On the Audience-to-Blog-to-Audience Feedback Loop

Well, I’ve missed posting for a few days. I wonder if my readers have noticed the absence. I’ve still been learning, but I haven’t been finding it easy to write about what I’ve been learning. Not all learning is for sharing. This speaks to the issue of audience, which I’ve written about on a couple of occasions. I do consider audience. I don’t want to put stuff up here that is boring and meaningless. One of the findings in one of the blog research articles I read noted that there was a small percentage of bloggers who didn’t care about audience at all. They simply wrote for their own purposes, never even considering that someone might read their stuff. At the time I found that bizarre. Now, not so much. I am now more aware that there are, in fact, some non-audience-related purposes for blog-writing.

One of the aspects of writing for an audience, particularly in the case of writing a blog, is that the writer can monitor audience response. There is a “dashboard” in WordPress that shows me, among other things, how many times a post has been accessed (and read?). Don’t worry – it doesn’t give me any way to find out who has accessed it. You anonymous readers are safely hidden from my view! What this data does for me is that it gives me a picture of what topics are more popular to my audience. For instance, the post “What is Proposition 4???” is the most popular post in recent days and weeks. But, what should a blogger do with that information? I had a conversation this summer with a blogger who believed that when he wrote more controversial material, his blog was read more. That lead him to write more and more controversial stuff. Then he found that he was writing with less authenticity, because he was allowing his desire for a bigger audience drive his choice of topic. Interesting. And maybe off-base. I have found that when I provide a link to my blog and invite readers to check it out, from another place such as Facebook, traffic jumps quite noticeably. Maybe my friend was inadvertently driving traffic to his blog on days when he wrote something provocative by also posting about his blog on Facebook? Yes, my academic friends; a case of correlation being unable to prove causation.

In any event, just so you don’t think I’ve been sitting in a corner for a few days, here’s some of the beauty that I’ve found recently:

Image

Fall colors on “The Bluff” on Keuka Lake

 

I can’t lie. The idea of a “drive in the country” is a powerful draw for me.

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2 thoughts on “On the Audience-to-Blog-to-Audience Feedback Loop

  1. When I was the editor of the college newspaper, I found that the controversial topics did indeed get more reading, and I even wrote an editorial about it. It’s a challenge because you want readers, so you are drawn to those topics, but news (etc) is much more than controversy.

    • Yes; and if you add to that the profit motive – the news industry is a for-profit enterprise – you realize why it is that most of what we read in the news is the sensational slant on things.

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