Sunday, 29 April 2012

On followers.. and other things

Yesterday morning I opened my eyes and looked across at the clock on the dressing table.  What I saw didn't make sense.  Given that I didn't have my glasses on, I tried swapping the short hand with the long hand.  What I saw made even less sense....!  I rolled over to Mark's side of the bed and checked the alarm clock.  It confirmed the situation.... I had gone to bed at 10.15 on Friday evening and woke up at 10.30 on Saturday morning!  It has to be said that I feel immensely better for sleeping the clock round. 

Yesterday we made the most of the fact that it wasn't raining to squeeze in some walking.  All up, we probably walked about six miles - all on tarmac round the lanes.  Today it's so dreadful I'm not even considering a short walk.  We'd just get completely drenched.  It's a nice chance to catch back on some blogging and reading everyone's recent posts.

Yesterday I read Mrs Thrify's post at New Beginnings about followers and the comments that people sometimes leave on other people's blogs.  Her post has clearly struck a chord with many bloggers and there a several extensive comments on her post that make interesting reading.  It certainly made me reflect a little on how I feel about following and being a follower. 

You see it's important to me that I do my best to be a good follower.  I want to read people's posts, remember the context that they are written in and be able to write something that shows I can remember all of this when I comment.  That takes time.  I love the fact that there are 39 of you out there who take the time to read my waffles... but I worry that I will struggle to keep track of you all if the number grows.  I used to love having penpals when I was at school.  I see blogging as a sort of 21st Century version of all those letters I wrote as a teenager!

At the same time it seems to me that some people judge the success of a blog by the number of people who are following it.  It's easy to get dragged into a kind of 'play-ground' psychology on the internet.... "Why has she got more friends than me?" "What is she doing that I'm not?" etc...  On top of all of this I'm worrying that I'm going to cause offence.  On a couple of occasions people have found me and left really nice comments.  When I've tried to find their blogs to respond I can't find any link.  Some time later I've found their blogs and responded - but by this time they think that I'm unfriendly and unresponsive.  This upsets me.

The bottom line is that I love reading all your blogs.  I feel honoured to be given an insight into so many people's lives and I love the connectivity of the blogging world.  Nevertheless, I am also in awe of the well-established blogs with a huge number of followers. I don't know how you manage the situation so well.

As for 'Stand and Stare'..I'm hoping that this blog will gently potter away in the quieter lanes of 'blog-land'. 

I sincerely hope that this post hasn't caused any offence. 


  1. Hello Jan;
    From all that we hear the rain in the UK continues unabated whilst here the windows are wide open and the temperature today has climbed to 30C. The difference is quite amazing.

    We read with interest what you write here about blogging and we also saw Mrs. Thrifty's post on the same subject. What we feel is important is that you should, where 'Stand and Stare' is concerned, only do what works for you and what is, realistically, possible given that you have a demanding teaching job and, doubtless, together with your husband a house to run.

    Certainly with our own blog we find that as it grows it does take a great deal of time. For us one solution is to limit our posts to one every five to seven days, but even then answering comments and reading and commenting on other blogs is very time consuming.

    But, thank you so much for coming across to us, for leaving a comment, to which we have made reply, and for becoming a Follower.

    Meantime, if you do want to know anything about Hungary over which we may be able to offer advice or an opinion, please do not hesitate to email.

    1. Thank you - I am amazed that you can keep up with over 400 followers! Jx

  2. Hi Jan, I read Mrs Thrifty's post too and agree that it's hard to keep up with everyone. A couple of blogs I read have over 2000 followers! They can't possibly comment on every one. I tend to comment on the ones that comment on mine if I'm short of time because we become friendly and have a rapport with each other because we have got to know each other. It seems a lot of people worry about this, me included, when we shouldn't really. Having a blog should be fun! I love my little blog and am proud of it. Oh and congratulations, you have 40 followers now, not 39! Lots of love xxx

  3. I'm really appreciative of any comments left on my blogs so I do try to comment back, though it isn't always possible. I find that the blogs I do follow and the ones I tend to comment on most posts are those which interest me. There's no point following blogs which don't hold any interest to you. I also find that some people comment or follow blogs just to get a comment or follower back. I'm afraid I don't go in for all that. Why would you follow a blog which you have no interest in? Isn't it an awful day? I'm afraid Archie's walks are getting shorter and shorter, I do wish this rain would stop now.

  4. HI Jan, first things first! I would love to be able to sleep through the night without waking up, I am so jealous you managed to do that! I havent done that for years!
    Anyway, back to blogging.I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said and that Mrs Thrifty said on her blog too(I left a comment on there as well). I like to read the blogs I follow and leave comments, not always long ones, just enough sometimes to let people know I have read their posts.I dont think the number of followers you have matters one jot.I am not posting as often now because of the time factor and there is no doubt that it is time consuming reading and leaving comments.

  5. Such a great post, and even better as I have read and been thinking about Mrs Thrifty's post as well. I think I have decided that I am blogging for me foremost, as a channel for creativity and a record of my days. I am obviously very nosy as I do really love reading the stories of other peoples lives and find them inspiring and challenging in different measures, if I enjoy reading something I like to acknowledge it by a small comment. It is lovely if they respond and I get to know them more but I think I respond and write for me not just to gain idea if that made sense but it has been mulling around my head all day!

    Sleeping the clock round sounds bliss, hope it did you some good xx

  6. I certainly opened a can of worms didn't I? I couldn't agree more with your comment though about playground mentalities - as teachers we should know all about this. I do love visiting other blogs and have gained so much from doing so - meal ideas and ways of saving money and wonderful crafting ideas. I am often staggered by other peoples' inventiveness and creativity. I do the sleeping around the clock every now and again! xxx

  7. Jan, I found you via Jane and Lance. You raised questions I sometimes think about, so I took a trip over to Mrs. Thrifty to read the initial post and left a rather lengthy comment regarding my take on blogging etiquette. I think your blog is lovely. And most importantly it is yours. I found my blog gave me a voice. I hope you have an easier week. Bonnie

  8. I too share the same misgivings. Answering comments and commenting on those blogs that have been kind enough to comment on yours, takes time - a lot of time. Sometimes I find it overwhelming, and take a break away from it. But, saying that, I have come across some really lovely people and blogs and am happy to be part of the blogging world.

  9. Hi Jan.I, too, feel the way you do and try to read and comment on people's blogs. I have found, over this last month when I have been blogging, that there are so many people out there who are doing such interesting things and I want to learn more and be inspired! Some I have come upon by happenchance and would never find them again if I didn't become their follower! I seriously wonder, though, how people with 1,ooo+ followers can do it...I just don't know! I enjoy pottering around though and finding so many lovely people. I just think you have to do what feels comfortable to's very individual but keep's so interesting! Joan

  10. Hi Jan, me again!!
    Thank you for the comment you left on my blog post about my family tree.I think its a great idea holidaying in a part of the world where some of your family come from.Pop into churches and cemetaries if you get chance you may find something connected to your family as we did.I like to imagine walking in their footsteps and wonder what it must have been like at the time they lived.I love genealogy and cant get enough, my own and other peoples!