In the few short months since I started this blogging adventure, I think I am ready to draw a few conclusions:
First, definitions: To follow traditionally meant—“to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to;to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey; to imitate or copy; use as an exemplar: (1)
The expanded version now reads: “When you follow a blog…the new posts from that site will appear in your Reader, where you can view the latest posts published across the blogs you follow. You’ll also receive notifications of new posts by email.” (2)
Lessons I have learned concerning “follows”:
- When someone “follows” me, it does not necessarily indicate that they are reading my blog, even a little. It simply means they have tapped the “follow” button on their computer (whether intentionally or by accident), probably in the hopes that I will in turn tap the “follow” button on my computer, thus effectively ignoring the majority of their musings as well.
- Corollary: The number of “followers” does not necessarily indicate the popularity or efficacy of the blog, but may be more an indication of how long and how actively the blogger has been writing.
- Conclusion: The influence that my writings have on people is not directly related to nor dependent upon the number of “followers” I have.
This last thought I consider to be the most significant and brings me to the potentially discomfiting but extremely important question of “why bother?” :
- Personally, blogging is an outlet for much needed creativity and expression. I could put it down on paper and store it in notebooks upstairs where they take up space and collect dust (and have), or I could make a much more space-conserving and organized compilation on my laptop and flash drive, which can thus be easily retrieved as needed.
- Of greater importance is the personhood of God, my Creator and Father. To begin, just as it is hubris for me to believe that people should actually want to read what I write, it is equal self-absorption of another sort to hide my heart and head under a basket.
- And to continue on that theme, I do believe He is able to use my writing/blogging/following at whatever level He may deem appropriate—for the furthering of His Kingdom. If He can, as God, create a feast for 5000+ from a few dedicated loaves and fishes, He can also use just one well-placed blog to change a culture should He choose to do so.
- Which is the point: it’s about building up His Kingdom, not mine. His glory, not mine. His plan, and timing, and wisdom…not mine.
Sour grapes? I don’t think so, best I can tell. Raisins, maybe, or wine. But I don’t think there is any “I don’t want it anyway” mentality in this short treatise. I do hope it can be a shortcut to curtail someone else’s frustration and discouragement, however. Blogging, and all the other social media innovations of recent history, have an effective place in communication. And as concerns any avenue, our communication has extremely important—even eternal—implications.
So I plan to continue to blog, since I doubt if I will ever stop writing in some form or another. And, at least this way, I won’t give the spiders more places to hide behind the notebooks….