June 05, 2010

Motivation

For the past few weeks, I've been realizing that I don't have much need to write.  The F1 Update!s are becoming a chore.  Nothing in this season of anime has grabbed me and said "hey, mention me, will ya?"  I couldn't even have a topic for this year's Battle of Midway Day, despite trying for days to come up with something.

Part of it is, I'm sure, just "one of those phases" all bloggers seem to go through (or at least "thinkers" go through; I'm not sure "linkers" even need to use their brains for their blogs).  Part of it is a nascent fear that I'm on the wrong side of Sturgeon's Law.

And part of it is frustration, a particular type of frustration that again every blogger goes through at one time or another.  It's the frustration of seeing a post (or a series of posts) that you've put relatively large amounts of time and effort into... is being ignored completely.  I'm thinking of my episodic series review of Ga-Rei Zero here, but it could apply to just about anything on The Pond (with a couple of exceptions).  Nearly 26000 words and lord knows how many screencaps over 12 posts, at four hours minimum per post, and there's only 30 comments between them... and at least 10 of those are my own. 

At times like those, I just want to chuck the whole darn thing.  In Steven's "Linkers and Thinkers" post, he mentions that he was once frustrated because he was only getting "100 to 150 views" a day.  In 2002.  I look at that now and laugh... and wish I had that many hits in a week.  I see posts over at Twenty Sided that have fewer than 20 comments and the droll message "Isn't that nice," or something to that effect... and I get annoyed, because that many comments would be a huge success here, and he's so blasé about it that he makes jokes about how few there are.

Wonderduck's Pond isn't one of the big hitters like Steven or Shamus, never will be, and I'm fine with that.  I didn't start writing here because I cared if people read it, but because I wanted to write.  But everybody with a comments section wants a little recognition for their efforts; me, you, the blogger who writes about plastic daffodils, everybody.  Maybe the stuff here isn't worth commenting on... again, the fear of being on the wrong side of Sturgeon's Law... or maybe nobody sees it, or maybe nobody gives a rat's asterisk about commenting anymore.  And The Pond's five-year anniversary is coming up...

So what should I do?  What would you do?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 02:43 PM | Comments (20) | Add Comment
Post contains 447 words, total size 3 kb.

1 I enjoyed your posts on Gai-Rei... A problem though: some of those posts refused to completely load in my browser. This is actually a general problem with your blog--some of your posts simply don't load completely. It doesn't seem to happen to any other mu.nu blogs. I think it happens more often on some of the longer image-heavy posts, but not really sure. It also happens for some of the F1 Updates. Anyway, unless someone is paying you to blog, don't feel compelled to post if its a drag, though I'd be sad if you dropped out...

Posted by: Kayle at June 05, 2010 03:08 PM (dmU/A)

2 Just refresh the post in question, that usually loads everything in.

Posted by: Wonderduck at June 05, 2010 03:43 PM (iJfPN)

3 I really enjoyed your Gai-Rei posts, and started checking your site daily at that point.  I also enjoy your history posts.  However, I usually don't having anything intelligent to say in response (not that I always let that stop me).  I'd be disappointed if you stopped posting, but I won't be selfish enough to request that you keep posting if you no longer enjoy it.

Posted by: Siergen at June 05, 2010 05:30 PM (jMQcx)

4

I think that concerns about traffic are also one of those phases people go through.

In the end, the writing itself is the reward. I don't write because I expect huge numbers of people to read (although my current traffic levels are quite comfortable, so this sounds a bit like Misaka Mikoto's "power doesn't matter" comments: that's easy for you to say, Railgun!). I write because I'm compelled to write. Or because the act of writing is fun.

In the end, the question is this: what's in this for you? What do you want? Why are you doing it?

If you want traffic, post porn. If you want to write, well, write!

And if there's nothing in it for you, then quit. (I'd be very  sorry if you did, though.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 05, 2010 05:34 PM (+rSRq)

5

Do you have a traffic tracker? You might be surprised by the amount of traffic you get. Sitemeter is free; try adding one to the template so that it shows up in all your pages. (That's what I did.)

It's dangerous to gauge reader interest by the number of comments your posts draw.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 05, 2010 05:37 PM (+rSRq)

6 I do read (or at least skim) most of what you post here, and it's generally good stuff, but I can't comment if I've got nothing to say, and that's almost always the case with your WWII and F1 posts. I don't know nearly enough about either subject to believe I can add to the discussion. Anime is different, of course, but even then there's a lot that I'm just not interested in, or that I am interested in but haven't seen yet and don't want to get spoiled on (Ga-Rei Zero being an example of the latter). Plus I'm currently in a bit of an anime slump myself.

