Monday, November 20, 2023

A social media update


I've never known quite what to make of the readership "statistics" that Blogger provides. Part of the problem was that I never really knew what they were measuring. For a while I had a Google thingie that purported to provide readership numbers, sliced and diced and mangled and stirred and who knows what else. I could never make sense of it. One of my co-workers at the time launched into an explanation that started, "It's a great tool!!" and it proceeded almost instantly into words that seemed like English but conveyed no meaning. They updated it, but I didn't. I just made the assumption that like almost every other software upgrade, the replacement would be worse than the current version. I don't miss it.

Blogging used to be much more popular than it is now, but I'm not doing this for popularity. I suspect that my readership has levelled off to a small group of people that know me personally, and are interested in either what I have to say, or in the photos I show. I was looking over the list of people on my blog notification email list, and there's only two that I have not met in person. (Hi Sue and Pete, hope you're still with me!) For some of the others, it's been a moment. Or two, or many. Lots of them do not live in Alberta anymore, if they ever did. Thank you all for continuing to read, and the periodic emails or comments. Love to hear from my readers!

So the blog will continue as it has been. Probably a little more often than weekly, but almost certainly not daily, except maybe in really short bursts. As always, you'll never know what you're going to get till you open it and look. I wouldn't want to bore you. 

Those that have been following along know I deleted the Twitter account years ago. It's nothing but a rage machine designed to annoy every reader. Instagram is purported to be a platform to share photos, but it was never good at it. I stopped posting to it a long time ago, though I haven't actually deleted it. My thinking is that if I meet another photographer in the wild, it's a good way to share tentative contact info.

I've been on VERO for photo sharing for a little over a year, posting one photo a day. If I've counted and done the math right, I've shared 415 photos there. I know a few people on VERO in person, but they have chosen to not post many photos. I've met one new photographer, but I don't know if he follows the blog. (Hi Ray, just in case.) There's a few in Calgary that I'd be willing to meet up with, and have hinted, but no response.

Tik Tok is a strange thing that baffles me. I suspect that some of the short videos I've watched via Facebook originate in Tik Tok. 

Which leads me to the social media behemoth. Or Leviathan, or Kraken. Whatever you want to call the monster. I've been bad lately, scrolling endlessly, trying to figure out why I was being shown stuff. The best part of it was discovering Walter the Catt, who could be a clone of Curtis, with a human that has interesting conversations with him. I was thinking that maybe I missed a bet there. Curtis was easily the star of the blog, and maybe with a bit of effort he could have become famous. He was certainly photogenic enough on camera and I'm pretty sure he would have been on video. Is videogenic a word?

I realized again yesterday that the scrolling didn't make me happy. Nothing in the scroll was from anyone that I knew. Why should I care about it? 

The reading just lately has been re-reads of Malcolm Gladwell. He's got lots of interesting things to say, and interesting takes on the human condition. Outliers was the one that was striking home just now, looking at people that are out at the extreme end of the bell curve in one way or another, and not necessarily for the reasons you might think. That and conversations with a friend who is not, shall we say, in the middle of the bell curve.

But it made me think about what I'm doing, and why I'm doing it. I had several books churning through my brain just lately, and I couldn't focus on any of them. Part of that was not feeling well, but the other part was realizing I need to focus on one thing at a time. I've never been particularly good at flitting between tasks, but for a long time I had the energy to do it. Not any more. 

As I was thinking about a book, which photos, which order, what text to go with them, who the audience was, what the why of it was, I was getting distracted by the other books clamoring for my attention, and by the endless Facebook doom scroll. Yes, I was procrastinating, and it was carrying over into other parts of my life. Not good.

So starting today, a new Facebook rule. Look once a day. Start at the top, and scroll till I see the first post from Facebook wanting me to follow it, or one too many sponsored ads. Look at the notifications button and check out people that I actually know. Respond as might be appropriate for any of all that. Deal with any of the private messages. Close the screen and do something else. 

The important words there are "do something". Get up off my butt, mostly likely incurring complaints from Celina, but needs must and all, and actually do something. Go for a walk, which I haven't been doing much of. Pick a house project and work on that. Pick a photo book and work on that so it's ready to go when the next good sale comes along. 

I realize there are tools that purport to tame Facebook, and I've looked into that a bit. But that takes some management as well, and I'd just as soon learn to do without. Facebook isn't that valuable to me. I want to try to spend more time doing things that are important to me for whatever reason. Spend more time with friends, whether that's going for coffee/lunch, going for a walk, doing photo rambles or other photo related projects, or whatever. Just about anything in the real world is better than scrolling through Facebook.

VERO, I'm not so sure about it just now. It's a much better platform for sharing photos, but the key question for me is why? Why share photos there and not Instagram? Why share photos at all? To some extent the exercise of looking a my photos and thinking about which are good and why, is a good one. 

But some of the responses on VERO baffle me. Several I've put up just to put something up for the day. They're ok, but nothing special, and they get lots of likes. One that I thought was kind of ordinary turns out to be the most popular thing I've posted. Some that I think will be popular get a so-so response. My guess is that my photographic taste is quite different from lots of other people. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with VERO, but since there is essentially zero overlap between it and the blog, you guys probably don't care how that ends up.

From the Dinosaur Provincial Park trip. There's a bunch from there. Maybe they'll get featured in the next blog. Stay tuned!

Of the Day
Driftwood (NZ)

Driftwood (BC)

Driftwood (Jasper)
This is the last of the Jasper driftwood. 



Film (new)

Film (old)

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you continue to blog! I always read your posts when they're published, but because Safari makes it impossible to comment, I end up coming back to them later to provide feedback. Sorry I don't do it more often. Loving all the photos from up north, but the NZ driftwood particularly appeals from this lot. Something about the light, and the colour of the sky in the distance...


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