For Day Ten the Blogging 101 assignment is “Build a Better Blogroll”. This is the third day with emphasis on the social aspects of blogging. Building your community is certainly essential to blogging. For me it brings up some interesting problems.
There are two sides to WordPress. There is WordPress.COM with free blogs for individual bloggers. WordPress has built large communities supported with numerous tools to help bloggers interact with their audience.
There is also WordPress.ORG which provides the “engine” for hosted websites and is used by a significant fraction of all sites on the Internet. Although there is a great deal of commonality, the “.ORG” side does not provide many of the tools for the social networking that is of such high concern in Blogging 101.
It turns out that I have a collection of blogs with different orientations, some on “.COM” and some on “.ORG”. It also turns out that I picked the wrong type for this blog, Ludwig’s Ramblings. There are also many bloggers out there who listened to the siren call of hosting services and set up hosted sites running the “.ORG” WordPress engine. Widgets such as “Follow Button”, “Blogs I Follow”, “Posts I Like”, are not available to WordPress.ORG bloggers. Blogging 101 essentially ignores this difference, hoping, I assume, that anybody taking this course is a WordPress.COM blogger.
In my way of looking at blogging there are three types of readers out there.
Two of my blogs largely cater to “searchers”, people looking for some answer to a question. They use Google, Bing, and other search utilities. If a blog post has relevant information it will come up in the search results. The life blood of such blogs is content, let me emphasize this CONTENT, useful information, unique information, understandable information.
“Searchers” will read the post and move on. Very rarely such a reader might leave a comment, often if they have a question or problem that was not answered by the post. Rarely will they “follow” a blog. My blog Ask Ludwig gets about 75 views a day, it has but 36 followers.
The blog I started with, This ‘n That, has had this byline for as long as I can remember: “Ludwig’s space with some fun, some tips, some insights, some computer skills for us older folks“. The “tips” and “skills” covered in posts there made it over time into a place that “searchers” find. It helped in the early days that it was syndicated by Microsoft. In those days the blog got hundreds, even thousands of views. I have neglected the blog in the past year and my readership is down to fewer than a hundred a day. I do have over 100 followers, a number boosted by my Blogging 101 colleagues.
I still find it amusing that if you search “wicker chairs in aircraft” one of my earliest posts comes up high in the search results. Try it.
As I mentioned, I have over a hundred followers on my This ‘n That blog. That is also true for Gallery Ludwig (126) and close at Silver Canvas (94). These last two are my “presentation sites”. places where I show my photography and “cafe art”, usually one image per post. The daily view count is rarely as much as a handful, although I get a higher number of “Likes”. Followers see these images in their Reader, those views don’t count. Rarely do they click “Visit”, since they have seen it already. On days with no post (I rarely post more often than once a week) I generally get no views.
This blog, being in a quiet corner of my “gateway site”, has been seen recently mostly by Blogging 101 fellow participants.
Not having a “Follow” button has kept the follower count at zero. Many colleagues found there way to my other blogs and follow me there.
Followers see new posts in their Readers. They tend to interact with the blogs they follow much more actively, with “Likes” and comments.
My last category is “friends”, and it means just that. People who have become friends and interact not with a blog, but the writer, author, the actual person behind the blog. I am proud to say that I have a wonderful group of “efriends”. In many cases we have lively interchanges via email, sometimes Skype, in addition to post comments.
Now I can be reasonably confident that if you have read this far in this lengthy rambling, you are a friend!
Oh, yes, there is a way to follow this blog: in your Reader click the Manage button next to Followed Sites in the sidebar. The click Follow Site. The type cafeludwig.com into the entry field. Click Follow. Before you know it your reward will be on its way.
It’s not easy to follow a wordPress.ORG blog.
© 2016 Ludwig Keck