Monday, 20 July 2015

If you have a blog

then how often do you post something on it?
Yesterday I had to wait for a short time before I could go on with what I was doing so I looked idly at the blogs in my reading list. I was curious about when some of them had last been used. I knew I had not seen a post in a long time but I was startled to discover that several had been dormant for years.  They may even be extinct. I don't know.
Several more have not posted for months or there may be months between posts.
Others post more often. Some, like "An Awfully Big Blog Adventure", are written by more than one person. 
Blogs with multiple posters tend to come out on a regular basis. People know that it is their "turn" and that it doesn't occur too often. They can write it when they have time. They can schedule it to appear at the right time. 
I have, on rare occasions, scheduled a blog post to appear on a day when I have to leave too early to reasonably expect I will have time to write one. I am not sure why I bother. Is it a good thing? Should I allow people to expect a blog post? 
There is a blog I follow called "Jean's Knitting". The writer is someone who once, pre-my-blog days, sent me a pattern for a pair of kilt hose. We "know" one another in the virtual sense. She is elderly. Her husband is even more elderly. They have children and grandchildren - and now they have a kitten as well. Oh, she also knits. I suspect if I physically met her we would get along just fine  because her family sounds interesting. They have lived in far flung places. 
On the surface her blog doesn't sound as if it should be interesting but she has a good number following her. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that she writes well and she writes on a regular basis. Certainly when there was silence for a few days her son had to finally post a short piece to say she had been admitted to hospital and would resume her writing on her return. Comments streamed in.
I may be wrong but I suspect it is "regularity" which matters. People need to know that there is going to be another post.  If  you post on a daily or weekly basis then that is what people will expect. If you only have something to say once a month but you do post once a month then that's fine. I suspect that is about as big as the interval could get for a "regular" blog. 
There may be other blogs which are irregular but still welcome. I suspect they are more "advertising" than "blogging". They are there for the purpose of making an announcement of where someone was or where they will be. They serve a purpose but are they really blogs?
I am still not sure what a blog is really intended to be or what the world thinks it should be. I really don't know why I bother except that I look on it as a daily writing exercise. If I don't do any other writing then I have written something. It keeps my mind alert when I don't have the luxury of daily physical contact with people in a work setting. I have to find something to write about.
I have written all of this because someone who occasionally seems to find time to read these witterings has said she is considering a blog post publication of a book. I admire her for considering it at all. She will have an immediate and immense following. 
Blogs seem to be about who you are, what you are and even where you are. (I follow one blog from a fellow knitter who travels often and another from a fellow writer who lives in Israel. They are interesting people.) But I still suspect the thing that keeps a blog alive is posting regularly.
If you have thoughts about what makes a blog something people want to read then is "regularity" one of these? 


kayT said...

I found your blog from Jean's (you were in the comments) and yes, the fact that she posts daily is a good part of my enjoyment of her blog. The continuity lets it seem like a real friendship, I think. So, seeing that you post daily, I'll be back!

Allison said...

Regularity is not what initially makes me read a blog but it certainly helps keep me around. I love daily though I think you and Jean are the only ones I read that are a daily event (though there's a gardening one that is almost daily). I realize that daily can be a heavy task to maintain and I really admire those who are able to do it.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you just what attracts me and then keeps me reading. There are other blogs I have tried and read for a while but eventually just drifted away. Some of those posted daily or almost daily so I didn't leave for lack of posts.

It's like books. You follow your favorite authors rabidly, grabbing every new thing as soon as possible. But every so often you realize that you just really no longer care about a particular series or even anything by a particular author.

On the other hand, some regularity is really appreciated both in blogs and in books. I have quit bothering to check on some blogs that I enjoyed because there was just too much 'dead air'. I have not intentionally dropped authors who do not produce books regularly but when they publish very irregularly and with long intervals between books, I have lost track of them (which comes to the same thing as dropping them).

Sometimes I have also dropped a series that took years to go on to the next story but I suspect that has less to do with taking too long and more to do with whether the author/concept/characters were still capable of piquing my interest.

As I've heard said many times -- It's a mystery.

jeanfromcornwall said...

You and Jean start my day. I get a lot of things to think about from you, and the pleasure of Jean's elegant prose, even when she does not have a great deal to say. I have the advantage of having met her just once, so I can say that she is just as special as her blog makes her seem.
I feel sorry for my own neglected blog. A lot of things have got in the way - internet woes, computer woes, and health woes that I don't want to whinge about in public. It comes down to this: blogging regularly gets to be a habit. If anything gets in the way of that, it gets harder and harder to keep it going. This is why I am impressed and relieved that Jean is back almost daily. She has immense strength of character.
Thanks go to her, and to you, Cat.

catdownunder said...

thank you kayT - I'll keep trying. That's helpful Allison because I lose track of people too!
Jean, you and I shared that concern for t'other Jean! I knew something had to be wrong when she didn't appear for several days. The strength of character comes through.