Whenever I write a post like this, reader response falls in four categories:
Those to whom it doesn’t matter.
Those who agree wholeheartedly.
Those who disagree, with logical reasons or not.
And bloggers who are certain I am writing about them.
So, to set the record straight: I am not writing about anyone. I read at least 200 blogs a week–or more and my impressions are ALWAYS in the aggregate. The questions I pose are my own and not directed to any one person.
The puzzle of Pinterest
I love Pinterest as a scrapbook/notebook: a place to stash things I’d like to refer to later. Recipes, travel ideas, inspirations, how-to-do something or other creative ideas fall in that category. So do super-well-crafted pieces that give me enjoyment. I like a good turn of a phrase and will often go back to pieces that strike me.
Pinterest is hot right now. Twitter used to be all the rage, something that also puzzled me. I simply do not have time to sit in front of my Twitter stream and converse in short bursts and don’t know how people do it. But today, Pinterest is said to be a big way bloggers get traffic to their blogs.Now, I don’t see how that can be true–except selectively. It can’t be true across the board. That’s because I belong to several Pin-exchange groups and I see dozens upon dozens of posts bloggers want pinned that are not at all pin-worthy and certainly do not inspire me to want to read more posts by that blogger.
They might be someone’s thoughts about their kids, their mothers, their friends. Yeah, nice to read once, maybe, but is it a universal? Or something I want to refer to later? Probably not. Maybe once in a great while a really well-written piece on a subject I don’t usually follow would be interesting enough for me to want to scrapbook it on Pinterest. But not that often.
I’m looking at my own last dozen blog posts and I see very few that even I would be interested in Pinning to my own board. I mean, nice to read once and then on to the next thing. I don’t have a problem with that, either because I don’t believe that every word I write is worthy of living forever in the minds of readers. Or on their Pinterest boards.
As a marketing professional I often had to explain to clients why some of their “great ideas” would not appeal to their target customers and therefore would not be worth the time spent on them. I’m seeing a lot of ideas like that being pinned in these link exchanges.
At the end of the year I saw scores of posts in which bloggers listed and talked about their top posts of the year–the ones that had the most readership. It is a mystery to me why anyone would think that is universally pinnable. It’s just not a pinnable post for anyone except bloggers looking for topics that might get bigger readership.
Which brings me to my secret suspicion: that bloggers are actually just blogging for one another. That we are the audience for each other’s posts in a closed loop and that real value is not being created or sent out into the larger world.
And then there are time-limited posts. Coupons, giveaways and the like. If a post is not evergreen, if it is short-lived, like a giveaway, why would I want to see it again? And why on earth would I want it to take up space on my Pinterest scrapbook for time immemorial?
Venturing into video and puttering around Periscope
I’ve wondered here before about who has time to view videos or even live streams of anything today–kittens, comedy or discussions. I just don’t see how the audience for some of these video and live-video conferencing can be more than miniscule. Which gives it a diminishing return for the blogger or presenter. Sure, there are how-to video conferences that are well-attended and I see their value. But where do people find the time to Zoom or Periscope? Can the audience for most of these be more than a few people? Is the only audience other bloggers? Is EVERYONE online now a blogger?
These are questions that go through my mind in the pre-dawn hours of the day.
Something for everyone
The most interesting thing about the internet is that there really is something for everyone and I think that’s cool. At the same time, trying to weed through all of these offerings is overwhelming and time consuming. As with most new things, there’s a big hullabaloo and bandwagon to jump on at first, and over time things usually do settle down.
Those who know how to put together and define a Pinterest-worthy post or an offer of value will do well and those who are stumbling around without anything of real value to offer will drop out in the long run. In the mean time, a lot of time is wasted: that of the presenters who really don’t know how to develop a good product and that of potential audiences who are stumbling around trying to find something helpful.
I recently took a few weeks off from participating in this fray as I mourned the loss of loved one. I did miss some of the blogs I regularly read and am glad to see them again. I didn’t, however, miss posting in most big link exchanges or the vacuous blog comments from other big link group participants who clearly hadn’t read my post and only commented because it was required for them to get my own comment on their posts. Don’t get me wrong: all commenters are not like this. In fact, many of my regular commenters have something interesting or supportive or provocative to say. I love THAT and adore THEM. I just don’t like the empty comments that are just made to meet an obligation.
I can see that my time is more valuable than I’ve been treating it. There really is a point of diminishing returns for me and I think I’ve found it.
The difference between me and some other bloggers (maybe many bloggers) is that my blog is my outlet for thoughts and my indulgence. It’s not my money-maker. I don’t need or want to get famous from it. It’s the place I come when I have something to say and when I want to foment discussion, which is my very favorite part of blogging. I love when regular readers weigh in and I happen to think I have some of the smartest readers in the blogosphere. Not to mention having met some really cool people via this blog.
So for me, well, I can use these social media outlets selectively. That might not be true for those who make a living from their blogs.
But back to Pinterest. And Twitter. And Periscope, Zoom and everything else that’s “trending” now. I really would like to hear from you–blogger or not– on those burning subjects.
Let’s get real in the Comments, ok?