You have perhaps noticed the recent template back-forthing at Gaizabonts. And if you are reading the blog at the site, then you have perhaps noticed that it has reverted to its original. Well, the second original. Or something like it.
In the times of reading blogs off RSS readers, how does it matter – the skin and the template? Unless you choose to comment, you hardly ever visit a blog. (Unless you use RSSBandit, which allows you to even comment from your reader!) Only a half-feed forces you to go to the blog, if at all, to read the other half.
How does appearance matter then? You are on the chat, you are on a blog, on Facebook, or Twittering away or using some such Web 2.0 contraption. No one sees the appearance. The presentation layer is missing. Is that (also) the reason most Web 2.0 sites are bereft of visual design elements?
I don’t visit many blogs at their blog address – this has been the pattern for sometime. However, I read more blogs now, than I did before. Only since I have moved to the Mac, I have started visiting blogs, if I have to comment, i.e. (RSS Bandit folks, you listening? We need a Mac version!)
It is almost easy to believe that people don’t read your blog anymore. Almost easy to believe that your readership index is lesser than before.
I doubt, if that’s the case.
The comments, you say, the comments must be indicators of readership. Yes, to an extent. But most of the times there isn’t much to be said. After a while, you get used to a person’s writing (or get bored with the sameness and such). Either way, there isn’t enough motivation to comment, especially if you know that a comment like, “wow, wonderfully written!” won’t be quite appreciated. Obviously, I am not talking of topical blogs where every other person wants to be heard and has a right to express with gay abandon.
Recently, Amit confessed that his Fine Imbalance needed a balancing act, he called it “TLC for the blog”. Then there is the dilemma that most bloggers go through which was well captured by EU, when delirium struck! The last three comments on the post by Abaniko, Jolvin and The Phish are very interesting in this context. Phish suggests a theory that boredom is the one that breaks the backbone of the better bloggers. In a way, lower readership and lesser comments are a good sign for a better blogger – they are perhaps tidings of the good times that once were?
Elsewhere, motivated by the thoughts of some bright folks, I went down the route of extending the thought of enabling conversations, through technology. Wishful-technology-thinking, you might call it. While the technology itself may be made available to ensure tracking conversations, human will is at the centre of it all. How often you visit a blog, how well you read a post and therefore how well you respond is key.
Most of us think we don’t know how and what to respond – a factor of how well we read and relate to what we read. If we know the blogger well, we might take comprehension for granted – that we understand what the blogger is saying. Like EU says:
I like people visiting my blog. Making blog friends is killing the interaction on my blog. I don’t like that.
Attention spans are shrinking, and though it shouldn’t be the case, our ability to ponder over a thought and respond well, is diminishing even further.
Here’s to better conversations, whether in a coffee shop or a cyber cafe!