98, 99, 100. This is it!

100 posts. Somehow, despite the snail-like pace at which I write, this will be my 100th little essay, my 100th excuse to share a  picture or 10, my 100th effort to pitch content against the wall of the blogosphere to see what sticks.   What have I learned after all that rigmarole?

As I look out upon the darkened theater of the internet, I can hear a hush fall over the audience. What secrets will be revealed?  All are intent.

Well, maybe it’s not a total hush.  Cell phones still buzz and chime away, suggesting texters are still out in force.  The OCD tendencies of the Fear of Missing Out syndrome distract from their full attention to my pending pedantry of posting wisdom.  Perhaps what hush they have is not of expectation.

And what’s going on in that corner over there? Why, there’s a whole cadre of folks who have turned off their computers, silenced their phones, and opted to have a real life instead of a virtual one. They’re not awaiting my wisdom with bated breath, they’re more likely baiting a hook to go fishing and couldn’t care less about my pronouncements.

Perhaps they’re the wise ones.

In fact, as the slice of internet audience that’s pointing my direction is so small, that “hush” I detected is best explained as a pause between snores. Especially as my posting history does not suggest the probability of juicy gossip about [celebrity of the day], wild conspiracy theories, “fake news”, or 10 ways to [solve some problem you didn’t know you cared about].  All in all, it‘s best there’s not a large audience holding their breath for the big reveal. For this profound piece of wisdom is…

...Damned if I know. Maybe I’m more comfortable writing than I was when I started nearly two years ago.  Maybe I have a better notion of what my “voice” is. Am I a better writer? That was a goal, but the reality, which I suspect many of us share, is I never know from one post to the next whether a piece I pitch will be received as a masterpiece of prose (and/or photography) or yet another ho-hum blog from yet another ho-hum blogger.  The odds favor the latter option; I’ve read great writing, I’m not there and I doubt I ever will be.  The best I hope for is, for that tiny slice that comes by I can offer some level of entertainment to drown out the collective snore of the internet.

As for tips and tricks for building up a base of followers all I can say is, read other bloggers.  If they interest you, engage.  A comment is worth 10 Likes.  A regular, engaged follower is like gold; they provide the inspiration to continue on and are worth 50 followers who just follow you to get you to follow them.  If you’re just after numbers it’s superficial – you’re missing the point of the blogging community.

That’s just my opinion. I don’t have a huge following, but there’s a fair number of gold standard level followers in that group; I am grateful and try to return that level of support to them.  I can’t engage with everyone that interests me – there’s not enough time in the day.  Some that I follow regularly do not respond in kind – I suspect they are tapped out as well, I don’t take it personally.  (Well, I try not to anyway.)

How will post 100 do?  Probably not great.  There are no eye-catching pictures, it’s a departure from my usual photography/travel/adventure motif, and the title is but a wretched attempt at click bait that’ll only suck in the random browsers for … oh, I guess they’ve already left. (If you’re still here, you rock!)

And as for what the next 100 posts will bring? Time will tell.  I hope you stick around to find out.

 

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37 thoughts on “98, 99, 100. This is it!

  1. I’m first, I’m first! Hopefully one of your gold standard level followers! I could not agree more on the wisdom imparted here; I have my little core group and that’s all that matters (for now, at least). I’ve noticed that once the followers come, more followers arrive at a faster pace, but the numbers don’t grab me the way they used to. Now it’s all quality over quantity, and I don’t have time for much more anyway, partly because I’m still trying to live a great percentage of my life off the internet! Congrats on your milestone, Dave – keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pinklightsabre

    That’s one of my favorites of yours, possibly the top…but we all read for different things. I like the natural way you engage here, kind is stretch out, yawn, but in a very comfortable manner. Well done. Took me many more than 100 to get to that. Lots of gems here and thanks for sharing them Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bill, glad you enjoyed it. It’s not often I focus on writing, as you noted a while back I consider myself a photographer first and a writer second. On the other hand, a key reason I started blogging was to learn to write better – a new challenge. Maybe I should challenge myself more often.

      Like

  3. Oops! A really strong core group of groupies. The tone of this post is very engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you! And now you’ve made me wonder how many posts I’ve done – mine might be called “milestone missed…”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on the 100th post!

    I get your point, it is hard to capture people’s attention these days as there is so much competing for attention what with whatsapp, instagram, email, texting and of course blogging.

