The forgotten archives

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.

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12 thoughts on “The forgotten archives

  1. Well said, Pete. Lack of free time is a factor for me, but now we’ve reached the end-of-year slowdown at work, I’m determined to catch up with bloggers I’ve connected with since starting my own last March. Hope all goes well with Ollie and have a great holiday season. Rick

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    1. Thanks Rick, and very best wishes to you too, from the UK.
      I think we all owe it to blogging, when possible, to make comments on other blogs, otherwise they just look sterile. Have a good Christmas. Pete.

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  2. I love it on the rare occasion I see that some’s read the earlier days of the blog, I love those posts as, similar to Arlene, there is quite a lot of passion in them. I always try to skim through a fair bit of someone’s blog when I follow but sometimes there’s just so much. Amy x

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  3. Pete, I do want to delve into some of your older posts (my problem is time availability). I certainly appreciate it when you point me towards a specific one that is relevant to something we’re discussing now. Although I spend time creating limericks to draw some interest to my blog, as it would be foolishly redundant to harp on my books and lyrics, I recognize that you are much more dedicated to your blog in terms of thought expenditure and subsequent production. Even this particular post, while it is about archives, is very well written and a joy to read. When something that shouldn’t be all that interesting actually entertains or impresses by virtue of solid writing skills, that is something of which you can be proud. I am very happy to have discovered your blog, and urge you to keep up the good work. And, when time permits, I’ll look into those archives!

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    1. Thanks for your kind compliments David. It was a general overview of the whole issue of blogging, and not intended as a criticism of anyone. As I am retired, I appreciate all too well that I have a great deal more time to spend on my blog, than almost anyone else still working.
      I always appreciate your input, and I am delighted to ‘see’ you here, whenever you get the chance. I am still enjoying those limericks too!
      Regards to you and Michelle, Pete.

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  4. Interesting thoughts Pete. Sometimes I find myself going back and reading everything a blogger has published before I click follow. However, I have noticed that people generally follow based on a single post like you mentioned (for example, I posted a picture of a gingerbread house, which resulted in many new followers (many in my scale of blogging), but I’m afraid they will disappointed to see I don’t usually write about baking and gingerbread and never return 🙂

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    1. For those of us, like you and me, who do not have blogs dedicated to one subject, I believe that we suffer more from ‘occasional visitor disease’, based on liking one post or subject.
      Never mind Mari, we always have each other!
      Regards as always, Pete.

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  5. I think you are right Pete, I don’t see much activity on my older posts unless I deliberately link to them in a comment because I think the person may be interested in it. Even though I have menus which help people look up certain places or subjects I doubt anyone really uses them. Conversely I DO look up older posts on blogs I visit, sometimes following a category that interests me.

    I may do an ‘end of year’ post on my blogs to revisit what is in my archives if only to refresh MY memory 🙂
    Jude xx

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    1. It does help to have a mental ‘spring clean’ of the blog sometimes, as well as to revisit posts from the start. I found that I had actually forgotten a few of the things that I had already written about!
      Glad to hear that you look at older posts. I will endeavour to do this more often myself.
      Regards as always, Pete. x

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  6. I love my older posts better, they are more interesting and have more meat than most of what I write today. Those were the days when I was so introspective about life, loving every minute because I knew that being given a second chance at life is a blessing.

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    1. That’s my point Arlene, and your own experience illustrates it so well. Sometimes that impetus to start blogging, in your case actual survival, gives us the greatest source of inspirational writing.
      Regards to you from England, as always, Pete.

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