During the recent examination of my blogging progress, and attempt to analyse the statistics of my own blog, one thing soon became apparent. The archives are rarely looked at, not even in passing. Most visitors to the site, attracted by a tag, or subject matter, rarely read more than the post that attracted them in the first place; although they also often read the ‘About’ page, perhaps interested to see the kind of person I am.
There are some exceptions of course. Those visiting from a link on another site, or by clicking through from a comment elsewhere, will often be attracted to a certain subject, and may well read 3-6 posts in that category. This is fairly easy to work out, when you see the stats for posts read that day, and divide by how many visitors, and from what countries. It is also interesting to note that they may return to that same category later, or on another day, and select random posts from it to read. What is more obvious though, is that most readers only read your latest post, and perhaps the one before it, and then move on. This is perfectly understandable, and something that I have frequently done myself, when looking at other blogs.
How often do we look back through the archives on these sites, say back to 2010, or even further, to see what they were writing about then? Almost never, I suspect. It is probable that much of the best work of these writers and bloggers, rests dusty and unseen, in the blog archive. On the right hand side of most blogs and websites, that long list of previously published articles or photo spreads, lies forgotten, and unloved. It is true, that many bloggers improve with time. They gain confidence, improve their skills, and take more time with their posts. Perhaps it is only fair to assume that the latest work is always the best, given this proposition.
Part of me disagrees. When someone is inspired to start a blog, they often write with passion, explore new ideas and thoughts, push their personal boundaries, or reveal more of themselves in their work. Photographers may get better as they develop technique, but there is something to be said for the impact of their raw, early attempts. This can also apply to Writing, Poetry, and Comment blogs equally. We are all missing hidden treasures, as we carry on reading through the recent posts that appear by e mail, or via the Reader, without delving deeper into the archives that are waiting patiently for our attention. When we start to follow a fellow blogger, or become attracted to something that they have just published, don’t we owe it to ourselves, and to those forlorn archives, to explore further, so that these gems do not remain unseen, or unread, for eternity?
Let us all try to become better bloggers, and to be more thorough in our reading, and appreciation of other blogs.