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In reply to: Pondering Doc Searls’ Thoughts about blogging – Social Thoughts

@colinwalker.blog and others are posting interesting thoughts on the state of blogging. I’ve read and re-read this particular post. Working out something. Still not 100% certain where I’m headed with this, but something that I keep thinking about is analytics and how it relates to readership.

I don’t use Google Analytics, but I’m able to get a rough idea of visits by watching traffic hit my server. I use webalizer to handle that. You can find 2 months worth of those stats at eli.li/navel-gazing. The bulk of my traffic seems to be RSS. I imagine that is because that is how my site posts to Micro.blog.

In his post, Colin Walker notes that Social platforms claim to be powered by engagement but it’s the wrong kind of engagement,” and, if I can step in, the wrong kind of engagement in that social networks are predicated on devouring attention. Attention equals time spent on that social network during which you can be served ads.

The indieweb and blogging are also vying for folks attention, but not for the sake of advertising. Blogging is sort of like doing semaphore into a crowd and hoping someone knows how to answer. You flail your wordy-arms hopping to get someones attention. Why?

Leaning existential

I’d say to participate in a community. I’d say to build breadcrumbs of one’s daily life. I like the idea of a blog as a personal timeline. A timeline of the significant, and the mundane.

Anyways…analytics. I thought it interesting that one way social networks keep folks engaged is through showing folks how their posts are doing, either through likes, favs, or easily digestible analytics. Meanwhile, does knowing how many page views your blog is getting help? Does it make you feel heard?

I think bona fide responses are the only real way to gain that feeling…someone taking the time to work out a reply. Conversation is the ticket for blogging and the indieweb. I know I get warm fuzzies when I see a webmention come in that is a reply, not just a like. I think micro.blog is a good layer to the blogging ecosystem because it empowers conversation. Reduces the friction.

…of course, replies are usually contingent on worthwhile content.

BUT! On that note, a return: …does it make you feel heard?” Does that matter? Is that the goal?

It probably doesn’t need to be so defined. Sometimes you just wanna write, albeit into the void. Case and point, see above.