As for what you should do... if you aren't getting anything out of anime and WWII history, and F1 is becoming a chore, why not write about something else? If you want more comments, actively soliciting them (like you did in this post) might help... I don't have any meaningful blogging experience, but I'm always more inclined to comment when a blogger expresses interest in what I think.

Posted by: Andrew F. at June 05, 2010 06:03 PM (f9X3G)

7 Refreshing helps only on most of the posts, not all of them. Also, I usually have to strip out the hash part of the URL (the behavior of linking to a landmark is weird on your blog, but I haven't been motivated enough to look into the code to find out why...)

Posted by: Kayle at June 05, 2010 09:49 PM (dmU/A)

8 I read your blog regularly, although I don't comment - exactly like all the other blogs I read.

I really appreciate the F1 posts - it's nice learning about a subject I'd be abjectly ignorant on.

I came for the anime (followed a link from Steven's blog I don't know how long ago) but stayed for the eclectic well-written posts.

Posted by: Andy at June 06, 2010 12:51 AM (MXy5A)

9 Kayle, that happens with his posts which extend past the length of his side bar. And it only happens with IE. Firefox handles the long ones fine.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 06, 2010 01:10 AM (+rSRq)

10 Comments are a drug that can cause bad trip easily. Weirdly enough it happens at all levels of traffic. From LGF to AoMM comments contributed to the collapse of the blog.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at June 06, 2010 01:20 AM (/ppBw)

11 Not everyone who loves and reads is able to write... I read Chizumatic and Pond everyday, but I won't comment.

Posted by: ari at June 06, 2010 12:31 PM (1wHyJ)

12 I don't check a whole lot of blogs every day, but this one's on that list. Everything I know about F1, I learned from the Pond! ;p

Personally I have a bad habit of not posting. Sometimes I genuinely don't have anything to report. Sometimes I -do- but I don't write anyway. I mean, I could go make a rant-post about Minoru Shiraishi (who is, curse his hide, back in my life again)... but I probably won't, because it'd just depress me when I ought to be timing.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at June 06, 2010 12:44 PM (mRjOr)

13 To be honest?

I would remove my comments section, if I was feeling self conscious about it enough that It might make me quit doing something I enjoy.

Posted by: Felblood at June 06, 2010 06:36 PM (Q6asm)

14 I'm a long time reader, but only an infrequent commenter; often I hold back from commenting because I think my comment might be frivolous and asinine.  Perhaps I should comment more often, if it would make you feel better about blogging.

Along with the other commenters here, I do enjoy your blog and appreciate your commentary, particularly on the topics of Formula One and WWII history.  I enjoy your anime posts, too, even though I pretty much gave up on Japanese animation quite a while ago; some of your anime posts tempt me into getting back into it, at least in a small way.

Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at June 06, 2010 08:10 PM (c62wM)

15 Down at the bottom of the sidebar:

Monthly Traffic

    * Pages: 16552
    * Files: 23117
    * Bytes: 1712.5M
    * CPU Time: 13:33
    * Queries: 778225


Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 07, 2010 11:21 AM (PiXy!)

16 I'll echo Andy and avatar... I cared nothing about racing until you started posting F1 updates.  Now I look forward to your mooooooove of the day.  I even watched a few minutes of F1 a while back, just out of interest.

So... stop posting if it is too much of a chore for you, of course.  You don't owe me (or us) anything.  Nevertheless, I kind of think you would miss doing it after a while.  And I enjoy your various slice-of-life posts, and mourned with you on your recent loss.

There is a loose coalition of friends here, and it is made possible primarily by the blog, which is after all, a collection of posts which you felt it worthwhile, to create.

Your choice, in the end, but there are a lot of us out here who read; more than you think, I suspect.

Posted by: dkAllen at June 07, 2010 12:58 PM (1PFDl)

17 I'm just a mere long-time lurker, but I have to throw in here. I enjoy the F1 Updates - because they're fun to read!

And your Pacific War posts are great. Most of those have ended up bookmarked in my "WWII" folder to re-read later.

What Steven said up above is the key - if  you don't enjoy it, don't do it.

But we enjoy what you're doing!

Posted by: UtahMan at June 07, 2010 02:45 PM (p1tb6)

18 Yes, but what does all that MEAN, Pixy?  

Posted by: Wonderduck at June 07, 2010 08:37 PM (iJfPN)

19 It means you've had, at current count, just under 18,000 page views so far this month.

That doesn't break out web spiders from actual visitors, though, so the number is a bit inflated.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 07, 2010 11:09 PM (PiXy!)

20 For a comparison in the same units, my blog at meenuvia gets 1521 (10 times less). And Ani-nouto was pulling about 3000 to 4000 non-uniques in the best days.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at June 07, 2010 11:46 PM (/ppBw)

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