    I enjoy reading your posts as I do other bloggers. Of course I miss some, sometimes quite a few, especially when we are on the road and traveling and it becomes hard to keep up. But I do really enjoy following and commenting when possible and having other bloggers read us and comment. More than friends and family, other bloggers become “the new friends and family’ of the blogging world.

    Keep going. Here comes 200!

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Peta. There’s some truth to your friends and family notion, I probably chat more with fellow bloggers than I do with a lot of family and friends.

      I hesitate to even wonder what will be in the next 100.

      Like

  5. Well, Dave, I think your writing has matured into an easy and comfortable style over the time you’ve been blogging, so there’s the first achievement. And, by your own admission, you have a core of dedicated followers who comment – gold dust! And you know (I think) what you want out of your blog. Good achievements all, and congrats on the hundred up!

    Now, get writing…(and photographing, of course!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats, Dave, on your hard work. I have noticed over the past few months that you have found your unique writing voice and your photographic eye has become more focused. The great thing about blogging is that we can go back to early posts and see how far we’ve come. Wishing you another 100+ fabulous posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Julie. I think one of the advantages of throwing ever more content out there is we get less self-conscious about whether we’re making a fool of ourselves, we’ve already been there, done that. This frees us up for more personal expression.

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  7. Congrats on hitting 100 Dave. I can relate to your point about trying to keep a tiny audience awake long enough to read one’s posts. Sometimes I have trouble staying awake myself while I’m writing ’em. As you say we have to compete with such a volume of material, much of it highly dramatic and sensationalist. So perhaps the best approach is to go the other way (as you’ve been doing) and produce thoughtful musings and travelogues, well written and illustrated with fine pictures.

    To quote Blake: ‘To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour’. A challenge with our fast-paced, ultra-short attention lifestyles, but one that can pay dividends in the long run.

    Here’s to the next 100, cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. “I’ve read great writing, I’m not there and I doubt I ever will be. The best I hope for is, for that tiny slice that comes by I can offer some level of entertainment to drown out the collective snore of the internet.”

    I don’t know Dave, I’m confident that I’ve read some great writing on your page over the last year or two. You’re consistently clever, engaging, entertaining, and educational (you’re welcome to roll your eyes, but I’m sincere).

    I’m looking forward to the next 100. Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Wade. My eyeballs are pinballing a bit at that, but I appreciate it. I like to think I’m a good writer, with occasional moments of inspiration, but when I start feeling cocky I just think on some of the more sublime things I’ve read and it gets me centered again.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats on the 100th post! Most bloggers don’t make it that far, from what I understand. And I think you are judging yourself much too harshly when it comes to your writing skills. You write very well, in an accessible and interesting style that engages the reader. Which is my I’m glad I found your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ann. If I judge myself harshly it’s only because of the standards the truly great writers have set. And also due to a quote from Stephen King, “While it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer, and while it is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one.” In that pantheon, I consider myself a competent writer with occasional forays into good writer. In any case, I’m glad to have you along for the ride.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy 100, Dave. I’ve loved your posts, and especially your help at the beginning when I was getting started (that showed me what a great community this was!) Good luck with the next 100! I’m 👀 looking forward to reading more of your witty voice and seeing more of your photos as your new love continues to snag your attention and as your skill in that area improves. 📷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sheri. Thanks for the props, and was glad to help early on. Photography isn’t a new love if that’s what you were referring to, it’s been a hobby for over 40 years. What’s new is updated gear and growing skills in digital editing.

      Like

    1. One of the ways I like to think about it is in the number of words. If we assume I’ve averaged 800 words per post, that makes 80,000 words. Damn near a book – a disjointed biography if you will.

      Like

  11. Wow! 100 posts is a big milestone for a blogger. Did you get one of those badges from WordPress?I used to look forward to those badges and milestone notifications during my early blogging days. I’ve could never made sense of the number game. I’ve always felt when you get captivated by numbers (followers or likes) it seems to affect the reason for blogging or the way you blog. That’s when, you need those ‘gold standard followers’ to keep you grounded! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I did get one of those badges. I don’t fixate on stats the way I did when I started but I still enjoy it when they legitimately bump. I spent my career as a data guy, guess the old dog still likes the old tricks. Gold standard followers are what make at least some of the numbers legit.

      Liked by 1 person

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