Consistent blogging & relationships

Much ado is made of blogging consistently among those who strive to increase their subscriber counts. This is almost always among the first (if not the very first) pieces of advice that new bloggers will get from veterans of the blogosphere: be consistent!

Generally, I agree with this. I mean, what’s to disagree with, right? Everyone likes to know when their favorite television and radio shows will be on; and it’s no different with columnists and bloggers. Certainly, in terms of building your readership, it’s better to publish one post on a weekly basis than to publish several in quick succession and then abandon your blog for several weeks.

Recently, however, I suddenly saw this idea in a different light, based upon my own experience thus far on WordPress.


Who is your primary readership?

I would love to know if any of you disagree with me on the following – the people who most read your blog are other WordPress bloggers.

Am I wrong?
I don’t think I am.

So I think it’s fair to reflect upon what kinds of relationships we have with other bloggers… without whom we would have pretty much no readers at all.


Are “online” relationships part of “real life”?

Now, based upon lingo that I picked up decades ago, I’ve gotten used to referring to friends that I interact with in person as RL (real life) friends, as opposed to my online friends, which would include WordPress bloggers that I’ve never met (and am unlikely to meet) in person, some of whom are completely anonymous to me.

Perhaps justifiably, I’ve received some pushback from other bloggers upon making using of these terms. The argument has been as follows: “real life” in the modern day includes our online interactions with people all around the world. Therefore, it’s wrong to suggest that “online” friends are somehow not participants in our “real lives”.

This has left me thinking a lot about what the differences between “online” and “in person” friends really are. Are “online” friends part of my “real life” to the same extent that “in person” friends are?

Sometimes.


The main difference

There was a point at which I thought that anonymity might be the main difference between “in person” and “online” friends. That seemed like a very major distinction to me, although I knew, even then, that some of my “online” WordPress friends knew me better than many people whom I interact with regularly in person.

At this stage, I’ve come to feel that anonymity is only marginally significant to the quality and nature of the friendships that I’ve formed on WordPress. The greatest downside to “online” relationships with other bloggers is something else entirely.

The difference, I think, is that the friends whom I interact with in person do not simply disappear from my life without my knowing what has happened with them, whereas “online” blogging friends have (and some, it seems, without so much as a thought).

Let’s say that I were to entirely stop posting on the Skeptic’s Kaddish and ceased responding to emails. At what point would you notice my absence? What would you do once you had? How would you check up on me? What efforts would (/could) you make to determine what had happened to me? At what point would you be likely to give up?

Food for thought, right?


Consistency = (“Online”) Friendship

This train of thought has completely reframed the “consistency” blogging mantra for me.

While bloggers may be nothing more than entertainers for some readers, it is obvious that we become much more for many others. Look at the comments sections of our respective blogs where we show support, appreciation, and concern for one another… is that merely entertainment? Are those interactions merely reflective of our drives to increase our subscriber numbers?

So… looking at “consistency” in this context imbues it with an entirely different significance, doesn’t it? With “online” friendships, if we are to consider them part of our “real lives”, consistency is absolutely and unquestionably essential.

After all, if you’re going to become emotionally attached to somebody that you’ve never met who lives far across the world from you… don’t you at least want to know when you can next expect to hear from them?

113 thoughts on “Consistent blogging & relationships”

  1. Hi! Thank you for the like on my “currently working on” post.
    I really enjoyed this post. I read it on my phone yesterday, but I couldn’t remember my password to sign in to comment. There’s a lot to unpack here, but I’ll keep it brief.
    I’ve written a post on what type of friend I am. Using that template, online or offline, a friend is someone who supports and encourages me in my pursuit of achieving my goals. I have friends who do that and more, but I consider them family. All else are online or IRL associates.
    Also, I’ve subscribed to niche blogs where people haven’t made a post in a year. When they do, it’s like finding gold. This post has helped me consider a lot of things about blogging. I’ve been a blogger since at least 2000 – but another insight is still priceless. Having said all that – I subscribed to your blog because you seem to post consistently – and these posts appear to be your personal musings. So I guess that level of intimacy is another draw.

