Today was the hottest day of the year so far in Norfolk. After taking Ollie for his usual walk, I was feeling pretty drained, and not really in the mood to spend much more time outside. There was little escape from the sun, and no breeze to speak of. I am not complaining though. After spending two years complaining about the rain, I am pleased to be able to enjoy some dry days.
I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon in the small room grandly called ‘the office’. With the sun towards the back of the house, and sitting on my usual backless stool, I was able to keep reasonably cool. My mission was to check out the blogs of my followers. I have mentioned before, that I am informed by WordPress that I have 350 blog followers, and another 50 or so who follow by e mail, or via Twitter. I sat at my desk, and called up the list on the stats page. Seventeen pages of gravatars and website addresses to work through. I decided to make a cup of coffee.
I could exclude those that I follow, as I know what they are up to. I was also aware of a few that I knew to be defunct, for various reasons. That still left me with over 320 to plough through. I felt guilty, as in many cases, I had not commented for ages, or read any recent posts. I was quickly able to whittle down the numbers. Blog after blog had been deleted by the ‘owner’. Many had not been posted on since early 2013, or even late 2012. Some had posts declaring that they were ‘taking a break’, or ‘closed for the holidays’. In some cases, those holidays were last year’s. Numbers were further reduced by being able to ignore any ‘followers’ still active, who were continuing to sell stuff, or promote religions. A fair number of the blogs were still posting near-identical posts about pets, cooking, or photography. Nothing wrong with that, not in my book. Some of the budding authors had come on sufficiently to be advertising their published works, or putting up links to where they could be found. I excluded these from the ‘sellers’. They are just blogging writers who have achieved their goal. Well done to all of you in that category.
By far the majority are still going strong. They are blogging with the same enthusiasm as when they first came to my attention, and their blogs have gone from strength to strength. They almost all have a great deal more followers than I do, so congratulations are in order. We had started on this journey around the same time, and most of us are still here, to tell our tales. Most of their blogs are great to look at. Colourful, strewn with photos, and full of guest posts, or tales of travel. I did notice that many have changed theme. It seems that black is the ‘new black’, usually with red or white type. Others have eschewed wordpress completely, and are blogging on different platforms, or have taken the .com route, to their own website. I wish them luck, all of them. Some of the sites are simple ‘re-bloggers’, where the site owner writes very little themselves, instead re-blogging articles from many other bloggers. I mean no criticism of this. I have benefited from this practice personally, and I believe that it is a great way to spread the word, and to get ideas and information to those who might not otherwise discover it.
As and when I got the opportunity, I touched base with many of them once more. I liked a post here, commented on one there. Congratulated when appropriate, and encouraged if I considered it necessary. Some have already got back to me, no doubt surprised at my sudden and unexpected appearance. After a long afternoon into the early evening, I finally completed the list. It made me feel good, assuaged my guilt, and revitalised my community spirit, as far as the blogging community has one. I must be sure to do this more often. As I often say, we are all in this together,