It isn’t about the numbers…
In the past I have invited readers to examine the stats for my blogs. I regularly check these, and how my numbers are going on Facebook (friends, page likes, insights) and Twitter (followers, unfollowers and impressions on Twitter analytics).
When I began Sue’s considered trifles I had a notebook in which I wrote the title of each post and the date it was published. It made it easy to keep track of the number of posts. After each 39 posts I had a summary post. Now I am only posting links to earlier posts, I am not counting or even keeping a list of the titles. I have confused myself and the post-counter on WordPress by accidentally publishing at least one post before I intended and having had to restore its status to draft before scheduling it for the correct month.
I am aware that many people use apps to follow Tweeps (Twitter people), who are likely to follow them back or to unfollow those who didn’t (follow them back). I only use an app to find out who unfollowed me. There is no point taking unfollows personally, although there is plenty of advice about how not to annoy people on Twitter.
Those readers, who look at my posts on computers rather than phones, may have noticed that I have now linked my Twitter to this blog. I have been learning how it works. Apparently Tweets I send to the Twitterverse rather than to individuals appear in my preview stream. Those sent to individuals do not. (It is possible to change these settings.)
I am also learning what the camera on my phone is capable of. Sometimes I share the results here or on Twitter. And people like pictures. So I am going to add a few to this post. They have already appeared on Twitter.
Because I watch my stats closely, I am aware that I have had extra views as a direct result of having a post featured by post40bloggers. Belonging to groups on Facebook also allows me to promote posts from time to time. I find that Twitter leads to more referrals than my Facebook page does. Now that may have something to do with numbers.
So, why is it not about the numbers?
It is my hope that something I write in every post will encourage or inform (or even amuse) at least one reader. Although it appears fairly random, how people find my posts (categories and tags help here, but I am careful not to use so many that my posts are excluded from the WordPress Reader) I believe that God is able to direct people to the reading matter they will enjoy or find helpful. I have found that the saying, Build it and they will come, does not apply to information on the internet. Rather we have to build it and decorate it with banners and flashing lights. (I don’t like anything which flashes on a web-page I am trying to read, so you won’t find any real flashing lights here.)
WordPress stresses numbers. There are summaries of numbers of blogs, numbers of posts, and numbers of anything else, which can be measured easily. It serves to remind ordinary bloggers how big the internet is and how unlikely people are to spot our blogs, unless we make ourselves known by commenting on or liking other blogs, responding to comments on our own blogs and finding ways of letting potential readers know that we exist. Each blog post is just a drop in the ocean of online information. And, in case you are wondering, the photos are not of “the ocean”, but the Irish Sea.
Writers sow seeds. There is a picture in the Bible of how messages are spread by more than one person. St Paul wrote, I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 1 Corinthians 3:6 (NIV)