Wednesday, 26 January 2011

You, My Dear Readers

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm utterly useless at this concentration lark. As the majority of my work must be done on the computer, I am subjected to the internet for far longer that is healthy for one's mental health, nearly every day. I have a number of favourite websites which I view every day, such as Rock, Paper, Shotgun, and Newgrounds. Not to mention YouTube, DeviantArt, and of course, my very own blog, right here. It's perhaps inevitable that I compulsively hop from site to site looking for things that I've not seen before. Consequentially, I am terrible when it comes to concentrating on actual important work.

Today, you can see a textbook case of this: I've been typing up notes since 3pm. It is now half past 7 as I write this, and I've still not finished. But the time that I've spent finding other things to do that aren't work had got me thinking. And my thinking was about you, dear readers. Yes, you! Don't you feel special? It may be best if you didn't answer that.

Permit me to spew some statistics at you:

Monthly Views:

  • September: 216 views.
  • October: 224 views.
  • November: 536 views.
  • December: 513 views.
  • January so far: 458 views.
Daily Views:
  • My incredible power of mathematics (and then becoming bored and using someone else's power of mathematics) tells me that we have an average of 17 views a day.
So what does this tell us? It tells us that I must have done something 'right' in November. Which is amusing because I didn't do very much in November. At all. I suspect the world just went temporarily insane. The figures do, however, suggest that I have a small regular readerbase of roughly 11 people. And this, dear reader, is something that I am very happy about!

The large commercial bloggers suggest that a blogger should commercialise him/herself. "Whore yourself out", effectively. They claim that a blogger is "selling a product", and doing it wrong means "you lose customers", which is vaguely unsettling, to say the least. It's almost a dissonance between the writer and reader. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it is a dissonance. To the vast majority of them, a reader is an object. A reader is a thing that is enticed onto their website and then makes them money through being subjected to hideous advertising. A bit like a corporate venus flytrap. Wearing a suit and holding a briefcase. When one runs a successful blog, one will eventually be enticed into using it to make money. Suddenly, it's not about content any more, but attracting pageviews.

Hmm, that sounds like a rant actually, so I'd best cover the other side. For indeed there is another side, dear reader! These are the professional bloggers. These people use and pay for their own hosting, and this needs to be supported. For the blogger, the most convenient and unobtrusive way is to use advertisement. For that to support the hosting costs, the blog needs to get enough views to make enough money. Advertising doesn't pay the bills, but it does pay the hosting.

I've no problem with using advertising to cover the costs of hosting. It's understandable. Hosting can be expensive, especially if your site gets a lot of daily hits. But I do have a problem with it when you, the reader, is depersonalised and turned into a customer and your blog becomes a product. It seems that the love of blogging has gone and been replaced by the hideous desire to make money from the most important things that you can have as a blogger: loyal and regular readers. When you see how much money some people can make by doing this, it becomes understandable why people do it. But that does not make it right. You'll never see an advert here because I don't want to inconvenience you, dear reader. They are intrusive and detrimental to the experience of reading a blog.

I care about every single one of you, my dear readers, and I value every single one of you. I can assure you that I shall never depersonalise you, even if I one day become a professional blogger. Blogging should be fun, and reading and following one should be fun and interesting. So I thank you, dear reader, for following the Man With Stuff. We have a great many years ahead of us. By all means, tell your friends. But I care about you, not your number.

*Checks the time.* Oh balls, I need to get back to work!

Until next time!


Luke Clarke said...

and the Luke Clarke Blog cares about you too, keep on keepin' on, and stay cool!

Teddy Leach said...

LC: Woop!

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