Blogging consistently for four weeks has taught me many lessons.
I am an urban orchardist so I want to share my experience. I am a poet and I want to put forward my poetry so they do not languish in my computer. I am living with an incurable cancer and I want to write about how one can live with limitations, but still live.
What I discovered was a so-called virtual world that, though not ‘actual’, is living and real. . A world that does not listen passively to what you have to say; they respond. The ‘stats’ says so.
If navigating the dashboard is like exploring a minefield, then interpreting the ‘stats’ can be equally devastating. It has taken me almost a month (why am I still here?) to teach my heart not to jump to the columns of the charts.
WordPress urges others to visit your blog, Some take a look and each time they do, the chart goes up one. The number of ‘visitors’ does not correspond to how many people read your blog, but simply the number of people who pressed a button to see if it’s worth reading.
The number of ‘views’ are more reassuring, especially when you can see that the ‘visitors’ have roamed about your blog to ‘look at’ your posts. They are more than curious; they may be a little bit interested.
If you think the number of ‘likes’ confirms that people read your stuff and like it; do not be fooled.
It ain’t necessarily so
I am told that some bloggers routinely ‘like’ a bunch of posts to elicit interest in their own blogs; they may or may not have read those posts. Every time you read someone’s blog and ‘liked’ it, you are also putting the same pressure on them. It goes both ways. That is why the wise usually receives the ‘likes’ with gratitude but refrains from celebration.
What I value most are the ‘comments’. At least some of the comments are telling me that they have indeed read my words, appreciated what I wrote and want to connect with me to tell me so. At least they have done more than press a button; though comments are not always compliments.
Recently I read that someone was abused for ‘liking’ someone else’s blog and not leaving a comment. Now, abuse has no place anywhere. No one owes you anything – they don’t have to visit you, read your stuff, like it or comment on it. You have a choice to keep your work ‘private’ but if you ‘publish’, then take your place in this world full of wonderful images, poetry and words. Be patient for acknowledgement of your own contribution but put away your ego. Know that you are only a small part of a great thing and be content.