Archive for June 9th, 2011

Just because a number has a couple of zeroes in it doesn’t make it special. Still, I notice that, with my last entry, I have now posted five hundred entries to this blog. Not bad, for a blogger who doesn’t believe in blogging.

By that, I mean that the average blog has all the excitement of a wet dish towel. The problem isn’t that the topic is personal, or about everyday joys and angsts – a skilled writer can make any topic absorbing, even when the topic sounds uninteresting in the abstract. But a few paragraphs of stream-of-consciousness can rarely persuade me to read. Even when I know the writer, reading such material is a chore. And, when I don’t know the writer, their outpourings often seem an expression of self-importance more than anything else.

That’s why, when I started this blog, I decided to ignore what everyone else was doing. I wasn’t going to write stream-of-consciousness, but short essays, with a central topic, a beginning and an end, and an organized middle. So, for the most part, that’s what I’ve done with each of the past 500 entries.

The result is often entries between 800 and 1200 words (or even more), which people occasionally tell me is far too long for a blog entry. And, had I listened, I probably would have far more readers; give people what they think they want, and you’ll never lack an audience.

However, because I have no trouble getting an audience for my paid writing, I’ve never worried much about how many people read this blog. In fact, one of the reasons I started this blog was to publish pieces that I wrote purely for myself – sometimes to warm up before starting my professional work, sometimes to wind down at the end of the day, and, sometimes to get down a line of discussion that formed spontaneously in my mind as I exercised or cooked.

For these selfish reasons, I’ve never worried too much about the size of the blog’s audience. I know that, if I chose to write about free and open source software, as I do for pay, I could get more than 1800 readers a day, because two or three times I have. But, on the whole, I’m content to laze along with 130-150 daily readers, writing — as the coat of arms of the Dukes of Denver would have it — as my whimsy takes me.

Overall, I’ve no complaints, so I plan to keep going the same way for the next five hundred entries. And if that sounds arrogant, that’s okay. I don’t suppose I’ll be any fond of other approaches to blogging at the end of the next five hundred entries than I am now – or than I was four years ago when I started.

Read Full Post »