Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm Popular? Shoot, I Thought I Was Respected.*

*Many thanks to Joey's Pad for the blog idea

"I'm popular. I have lots of cash, I'm popular. I drive a new car, I'm popular"-Nada Surf.


Popularity. Obtaining popularity is like hitting a beach ball with a whiffle ball bat. In other words, easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Respect. Obtaining respect is like hitting a golf ball with a javelin from two hundred yards away. In other words, wickedly difficult but not utterly impossible.

We all strive to be either one or the other in the Cyber World. If you become insanely popular, does that mean you're respected too? Or, if you're incredibly respected, does it mean that you're popular as well?

I follow a few blogs that have become insanely popular. By insanely popular, I mean that they have at least 1,000 followers and in one case, about 5,000 subscribers. But do I respect them? Not particularly. Sure they're wickedly funny and incredibly informative, but I certainly don't go out of my way to visit each and every day. And I certainly don't worry if I get into a war of words with another commenter and get warned by the owner to tone it down.

On the opposite side of the coin, there are a slew of blogs, that while not approaching that level of popularity (but are popular nevertheless), I have the utmost respect for. They're thoughtful, witty and insightful, and most importantly, treat the reader with respect and courtesy. With those blogs, I play nice.

This leads us to the big question of what do you strive to be as it pertains to your blog? Do you want to be popular, have gobs of acquaintances, and very few friends? Or, do you want to be respected, have gobs of friends and be known as an all around good egg?

I'll start the ball rolling with me. I think that in the beginning my main goal was to become popular in the blogging world. I knew early on that I would be facing an uphill battle, simply because I wasn't writing a humor blog. As the months progressed, I became popular, though not in the way I originally envisioned. I also started to become a little more respected during that same time period. Eventually, becoming respected easily out distanced becoming popular.

I like to think that its because of my eclectic mix of topics that I chose to bloviate about and the way that I go about writing them. The reason why I think this way is because last month, I wrote a post about having my weekly numbers drop. I decided to ask my good readers what they would like to see more of.

Unfortunately, the way I went about wording the post and the genuine reaction to what people though I might do (change the content), convinced me that to do any kind of major changes to the blog would alienate my regulars and potentially turn off any new people who might stay longer than a quick drive by.

While change can be a good thing, sometimes making a change to where a change shouldn't be made can be fatal.

Remember this? Coke, Coke II, Coke Classic.


  1. I would rather be respected, have friends (doesn't have to be gobs) and be known as an all around good egg...

    The variety of your blog works - I wouldn't change it. :)

  2. I, of course, want it all, popularity and respect, but I can see that widespread popularity is not likely to happen. I like the community, though, and that has become the most important thing to me.

  3. " Do you want to be popular, have gobs of acquaintances, and very few friends? Or, do you want to be respected, have gobs of friends and be known as an all around good egg?"
    I guess I'm the first one up this morning. Interesting question for the day.
    It's all so different in this day and age. Sound old, don't I? Facebook seems to be a way for a younger generation to count how many people they know and collect numbers. Twitter seems to be for folks that feel it necessary to tell us every fact of their daily life. The blogs that I follow are people that seem to love their life. They enjoy sharing what they are working on, interested in what I'm doing. There is a mutual respect for each other. I don't follow blogs where the intention is to "network" or to sell items,or to impress me with how talented they are. The blogs where they TELL you in great detail which gallery they are showing in and how much they have sold of Etsey.
    Friends take time and energy. Like anything that grows friendship needs care and feeding. It's not one sided.
    My blog started out as a way for me to try to connect to my adult children, especially my two older sons. I wanted them to know me as a person and not just Ma. One reads sporadically and one hardly ever. I could let that make me sad BUT the blog is there and the day that they are interested they can read it. Hopefully, I'll still be around to hear their comments.
    My daughter isn't interested in reading my blog. She lives with me. In her eyes I'm still MA/Grandma to her baby.
    So, those people that do read it I consider my friends. I read their blogs, I comment, I let them know that they are part of my day and I enjoy their friendship.
    Too long, right. Sorry about that, my coffee was to hot to drink.
    I have no idea if I answered the question, I've never really been good at "tests or quizzes". lol
    :)Bea Have a great weekend.

  4. Definitely respect rates more than popularity. I think that with respect, the readers who matter will stop by and engage in thoughtful comments, get a dialogue going, share insights and support one another. Which seems a pretty successful outcome to a blog.

  5. Interesting post, G.

    I've always been a quality over quantity type of person myself.

    To me, popularity and notoriety sometimes reside a little too closely.

  6. My blog is all about engaging in a conversation for me. I love to know that there are some people out there who are interested in what I have to say. I can be just me. I can even laugh at myself. It has been a great experience. Blogging brings a lot of positive vibes to my day.

  7. Remember "New Coke"? Ugh!

    I just blog because it's faster to type than scribble in a journal. That said, I had no goals when I set out, but it has been unexpected and fun to "meet" new people. There has just been one prick I wanted to strangle. So that's a pretty good ratio.

  8. At this point I would take either....:(

    I admit I get excited when my daily hits go above a certain number but I am more excited when the actual comments go up. I am looking for engagers not lurkers.

  9. Thanks for the link.

    What's the expression, if it ain't broke, don't fix it? I think I read a blog where I feel some sort of connection with the author.

    I try to mix things up a bit on my blog too, sometimes funny, other times more sensitive and revealing, but then doesn't that just echo what we are in "real" life?

  10. Lynn: Thanks. No I don’t plan on changing this blog. I discovered with that to even think out loud about changing a blog’s content can be disastrous. I’m quite happy being respected in my own special way.

