In the way that odd or interesting numbers sometimes appear on the car dashboard, an interesting one has appeared on the dashboard here on’t blog. That number is two hundred thousand. The number of hits the blog has achieved since I started writing it. The number reminds me of a bit written about us bloggers on a forum ..
“Shame really – if you are going to make the effort to write a blog at all, it makes sense to me to make it available to the widest possible audience. With a personal blog there is little chance of anyone other than a small, dedicated audience ever being aware of it, never mind remembering to read it.”
A quick check of their forum thread indicates they’ve managed to get 1,300 hits and 14 replies over two years, from a membership we’re regularly told of 27,000 members. This chap is clearly someone us bloggers can learn from.
I’m aware that the stats aren’t that straight forward, (see the 27,000 members above, chuckle, chuckle), but two hundred thousand hits is, ‘quite’ pleasing. A friend has his forum thread at close to five hundred thousand hits, so to reach 200k so far means I owe a huge vote of thanks to my ‘small dedicated audience’ of chancers that have passed by.
Thank you very much for taking your time out to read these posts, I genuinely appreciate it.
Quality rather than quantity but if you can have both……….congratulations, I’ll have a glass of Adnams Broadside this evening, in deepest France, to celebrate.
To be fair, the bloke is right. I mean my blog isn’t attached to a popular forum and so has a measily 300,000 visits over that period. Pathetic really. It just shows that there is no way of anyone finding a personal blog without a forum. What we need is some sort of search system. I wonder if it would catch on?
Darn you Internet! Why can’t you allow the free movement of information?
I must admit at the time when I was posting on a forum I didn’t look around externally much. Once I did leave and start my own blog I found out that there is a thriving community outside, and the forum is just a small part of the modelling world. I just wish others weren’t so insular, staying within their ‘comfort zones’, and take the time to explore.
To me now, its obvious how such a community can become distorted, almost brainwashed when they only hear a small part of the whole picture. Its a shame but as you have proved to your credit, there is life on the ‘outside’ and long may it thrive.
Thanks Julia, ‘insular’ is a very good word for many of the UK railway modellers, I’ve never understood the reluctance to look at other genres of modelling for example, let alone other mediums of digital media. You’re doing well I think looking your numbers with 2FS being even more of a niche product for readers. That you’ve had that many hits in such a relatively short time frame reflects well on your writing and modelling.
Lots of thriving communites out there. I quite like: http://forum.gn15.info/ for odd-ball stuff.
Communites are built on quality content though. There’s a lot of this on “the big forum” but also a lot of random rubbish. Other forums can be worse with several whose only reason for existing is to allow people who have been banned, or at least like to claim they have, to moan about “the big forum”. Call be an idiot, but that doesn’t sound all that constructive to me.
Blogs can be as bad. Most have two entries, “Welcome to my blog” followed a month later by “Oh, I’ve not got around to updating my blog” and then silence. Those who have something interesting to say will say it where they are.
Being part of a forum does make the technical side of blogging easier. I prefer to be on Blogger for the freedom to do what I like, but then I have a techie nerd background so fiddling with HTML doesn’t bother me. I’m also not constrained to the subject so when I do model boats, they can appear as well. It doesn’t matter where you are though, if you are doing something interesting, it will attract readers.
Built on quality content I’d agree with in the main, but then as they get bigger the quality is swamped by the random rubbish, and this isn’t just exclusive to toy trains in my experience. Regarding bans and moderation there’s a whole can of worms, (and a complete evening of bar brawling) that can be opened there! The ‘big forum’ is spectacularly bad in some respects managing moderation issues and various members both current and ex.
I didn’t find forums any great assistance when I switched primarily to blogging, I prefer WP, finding it more intuitive for me, Blogger does have some nice features that WP doesn’t and vice versa. I too sometimes add non chuffer stuff, and don’t feel constrained to write specifically about railway modelling, being an outlet for that material. He’s not had a run out for a while, I’ll have a word with him …