Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Wordle kicked my butt, again

I was doing so well, with a 57 games winning streak. That ended a few days ago. And then again today. I am crushed. Here I thought I was good at words. Sigh.

But thinking about words has me thinking about the blog. To be honest, I'm finding it harder to have anything to say that might be of interest to my readers. I call my readers a small but loyal band, and thank you for showing up to read. But you deserve a quality blog, and it's been a bit of a struggle lately. Note, I'm happy to get comments or thoughts about this, either in comments, or more private correspondence.

I don't really believe the stats that Blogger serves up, and I've never really understood the ones that Google gave me. But both agree that readership is trending down. Now Google is updating to a new stats thingie, and I keep getting notices to sign up and the old one is getting turned off. But considering I go many months between looking at it, I don't think I'll miss it when it goes away.

But even the numbers that I do know are down, and that's on me. The number of blogs published peaked in 2019, with a trip to New Zealand and the resulting zillion photos driving publication more than once a day over the year. You'd think during COVID I'd be able to write more, but was involved in a complicated work contract that sucked up a lot of energy from mid 2020 to mid 2021. Then output went down dramatically in 2021 to a bit less than every other day. Then 2022 output, projected to the end of the year, is a bit lower again.

Another related thread is photography. I want to take better photos, and have been reading lots about that. There is the technical angle, get better gear, get better at using that gear, follow these "rules" to create better photos, use software editors to edit the photo out of all resemblance to the original scene, or use these new AI tools to sharpen the photo. Bah! Cameras now are amazing, and they've been amazing for more than a decade. Many of the most famous historical photos were done on gear that is now considered primitive. Equipment limitations are not the problem.

But to elicit a response beyond "it's nice" or "very pretty", you need to show a photo that has meaning. It must trigger an emotional response in the viewer. So there's two hurdles to overcome there. One is to produce such a photo, and that's on the photographer. Even experienced pro photographers admit it's a  difficult task. One of the general rules is to produce fewer photos, but spend more time thinking about each, and curate ruthlessly. That's one path I'm trying to take.

The other hurdle is for the viewer to find the time to actually look at the photo and think about it, rather than mindlessly scrolling onto the next one, and the next one, frantically trying to avoid the advertising served up in the feed. That's on the viewer, but in many ways they are the victim of social media conditioning. TLDR is a real thing, and I've heard people say that tweets are too long. There's days I despair over the future of literacy.

A test for you. Ask someone that just scrolled through their Instagram (or any other social media) feed, which of the photos they saw was the best. In fact, ask them to describe any of the photos they saw, even in general terms. Well, more detail than a face, or a landscape. Odds are they won't be able to, unless one of the photos happens to either be of a person related to them, or by pure happenstance there was a remarkable photo in the feed that caught their attention.

So back to the blog. I'm still noodling through possible changes, trying to decide what changes I should make. The fundamental question is, why am I doing this? What is this blog for, and the related photoblog? Perhaps some clarity there will drive the content. At the least, I should let my readers know what to expect. Or, like I said, you could let me know what you want to expect, or what you don't want.

Of the Day
Just so you know, I've been thinking about this feature. It started with driftwood, because I had a zillion photos of driftwood, and I know that most of my readership is mostly not interested, but several are, and I am. So I figured posting such a photo every blog, down at the bottom, would be a fine thing. Those interested could scroll, and those not interested could stop when they got there. 

Then more things got added. Flower photos. The cats. Landscape photos from trips. Other photos. The check list I made, which indicates if there's so many things I need a list to remember, there's probably too many things, is: Driftwood, Flower, Peony, Lily, Landscape, Green Fools, Film, Celina, Bee, Tombstone, Caribou (and soon it will become Fox), Lynx, and River Reflections. 

In fact, there's been several blogs where the Of the Day photos were the main feature, and one where it was the only thing. I wonder if if I've been overdoing it. Maybe I should curate harder, and say that instead of lots of nice peony photos spread over a year, I should boil it down to a few remarkably good photos and show those. When I say that's hard, some photographers would hear "I'm lazy." Or, as a hint, if you want just the best photos and very little story, check out my VERO feed. Note that to see the big version in all it's glory, you need to actually create an account (free!) and log in.

And yes, some of this snow is still here.

So enough blither.



Lilies are all done now, see you next year!

River Reflections



Caribou (the last one, stay tuned for a cute fox)



  1. Hi Keith. I feel your frustration but, for whatever it's worth, I still really appreciate your blog. I save it for when I have a half hour to sit down and really savour both your words and photographs. I should comment more but Safari makes that difficult for some reason. I only recently discovered commenting via Chrome is easier. Not sure why. Anyway, you must do what feels right for you but, for whatever it's worth, I'll be sad if you stop blogging altogether. I enjoy your insights on photography, political commentary, and reflections on processes of all kinds. If winnowing down the number of photos you share would make blogging feel less onerous, then I say do it. I'm actually working on a little project of my own at the moment that involves trying to limit myself to 3 or 4 images from each roadtrip. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to be able to do that, but it's an interesting exercise for sure. Good luck!

  2. So I have much and little to say on today's topic. Here is the short version. On one hand we all look like cookies, recognition, or acknowledgement. On the other hand those are lousy reasons to make any creative decisions. In the end we have to do what we get a kick out of, and then the results have the potential to have soul. It doesn't matter that not every post and every photo resonates with me. But some do, and they give me real pleasure. Thank you for those and please continue sharing your journey.


Looking forward to reading your comment!