    Charles: I’ve come to like and respect the small community that welcomed me with open arms and no questions asked. It was tough at first, but simply being myself and treating everyone the same way I wanted to be treated was really the only way to go. And right now, being a little of both is just what the doctor ordered.

    Bea: All of my immediate family has to the best of my knowledge, not read my blog. I do know that a few of the people from the chat rooms have read my blog and do like what I write. Ditto goes for my co-workers. I think in the end that the people I’ve met here and at the other 60 odd blogs I follow, I will cherish until they pull the keyboard from my cold dead hands.

    Joanne: No doubt about it. There quite a few blogs out there that I managed to have a small connect with and have no problems in actually having a meaningful conversation with. Same goes for my blog, as there has been a couple of times where I’ve had a good lengthy conversation with a few of my readers, usually over the topic in question, but sometimes it will morph into something else.

    Talon: Interesting point. Popularity and notoriety sometimes do go hand in hand. Sometimes a bad thing, sometimes a good thing. I will agree with you about quality over quantity. I would take a blog that posts at roughly the same pattern as mine (every other day) over one that churns it out several times a day hands down.

    Septembermom: I do see that a lot on your blog. Your blog is always a blast to read. I may not comment all the time on it, but I do try to read it every chance that I can get.

    R.K.: If you were able to remember that Coke analogy, you are really dating yourself young lady.  I came about blogging in an unusuall way in that a friend of mine who respected my writings in the chat rooms suggested I move them to the blog world. So far, it’s been a blast.

    Bearman: Ah yes, comments going up. When they do, it’s most definitely a sign that you’re consistently hitting the mark with your posts (or cartoons as the case may be).

    Joe: You’re more than welcome. I always give credit where credit is due. I agree with you about getting something of a connection with a blog author. It is something that makes us want to come back time and time again to that blog. Echoing what we are in real life is definitely what makes a blog rock.

  11. I would definitely have to vote for respected. I'm lucky to be part of a really great blog community. I would rather have that than more readers with less connection.

  12. Great post G - it gives a person a lot to think about. For me, I'm not sure I'm looking for either at this point.

    I started my blog to keep myself on track and for accountability. It's a place where I'm still trying to find myself - and my voice - at this point.

    Like I stated above though, it's something to think about in the future - although I think/hope I'll go for the respect over popularity.

  13. Mama Z: I agree. If you can connect with your readers in some particular way, then you got it made.

    Gabby: I was definitely in your shoes early on. While I was able to find my voice in the chat rooms, it was whole different matter trying to find my voice in the blog world.

    Using your blog as an accountability issue for yourself is a great idea. Wish I thought of that for myself.

    In any event, you'll find your voice slowly but surely in both the blog world and the publishing world.

    I would almost bet my last bottom dollar on it.

  14. No goals whatsoever, I just have some things I need to work out, in complicated non paragraphed form...

    Nada Surf, man, was that the soundtrack to 96ix...

  15. Miles: Sometimes I guess its good not to have goal, stated or otherwise.

    Unbridled creativity.

    I liked Nada Surf. Too bad they had that one good major release before disappearing from the scene.

  16. The most popular woman blogger I know I do not really respect, there is so much posting for the express sake of controversy and the ensuing drama. Entertaining as heck tho. Yet, I think she gives up a lot for what she gets.

    I won't lie -- I'd love to be HUGELY read, but in order to get there I know I'd most likely have to wear myself thin. And would not be balanced or happy. So.... I'd rather stay HUGELY loved by a few, and love you guys in return.

    And ooo, lovin' that word bloviate!

    Have I been a popinjay with this comment?

  17. Jannie: I have a link to one blog on the front, simply because he was nice enough to become a follower of mine after he asked to become a friend of mine at Blog Catalog.

    Anyways, he turned his blog into a collabortive effort and it usually churns out about 9 to 10 posts a day.

    It's all well and good to prolifically popular, but still I would take what I am, where I am today: well respected and yet reasonably well read.

    And yes, you were a popinjay with your comment.

    I do enjoy bloviating.

  18. I always pick Coke Classic- every time!
    I think sometimes you are very (sarcastically) humorous!

    If I had a need for those higher numbers, I might feel pressure to keep drumming up non-genuine subjects n pics to post, I gather.
    yep- just a little bit, Arethra...

  19. Yes, my humor can be downright sarcastic.

    Twas the result of a (physically) unhappy childhood/teenage hood/young adulthood while growing up.

    Sarcasm became my defense mechanicism to battle all of the nitwits who used to pick on me.

  20. Honestly, I think I've become bored with writing my blog. I need to figure something out, have some purpose. Now I only blog because I enjoy reading everyone's comments!

  21. I can understand being bored with blogging. Shoot, I think we all go through that from time to time.

    Maybe taking a short vacation for a while from it may help you regain your focus.

    I know a couple of bloggers who did just that. They each took about a month off and one reposted some of her faves from the past year.

  22. And now I shan't be truculent with this one.

    But fear I might.

    And just was.


  23. Interesting. I was aware of the difference between being respected and popular, of course --- we all are --- but your take on it is new. Or at least new to me.

    A blog can't be a perfect hybrid of both. Some mixing of popularity and respect is almost inevitable for any website (unless of course no one reads it). So if you care about having people read your site, somewhere you have to make a choice.

  24. Siebendach: Many thanks for dropping by to comment.

    I kind of based my observation partially on the blogs that I read and partially of the environment where I did my basic online training: chat rooms.

    I agree that a good mix is necessary to have a blog survive and prosper.


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