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11.08.17

On Ostentatiousness.

Posted 11th August 2017

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2 Comments

I’ll admit it. Whenever I write an article I’m particularly proud of, I enjoy going on Twitter and yelling about it at the top of my voice. I don’t know whether that’s a particularly brilliant side of my personality, but it’s there. I’d be a bloody liar if I said I didn’t enjoy people telling me something I’ve written is good. TELL ME SOMETHING I’VE WRITTEN IS GOOD, DO IT.

And yet sometimes… that’s just not what I’m aiming for. Sometimes I write something I want to write, but I know most people who follow me on Twitter just aren’t going to be interested. Or sometimes I write mainly to work a few things out in my head, and if anyone else enjoys the piece, that’s a bonus. Or sometimes I just want to write something small – a piece which might be fun for a reader to come across randomly when browsing a site, but not something anyone would want to visit a site just to read.

When I first ran a blog – now stupidly deleted off the web, but partially available on The Wayback Machine – things were different. Social media was far less of a thing: people would see you had written a new piece through your RSS feed, or even – shock horror – just from visiting your site. Amazing. These days, very few people see any of my stuff unless I tweet about it, or somebody links to it on Facebook.

I can deal with that. But sometimes tweeting about something I’ve written feels right… and sometimes it just kinda feels wrong.

Some pieces don’t want to be tweeted about. Some pieces don’t want that attention foisted on them. Some things absolutely do not warrant me waving my arms around above it, yelling “Look at me!” Some pieces just want to exist… ready for the right people to stumble across them. That used to be so easy. Now, it isn’t. Social media is about yelling to get attention in a way that an RSS feed is not. These days, something has to be made a fuss about… or it disappears into the ether. And that’s a shame.

I will not be tweeting a link to this post.

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2 Comments

Vole on 11 August 2017 @ 12pm

I read this via the RSS feed.

RSS remains, in my opinion, the best way to follow sites.


John Hoare on 12 August 2017 @ 1am

I really wish there were more people like you.

I’ll reveal some stats from yesterday: a grand total of seven people read this post on the individual post page. 12 people read the front page, so some of them probably read the post too.

Now, this is a very low-traffic site compared to some, so I’m not expecting miracles. But I get hits in the hundreds (or thousands with the really popular pieces) through my social media links. In the grand scheme of things, the traffic I get through people just dropping in or via the RSS feed is virtually nothing these days.