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.
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.