Sunday, October 24, 2010

What Blogging Taught Me...

I started blogging to amuse myself and  friends. I had no delusions of pending fame or fortune, but I was proud of  my work.   I'd been posting regularly for years. Sometimes it was funny. I liked the pictures and thought I was getting better at drawing them.  I was proud to show it off.
Then something occurred to me.
I'd read about something called The IKEA Effect.  It works like this:  If you  make or build something, you'll probably overvalue it. Even if it is, in fact, a piece of junk.
Was I  overvaluing my blog?
Hmmmm... I thought. The blog gets visitors from all over the world. Thirty to one hundred visits per day...
...and after four years I've earned six followers.
It was an ugly realization. Most blogs I visit, even obscure ones, have scores of followers some have hundreds.   This could mean only one thing.  My wonderful blog wasn't that wonderful.

Back in the 1990s I'd dabbled in cartooning and submitted my favorites to magazines. Those  rejections didn't bother me much because I figured it was a numbers game, with lots of cartoonists competing for a limited number of places to publish their work.
Rejection slips didn't necessarily mean  the work was bad.  Maybe the editor didn't like the style. Maybe they had all the cartoons they needed for now. Maybe they'd already published something similar. I knew from the start that rejection slips were the norm for aspiring cartoonists. No big deal.
This was different. People from all over the world had looked at my blog. Yet after 10000+ page views, only six people liked it enough to follow it? This wasn't an editor rejecting it. This was the the world rejecting it.

I hope you're proud of yourself,  I thought, You've been trotting out your blog like a show horse, totally oblivious to the fact that 99.99% of the world dislikes it.  Way to go.  And in light of all this, let's make some things clear:

The one thing worse at being bad at something the discovery that you're bad at something.
How embarrassing.


walterworld said...

Ummm. I found this post to be great and you (as usual) made me and many others smile and probably chuckle. What more could you ask?


Namowal said...

Thanks, Walterworld.
I am grateful for the readers I actually have.

Sally C said...

I LOVE your blog. It has evolved over the years into something even nuttier and more magical.

I never "follow" any blogs by clicking a follow button. I bookmark them in a list of blogs I like and visit them from there. I was never sure what the "follow" business was about- would it come as a text email? That's what I imagined. What counts is all the people reading it, and the fun you have doing it.

You SHOULD be proud of this amazing blog, so there!

Namowal said...

Sally C,
Wow, that was nice of you to tell me that. Maybe I am taking the "followers" thing too seriously. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

awww jen!!! i love your sense of humour :))) Linda

booda baby said...

Followers, shmollowers. I do what Sally does - you're bookmarked. Although I make my living creting content for social networking purposes, I don't use the conventions myself. I like having to make the effort (even if I forget for days and days at a time.)

I particularly love blogs like yours that make me feel I'm connected to all that twinkling creative, playful, thinkie stuff.

RHSteeleOH said...

I'm a proud sixer Namowal. I really do enjoy your blog and cartoons. Especially love the "I'm so tired" video. Always an enjoyable experience when I visit here.

namowal (can't get her password to work) said...

Not sure if this is Linda D or Linda P, but thanks either way. :)

Thanks Boodababy,
Glad to be of service!

Thanks RHSteeleOh,
I'll admit that if I had the choice between my regular visitors or a million new ones, I'd pick my regulars!

stray said...

Love the drawings in this post. Love visiting your blog to see what you're doing.

billsey said...

Yeah! Your blog is inspiring and awesome! Keep it up!

Namowal said...

Thanks, stray,
More posts are on the way!

Thanks, Bilsey!
Now get back to work ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Namowal!

I guess thats how the internets work. As Sally C said, I've got your blog in my Blog Bookmarks, becoz I;m not blog savvy enough to "follow" blogs. (Edit: looks like the rest of the commentators bookmark lol)

your humor here is what sells, and btw it's quite the rage in our company. So I'm pretty sure that there are more than 10 "follows" out there!

Keep em coming! Cheers! :)

Namowal said...

Thanks, Anonymous.
I had no idea it was, as you said, quite the rage anywhere. Very kind of you to tell me this.

Anonymous said...

Also, I was wondering whether you do any private consulting? I'd be interested in hiring someone like yourself.
I say we just remove warning labels off everything, like someone suggested. This is a good idea.
Do you really have experience in this field? If so, I would like to ask you a few questions.
I'm a little slow, please don't remove my comments or I will get upset.

What has four legs and an arm? A happy pitbull.

MikeJD said...

People follow blogs for different reasons - I'd say probably the LEAST of these is that they want to be notified of updates, or to show their support! For instance, one way to attract more followers to your own blog is to have a visible presence on someone else's.

So I wouldn't get hung up on it, Namowal. The only real measure of your site's success is the number of hits you get, and it sounds like you have plenty of those!

Namowal said...

Those are some good points and ideas. Thanks for taking the time to add them here. :)