This week on #BlogNow Elan Morgan, Laurie White, and Neil Kramer led a discussion about blogging that lead to a conversation about feedback. I find that you really can’t judge your own writing by the amount of comments you get. Of course sometimes you can, like the outpouring of support I got via blog comments, Facebook comments, shares and likes on my Jesus Camp post. A post I worked really hard on and was nervous about posting.
Then there’s the post I wrote yesterday about sandwiches that got nearly as much feedback. Or the post I wrote earlier this week about summer guilt that got not a ton of feedback but the feedback I did get made me rethink the whole thing. I found myself asking myself new questions and feeling different (better) about the whole thing. I even wrote a follow up post (that I don’t quite know what to do with).
Do stats and comments and likes matter?
Yes. Absolutely. Through them, you can get an idea of who your audience is. Through them, you can be challenged and encouraged. You can be questioned and supported. So much of why we are all here (blogs, facebook, twitter) is for the community. For us, with working full time and everything else we do, it’s often hard to find time to connect with friends and family, so facebook is a great tool to allow that. And encourage it. But, it’s not the whole picture. For example, I often get the least amount of likes on instagram for Roozle’s Plate and Roozle’s Lunch, but I get the most amount of in real life comments and side comments about both indicating that a lot more of my audience enjoys those than I thought. And the most amount of likes for black and white photos of my cat. That clearly doesn’t indicate what I should be focused on in my life. Patrick (the cat) is wonderful, but not really at the top of my list.
Feedback is great, but can sometimes be a distraction. It is great to get, but what happens when you don’t get it? Do you get discouraged? Do you write less? I noticed a shift in myself after the big story about Nummy that was very popular (in relative terms) and how I started to shift my focus. I got hungry for higher page view numbers. I’ve since refocused, but after a popular post, it’s sometimes hard not to be discouraged when you work hard on your writing and it doesn’t land well. There is a right time for everything and sometimes things hit at just the right time to take off and other times, they get swallowed up by whatever else is happening online. The feedback is a part of the picture. Not everything.
How do you feel about feedback? Do you get discouraged by the lack of likes, comments, and shares? Or get caught up in them when something lands well? How do you maintain focus and perspective?
Even if you aren’t on twitter, you can go to Elan’s site to read the discussion from earlier this week about writing and sharing. There you will find the twitter feed for the hashtag and be able to read more about the purpose and people behind #BlogNow. Check it out at www.schmutzie.com/blognow.
The #BlogNow discussion happens once a month, but you can read it any time. I will try to remember to post a reminder to the lifewithroozle facebook page before next month’s #BlogNow, as you won’t want to miss it.
Pictured above: Patrick the Cat