I am not a serial liker.
When a friend says or writes something very interesting, I like it. I do. This post is specifically about WordPress and generally about everything else. Very few of my posts are a call to action. I tend not to seek opinions. For some reason, many folks have started liking posts on this blog and seldom, on some of my other blogs. Perhaps someone somewhere is promoting this blog. I do not know who; I do not know how. People unknown to me are liking posts and following the blog.
Without any disrespect, I don’t care for the likes.
Likes are akin to a wave of the hand from far across the grassy knoll. You can acknowledge them, wave back, but there is no engagement. There is warmth in the waving, which cools down to a neutral nothingness as it travels across the grass. Comments, I take seriously, even if the comments themselves are not serious. Serious comments, I take them very seriously. I am glad that serious comments on my blog have helped shaped my thinking. Notwithstanding the nature, quality and content of comments on this blog, I have always replied to comments. Not so much for likes.
I understand where WordPress is coming from. Once upon a time it was a superb blogging platform. Now it is steering the way and telling us what we should write about. Blogging prompts, etc. That they are promoting the platform is abundantly clear. When the year ends, they can publish statistics, without publishing quality. I dislike advice on writing. I know a passionate librarian who laments that hardly anyone looks at a bookshelf she curated. Writing. I don’t want beginning, middle, end advice. Structured advice on blogging and writing is counter-intuitive. Are we to become a crowd of a common voice or are we to become individuals with personal expressions? Yes, the prompts and such may well motivate us, but if we need prompts, we aren’t writers. I’ve succumbed to prompts, a couple of times, no doubt about that (but only 3 or 4 times in 900-odd posts).
The good written word was murdered when stats and likes took over. In recent days, WordPress changed the interface of the platform so that we have focus on stats and such. Something that I am hugely upset about. Yet, I will never hold it against them. They have a commercial purpose of promoting their platform. And that’s a good reason as any. As writers, we have to see through.
The real prompt of writing has to be your own, however. When, what, and how much, you want to write, has to be your own decision. If you are not doing that, then your blog is a slave. If likes and follows are to become a measure of the quality of our writing, then we have lost the plot, before we wrote the first word. If what we write… [here’s an unfinished sentence for you]
And while writers will decide what they write, slave they must be, to none.