I’m about to delete them so I don’t get the bogus visitors that spend less than 10 seconds on the Blog and leave after they do not see any pictures of naked people."
On reflection, he's decided to conduct an experiment: To fish for readers. To ask his semi-regulars, such as myself, to give him a bit of promotion. He even proposes a form letter that we semi-regulars (semis?) can email to any friends we might have:
I read a Blog titled The Beach Bum Report (http://thebeachbumreport.blogspot.com/) on a semi-regular basis. It’s not a great Blog, but at times it has its moments. I thought that you may find it an interesting read. Read his Blogs and leave a comment (positive or negative) on any of his Blogs.What next? A request for three links in a single paragraph?
Oh, yeah. Never mind.
The point is that I suspect all of us are "fishing for readers." Otherwise we could simply jot our thoughts down in a paper diary or type them into a word processing file.
In a comment to an October 2006 post, Sharon, whom you may know as Landgirl, of Home in the Highlands, asked this very good question: "Are you writing for publication or to have a conversation with interested people?"
It's a question I've thought about many times. It's a question I still can't answer. And, I suspect, it's the kind of question with which Beach Bum is currently struggling.
My current answer is that I write to hone my chops. For the discipline of writing something every week day. I can't spend all day at it either; I have work to do. So I have tried to learn to write quickly and well. Of course, that means most of my 'blog time' goes into writing and relatively little is left for visiting.
My traffic is down, too. I'm sure, in my case, part of the dropoff is merely the understandable falloff that results from failing to keep up regular visiting and commenting on the blogs of all the people who visit here. (In writing this I'm feeling particularly guilty, so special mention must be made of Patti, of Late Bloomer Boomer, who may not visit more than once a week -- but comments on most of the week's posts when she does.)
Some bloggers, like "Jean-Luc Picard" or SQT, are very specialized and seem to attract traffic accordingly. (I'd start in linking the health professional bloggers in the Sidebar, too, but I have to leave for court in a few minutes.) Others, like Bee or Barb are clearly very social -- but they don't just cultivate links. They share their lives with their readers. Sometimes things are good... sometimes not so good. You begin to feel you actually 'know' these people. So you drop by to 'visit' as often as you can.
But I wonder if all our traffic is down -- on all these different types of blogs. I wonder if our traffic isn't another casualty of the economy. After all, with companies failing all around and people losing their jobs, whiling away the day reading blogs on the boss's Internet may not be something a lot of people can do anymore.
It's just a hypothesis. What do you think?