Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Thanks For Asking

I'm feeling much better now - thanks for asking.  The depressive crisis which looked set to overwhelm me early last week has passed - I managed to get things under control.  My state of mind was helped by effectively buying myself another six months or so at work - all I need to do in that time is to secure my position for another year, until my mortgage is paid off, and I'm home and dry.  Well, in theory, at least.  But like I said - thanks for asking.  Not that anyone did, obviously.  IT's the sort of thing which makes you wonder whether anyone ever reads this stuff.  Well, actually they do and, for what it's worth, the post about my feeling down was one of the most clicked on posts of the last week.  Yet nobody actually responded to it, (to be fair, I did quickly follow it up with a post saying how the depression had begun to recede).  But the questions of audience size and audience engagement perplex many who publish to the web.  There's no doubt that it often feels as if you are talking to yourself - even when you know that there are visitors to your site, or listeners to your podcast, they still don't respond.

Many newcomers to the web, not to mention those who don't publish online, are surprised by the lack of feedback most web endeavours receive.  But they shouldn't be - just ask yourself how many times you've actually bothered to comment on something you've read, or heard, or seen and liked?  I know that I'm very remiss in this regard.  As a site owner, you quickly learn that people are far more likely to comment if they want to be negative and this negativity is usually expressed in the most offensive, poorly spelt and unpunctuated form possible.  That said, by far and away the biggest source of comments are spammers.  Usually automated, but sometimes manual, they are prolific posters of utter gibberish linking back to whatever it is they're trying to sell.  Which is why some of us make it as difficult as possible to post comments on their sites.  Here, all comments are moderated and won't appear without my approval, whilst over at The Sleaze, I won't allow comments at all.  So I really don't know why I'm being so sarcastic about the lack of response to a post made over a week ago.  Besides, should we really be worried about visitor numbers and engagement.  Sure, if you are running a commerce site, then such things are important.  But for those of us putting out non-commercial, more esoteric content, then really our main motivation should surely be artistic - we should be doing this because we want to, because we enjoy it and because we think we have something to contribute.  If people actually read, enjoy and are maybe informed by it, then all the better.



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