the "Blogger Respect" post comments. Likewise, I will examine in a later post the subject of viral posts--what they are and why we would want them.
Here's the Point I Was Trying to Make in my
"Blogger Respect" Post
For me--and I think for many of you--the act of writing a blog post includes an intrinsic desire for someone to read what we have labored to produce on our little sites. We read each others blog bits and say nice things and hope that they in turn will come see our site and say nice things in return. It's all nice with feelings of love and friendship and, yes, respect within the community in which we blog. There's nothing wrong with that and I thought I clearly indicated that in my "Blogger Respect" piece. I cast no condemnation or disdain for the concept of blogger community.
The respect question that I was asking had more to do with how those outside the community look at your or my blogging activity. Are we respected as bloggers beyond our own limited community?
When I first started my blog I was so proud and excited to be a blogger. I told my friends and family about my new blog. I put up my blog link on Facebook. I even printed up business cards with my blog address so I could give them to the people I would engage in conversation about my blog. I was excited, but I was about the only one. People I'd talk to about my blog would politely listen and then change the topic a soon as they could. No one cared. Business cards probably ended up in trash cans. I wasn't getting any respect for being a blogger.
Even after I'd become fairly established as a blogger and known in the community of bloggers with whom I interacted, I didn't get any real respect for my blogging from most people outside that community. In the writers group I attend they gave me the floor to talk about blogging and then moved on without much of a word more. Blogging is apparently not real writing to most of them.
"Blogger" is almost like a joke in some circles. Other than a few high profile bloggers, the press looks at us with disdain much of the time. Even President Obama referred to "bloggers" in an almost derogatory fashion in a speech on Thursday October 17, 2013. Most of us are just wannabe journalistic types, people yakking about some niche they're absorbed with, or small time authors trying to get their books noticed--not what I think but I'm speculating that this is along the lines of what a good many people probably think when they hear the term "blogger".
LET ME REITERATE!! THAT LAST THOUGHT IS NOT THE WAY I SEE IT. I am one of you (those of you who blog for whatever reason)! I am a blogger and I'm proud of what I do and I respect what you do. I am glad to be a part of such a special community of humans. But I want blogging to be more respected than it is. The world doesn't have to read our blogs, but it would be nice if they considered blogging to be just as viable a means of communication as other forms of journalism and writing.
I hope this clarifies my position on what I consider respect as a blogger. Perhaps I did not express myself well enough on Monday. Or perhaps some were not reading closely enough or misconstrued what I had said. Or maybe I was misinterpreting the signals I was receiving in the response to what I had said. Maybe one of you who is more precisely analytical than I (Andrew Leon or Jagoda for example) can tell me what happened.
I want respect as a blogger just as I think you would like to be respected for the life accomplishments of which you are proud. But there is more to this than what I've touched upon in this post. Upcoming posts will explore the concepts of the viral blog post and community. And I will also take the issue of respect to the next level as I have been promising. I hope you stay with me and continue to provide me information that can be helpful to all of us.
And to think that my post about respect was just a tossed out lead-in to my Battle of the Bands post on Tuesday! You can still visit that post and cast your vote if you'd like. And you can see what song inspired my "Blogger Respect" post. Thanks to all of you who do that.
Did I clarify what I mean by respect as a blogger? Do you think that a lot of non-bloggers just don't get what blogging is about? From a professional standpoint, do you see blogging as something that is worthwhile or mostly a matter of being a part of a community in a hobby-like fashion?
This weekend only you can get a free download of FAR OUT: The Hiidden Truth by Elbert Derryberry. The "sales" number went way up on Wednesday when I first announced the giveaway. Give this one a chance. Read my review at Amazon to get my take on this e-book.
A search for the Hidden Truth! A Futuristic Science Fiction adventure with a Christian slant. The hero travels through both space and time, to challenge the reader to question conventional wisdom and to look for the Hidden Truth.I know the author through the Writers Workshop West, the writing group of which I am a member. This is Mr. Derryberry's first book. I encourage you to download the book and give it a read. It's short so it will be a small investment of your time. And while it's free the monetary investment is nothing for you. If you read the book, please don't forget to review it on Amazon. Support this new author!