    1. Thanks, Mel πŸ™‚ – it’s nice to meet you. Have you tried other platforms for blogging besides WordPress? Or has this been your home since 2000?

      All best,
      David

      1. It’s nice to meet you too, David! I read your “front page” and found out your name, and also learned the meaning of “ben.” Thank you for bringing awareness.

        It’s so funny to look back and realize I actually did have a blogging journey. I started blogging on corona productions dot com, It was a film fan site, but we could post topics in the discussion forum. That is where I made my first group of online friends and associates. We moved from there to Xanga dot com, a blogging site. From there, it was Blogspot dot com, Myspace dot com (before the sale), GoDaddy (had a personal blogging platform), Facebook notes, to landing here on WordPress in 2010.

        Thank you for the prompt. I’ll post about the journey one day because it falls right in line with my blog’s subject matter. Enjoy, ~Mel.

        1. Wow, Mel! I wasn’t even expecting such a response – but, yeah, I guess that makes sense… since you’ve been in the game since 2000! I was once on LiveJournal, but that’s about it… unless you count my posts on the Times Of Israel and some blogging I did for a Jewish educational institution here in Jerusalem.

          A post on your journey would definitely be interesting (to me at least) πŸ™‚

          ❀
          David

  2. Namaste David,
    You express so well. I really loved going through it. For me I started to write five years ago but discontinued. I simply lost motivation. Writing was not easy except for those impulsive sparks of thoughts I got.
    I recently started blogging again, this time consciously, and putting 37 years of experience into a website. Its great to connect and have people read what you write..i guess that’s the intent of all of us here.
    Gratitude.

    1. Rajiv,

      Thank you – that’s very kind πŸ™‚

      that’s the intent of all of us here.

      I wish this were so, but many bloggers that I have encountered are primarily invested in self-promotion for one reason or another (often – to make a profit)… But they’re easy to spot so it’s not a big deal; and there are definitely a lot of high quality bloggers looking for meaningful human relationships too – that’s what keeps me going.

      All best,
      David

  3. Good thinking here.
    For years I noticed the same with online and offline friends. Sometimes they overlap, or, even got to the point where online friends merched into real life friends. Great friendships.
    I explain both offline and online friends equal, as in the energy they have. Me myself are not very consistent ,both on virtual as in real life which has another cause. In my book it comes down to wether you have a connection and talking flows naturally no matter when the last time was that you spoke. Or comfortable silence knowing all is good.
    I may be different. I also keep the ones who are dear and loved to me,who have passed alive in my mind. Just absent in fysica form.
    So, a third catergory.
    I like to still keep them around somehow, loving memories. Energy for me has no boundaries. Thats all I got so far.
    Greetings, Chienjours

    1. Thank you so much for responding and sharing, CJ πŸ™‚

      If we take “all you’ve got” and “all I’ve got” – we may have something πŸ˜‰

      Yours,
      David

  4. Great post. Some pretty poignant points on the nature of relationships in the digital age. Wonder how covid and all the social isolation will change how we view and value online friendships.

  5. Our online friends are just as human as our in=person friends, but relating to them online involves adopting a completely different approach to being present to them, that is, showing love to them and being open to their love. Sometimes, as some of the above comments attest, online communication can lead to greater depth of relationship. What a marvelous adventure, being forced to relate to people in this way! Thanks, Ben, for inviting us to explore this.

    1. Thank you so much for your insightful comment, Wanda πŸ™

      Please feel free to call me ‘David’ – that’s my first name πŸ™‚

      ❀
      David

  6. I read through your blog post. I’ve been blogging for a while now, mostly personally without sharing, now I’m going more outward. Anyway, I enjoyed reading this blog point and seeing how you process and analyze and ask questions. It reminds me of the way my brain works, so I appreciate your line of thought.

  7. Thanks for your likes on my blog. I’m trying to do one short poetry post a day this year, so far successfully, so I guess that’s a type of consistency!

    1. Duncan – I do the same thing on Twitter – I tag my daily Twitter poems with #APoemADay – in fact, that’s why I created a Twitter account on Dec. 31, 2020 in the first place ❀

      Every Friday, I post my week's Twitter poems in a single WordPress post πŸ™‚

      Yours,
      David

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