Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why Do YOU Blog??

Yesterday, my blog's traffic report showed 80 visits. Now friends, that is a massive amount of traffic, for my little blog. In trying to analyze it (which I suppose is impossible) I considered several items that never cease to amaze me.

I get lots of comments about how much others enjoy reading my blog, surprised there are only a few comments made on the blog entries. When I 'invite' comments, I never get one. When I do get comments, it is from usually from other bloggers, I love them. Am I fishing for comments and feedback, is that why I blog?

I don't rely on traffic numbers to measure the success of my blog. Honestly, I have never had the time to keep an ongoing 'journal' about a subject my entire life. As an educator, I taught 'writing' to kids, never practiced it much as an adult. I have a 'voice', and I want to continue to try it. Often, I received encouraging 'complements' on college papers - "well written" or "well stated". I feel I have something to say and I CAN say it 'well'.

I enjoy sharing thoughts on my living in the Kansas countryside, of being the person I am and being an artist and how those three things sometimes 'collide' and sometimes I enjoy the benefits of the combination. Blogging is very personal. It's a true reflection of your life experiences, your views, attitudes, and opinions, it's kind of like I left my diary open on the desk for others to read, therefore, I thought it would be scary to share openly and push that PUBLISH button each time I wrote (esp. to 80 others in one days time), but it has become a source of what gives me more purpose. We all have something to say. I want to practice saying it as creatively and clearly as I can. It's saving paper, it's on my computer and others have read my thoughts, they know me better. That would be success!

Truthfully, I look at everyday life and think, "What about 'this', would make for interesting writing or reading for that matter?" If you go back, I started my blog with the desire to share my art as I was beginning to rev up my practice and within a few days the "Peepers" incident happened. I was hooked on telling the saga of Peepers. And what a saga it was! One never knows when that kind of stimulus for writing and sharing will occur! Another part of my blog that is very important to me is "Where I Stand Sunday". It has given me a comaraderie with the others who use this vehicle for writing.

I don't advertise for others on my blog, except for Robert Genn (see sidebar), and that helps artists, it doesn't necessarily sell something. I don't get paid to do that, it just promotes art and artists. And that's one of my main missions. That subject will be in other blogs, from time to time. Self promotion and promotion of what I think is important to the human existence - ART. So here goes the issue for today...

On the Nebraska TV News the other night, I heard that they were thinking about eliminating instrumental music from the 4th grade and how that would give the older kids more 'class' time in music class. I guess you can look at it anyway you want, but ultimately, to 'hook' kids - some of whom I have known just "busting" in 2nd grade to someday soon "play" with the band or orchestra - you need to catch them while you can! One year less on the beginning side, makes for one less year of proficiency on the graduating side, too. In some arenas, people shouldn't mess with "rights of passage" with kids. I am sure they are doing this for budget cut reasons. WE - our civilization - needs to protect what goes on in the 'arts' in schools! I get so afraid that if changes like the one I just wrote about occur, we have started to lose the battle. Remember? ART SAVES LIVES (that includes P.E., Music and Fine art!) (Just like some parents think that 'SPORTS saves lives', and I will go along with that, too!) Some kids are athletes and some kids are artists! So hopefully, I planted a seed for thought, if you haven't ever considered it. And now, as lots of little kids do in the early writings - THE END!

P.S. - So why do you blog? Leave a short comment if you would - ha, just think, yesterday I could have had around 70 - 80 comments!


Sandy Sandy said...

As I wrote in Robert Genn's "Letter of Love" post on 7/14 06; "All my blogs do add up to a pretty hefty commitment of time and energy on a daily and weekly basis. It's not as hard as it seems though. The positive feedback, self-fulfillment and personal growth I'm experiencing from these endeavors are well worth the effort. Blogging keeps me psyched and going back for more! I enjoyed viewing your blog today and really like your slide show Pattie. How hard was that to set up? Oh, and I lived in Kansas for a few years growing up. Such a windy place!!

Leann said...

I started my blog to force myself to do artwork, any kind of artwork. Before it was easy to put off working on a piece, now I think "What am I going to blog about if I don't have anything to show?". It has worked, it keeps me creative, and the friends I make and stay connected with are a wonderful bonus.

Pattie said...

It is refreshing to read your comments, Sandy and Leann! For Sandy, click on the Slideshow link at the bottom of my slideshow and it should take you there, the rest is for your 'figuring out' enjoyment! It's fun, and people DO subscribe. Colorado got pretty windy these past few years, too! We are surprised there aren't more "wind farms" here. For Leann, that reason is always in the back of my mind, too! If I haven't submitted a photo of something I created recently, I think -"Come on, you call yourself an 'artist', where's the art?!"

Andrew Niculescu said...

I believe that blogging can help artists connect to their audience. There is value in the interaction through comments; you have to remember that for every 1 or 2 comments there are probably 4-6 people just "watching".

That being said, blogging has many benefits in maintaining a viable web presence. Keeping track of your website/blog statistics is a very vital habit to get into. It will provide you with the all-too-useful "big picture" of your website/blog performance. One of the most powerful tools available, happens to be a free one: Google Analytics. It is relatively straight forward to setup and not at all time consuming to use.

For a "traffic injection" it is useful to take advantage of free features from websites that have an established audience, such as The Painter's Keys. For example, submitting a comment to any of Robert's letters will surely translate in new visitors to your website/blog; a percentage of those are likely to becoming "repeat offenders".