Blog Readers Come & Go

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Have you ever stood in a crowd of people and felt as if you were invisible?

A million people could pass by you and it didn’t matter whether they made eye contact because for whatever reason you felt like none of them really saw you.

It has happened to me more than once and though it used to be disconcerting it rarely bothers me anymore because I now if I want to be noticed I can make it happen.

But the thing is, there are very few people whose attention I really want or notice when it is…taken away.

When I am conscious of those people, I sometimes find myself looking for them in crowds where I never really expect to find them but I think I am so used to being connected that when it is not there, I just look for it.

Don’t know if it makes sense to anyone else, but that is me and I am good with it.

Blog Readers Come & Go

After eleven years of blogging and a million different evolutions, changes and revolutions in social media I have grown accustomed to seeing blog readers come and go.

Some of them burst onto the scene like a comet streaking across the sky and for a long while you see them in your stats and or engage with them in your comments or email.

In the old days when the commenting section was active on a daily basis and the community more vocal it was easier to be cognizant of the entrance and or departure of the people.

Sometimes when they stopped coming around I’d reach out and ask them why they stopped but most of the time I just let them go about their business.

I figured they had gotten whatever it was they were going to get from hanging out here and that it was just their time to move on.

If this was my primary source of income I might have been more active at trying to find out why they left. I might have asked them to tell me if they were bored, burnt out of just done with blogging in general but I almost never did.

Almost never did meaning that once or twice I might have asked someone what happened but those were the exceptions to the rule.

Now I sometimes wonder if more people left because of the whole reciprocity in blogging thing. Maybe they took off because I didn’t comment on their blogs and that made them unhappy.

I read a comment on Facebook about Billy Joel. It went something like, “he hasn’t been good since the eighties.”

I have always liked his music and was/am definitely a fan but I had to do some research to figure out if I agreed with the comment or not.

But I didn’t get very far.

I got caught up in his greatest hits album and started thinking about my writing. Started wondering if my best work was behind me.

Would I look at the posts here and the stories here and hear the echoes of readers saying his best work ended long ago.

That would…suck.

This isn’t a physical sport. I shouldn’t feel the way I sometimes do after two hours of basketball, tired and wondering how my skill could have diminished as much as it has.

What I want to do and should be able to do is pull out the experience and use it to my advantage and know that I have become a better writer/communicator.

A kid can’t write about heartbreak, hope or love the way someone who has lived a little can. What makes that quote above so very powerful is having had an experience that allows you to relate to it.

I used to hate being told “You can’t screw an old head on young shoulders” but now I use it as part of my parenting repertoire.

In part because I have lived enough to appreciate the depth of the comment and have had moments with my own children where I had to remind myself they ignored good advice because they are young.

They may yet grow older and still ignore good advice but they can be confident their father will do as his have done and remind them of multiple moments.

Personal Info
I didn’t go to Kincaid’s last month, but I wanted to.

Had so little time and was certain that somehow I would be back in Texas living my life sooner than later. Though it hasn’t worked out as I thought it would it hasn’t not worked out either and the men who talked about old heads on young shoulders would counsel patience.

They would remind me you play the hands you are dealt and that games aren’t always won or lost on the first go around.

I’d tell them that I wanted to sit at the table, burger in hand and look out the window and just live. I’d tell them about how some of those moments led to great blog posts and that my gut is screaming at me to get back because the next chapter is waiting for me.

But the point isn’t to go back to try and relive the past but because the only way to step into the future is to open the door and cross the threshold.

Sometimes that happens by going somewhere new and sometimes it happens because when you go back you do so as someone new.

I am not trying to be who I was I am trying to be who I am and work into living as who I wish to become.

And if fortune smiles upon me I’ll capture lightning in a bottle and people will read the posts I have written with a smile and think I was good then but I am so much better now.

That is the dream and that is the goal.

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  1. Irene July 17, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I am around though haven’t checked in recently. But it’s nice knowing I can come here to have a read and smile, or snicker 🙂

    I remember seeing Grand Central Station in real life for the first time: the rush humanity, but perhaps due to my excitement of being there, I felt part of it. However, a few years later, I was in Philadelphia airport and remember feeling utterly alone, due to the current situation I was in. There was a porter who took the time to stop me, and asked me why I looked so sad. That kindness meant so much at the time. And it’s a good reminder now, to not let myself wallow, and take the time to drop a line, write a note, comment on a blog or tweet back, as just maybe, it might make a difference to someone that day.

    • Jack Steiner July 18, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Hi Irene,

      Good to see you. I love stories like the one you just shared. It is nice to see/hear people looking out for one and another. Sometimes that one smile or word really does make such a big difference in a person’s life.

  2. vanita July 16, 2015 at 3:37 am

    I’m still here Jack 😉 I drop by from time to time and catch up via mobile while i’m having my morning coffee. Today is the exception since I haven’t had coffee in two weeks and dropped by because I saw your comment on my blog and was curious as to how you’re doing. But that’s what made me drop by, curiosity (and a need to entertain my brain), not to reciprocate a comment. I find I don’t comment much anywhere anymore. It’s more I read, enjoy, move on. Man…when you think about it…I’m pretty unappreciative. Will I change? Probably not. Cheers to you Jack.

  3. Larry July 15, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I know what you mean about the readers/bloggers. There’s a bunch I felt like I started with. Most of them are gone for one reason or another. I actually miss them.

  4. Tim Bonner July 15, 2015 at 7:38 am

    It does seem there’s still a lot of this you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours when it comes to blog commenting.

    I just don’t go in for the whole reciprocal commenting thing. Either someone likes your stuff enough to comment or they don’t. There’s really no point in commenting for the sake of it.

    • Jack Steiner July 15, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      Commenting is still the most effective way I know to build a base of traffic and to get people to come visit but I just can’t do it for that anymore. Now I comment far less than I used to but it is more likely to be because I was moved to respond than anything.

      I much prefer the same here. I like comments, but if you are just doing it because you hope you’ll get traffic because of it, well I hope the comment you left adds some value.

      Not saying that all of mine do or that I don’t occasionally contradict myself because it happens, but such is life.

  5. Janine Huldie July 15, 2015 at 3:06 am

    I love the way you looked at this and put it. To be honest, I have been having some of the same thoughts and wondering similar as of late and after reading your article today have actually put some of my thoughts into their proper perspective, so thank you for that truly as I honestly needed a bit more reflection on all of this myself more than you know.

  6. Nancy Davis July 15, 2015 at 2:48 am

    I have been thinking about some of the same things. I know my content is still good, yet comments are few and far between. When I get them, it makes me giddy still, even years after starting my blog.

    I also have seen readers come and go. As you know, I had to go on hiatus from blogging due to major life issues. It has been really tough to rebuild my audience and some days I think no one is listening. I have to keep reminding myself that what I have to say has made an impact before and it will again. I just need to keep pushing on.

    Oh, and one last thing. I went to a New Years Eve party on Long Island some years ago. People who attended the party knew Billy Joel and spoke poorly of him. Seems he is quite the jerk. They also commented that his best music ended in the seventies. Ouch.

    • Jack Steiner July 15, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      You probably reach more people than you realize. Even in the ‘old days’ the lurkers were there watching and reading and we didn’t always know because they stayed in our stats.

      Keep pushing and sustain your effort. Sooner or later the people and pageviews will come.

      The Seventies? Ouch.

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