We did it! We reached another vital publication milestone this week: 2,000 WordPress.com Followers for this Boles Blog! WordPress Dot com followers are terrifically hard to get compared with Facebook and Google+ and Twitter because you can’t really virally — paid or not — advertise to get people to join your blog.
WordPress.com definitely needs to add some sort of advertising channel for blogs to use to gain readership and Followers for a price. Freshly Pressed is the Jedermann answer, but sometimes that itinerant heat needs to be narrower and more predictable. You can’t beat — or buy! — Freshly Pressed as an ordinary businesses line blog publisher, and that needs to change!
Moving forward, we begin to wonder about long-form blogging that made us famous. Today, readers tend to want shorter articles, not longer ones, and that poses an interesting problem for all authors and publishers. Generational attention spans are now more diluted, more diverse and incredibly shorter than they used to be — so what wants to be read that’s actually been written?
Automattic just purchased Longreads, as a salve against the rising tide of — “shorter is better, but not, BETTER better” — that Twitter and Facebook and Google+ have evilly evoked in our common minds over the last five years or so, and I’m not sure if it’s too late to try to promote a relegitimization of longer form writing if there isn’t pre-existing interest there any longer in the reader’s original eye.
I’ve witnessed this subtle, but obvious, change in readership behavior over the years. Readers tend to not want to comment on articles now as they used to, because they have their own pathways for expression beyond the blog. They prefer to click a LIKE button and then go on their own private network to chat about what they’ve read on the web.
The new no-database flat-file publishing memes of Ghost and Statamic are posing an interesting challenge to publishing sophistication by going backward with markup language that looks and feels like internet publishing in 1996, and to that I say, “Yuck! I’ll take WYSIWYG every hour of every day — I’ve done my time in the dungeon of coding my own articles, and I like my blogging software to do the details so I can concentrate on the larger, more beautiful, experience of writing.”
The goalposts of online success are ever-changing and people’s interests get redirected and re-established across new, and burgeoning, social networks.
Where once they’d comment, now they read and LIKE and Follow — and all that is good and kind — as long as the trend is always moving upward and pressing us forward and we have been long-term fortunate over the years to always keep up with the crowd as we are forever propelled to larger numbers and greater exposure, and for that, we thank you.
Our ongoing success is measured in years, and in millions, and we are here to stay because we were made for longevity and for absolute survival amid any storm of change.
Now, please LIKE this article on WordPress.com — and Follow us here if you aren’t already — and then LIKE us on Facebook and go circle us on Google+ and find us and Follow on Twitter and all that blah! … because the game keeps rolling and the mesh becomes thicker and our thoughts are stickier and our essences are even more embedded in our shared, human, conspiratorial, consciousness!
Onward to three thousand!