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What kind of blog readership do you want?

Today’s writing prompt for this month’s NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) challenge theme of Connect is another very thought-provoking question that made me dig a little deeper, past my initial response and into a feeling of uncertainty. I’d love to hear your viewpoint on the subject – and, truth be told, am curious to know if you struggled with your own answer to the question.

NaBloPoMo July 9
Would you rather be equally loved and reviled with many readers,
or would you rather have a small, core group of supportive readers?

With the outpouring of issue-related, emotion-stirring blog posts (and their resulting comments) I’ve been reading over the past several weeks, this sort of question has actually been on my mind a lot… and in a way, the answer at which I arrived is somewhat troubling.

See, my immediate instinct is to choose the latter – a small, core group of supportive readers – which is, in fact, exactly what I enjoy at Alphabet Salad. My readers are without fail kind, encouraging, and positive. My words have never attracted nastiness or trolls, and even when someone may have had a dissenting opinion and chose to share their thoughts, they have always expressed their disagreement in a respectful way that fostered discussion.

And I must say, I like it that way.

Friendship is a sheltering tree

Yet isn’t this the safer, more comfortable option? A cop out? Doesn’t it suggest that in order to build and maintain such an audience my posts must be, of necessity, bland and non-controversial, saying nothing of consequence and therefore sparking no intense feelings, whether of love or of hate?

Then again, perhaps there is room for a blog like Alphabet Salad – a place of friendship, support, and community… a safe space… a quiet oasis in the noise and clamor of the issues-based blogosphere.

I’m not sure.

I can see both sides of the question, and though I know what I prefer in terms of my own blog’s readership, I honestly haven’t come to any conclusions as to whether safe, comfortable, and non-controversial is the most effective use of this platform.

What do you think?

What kind of readership would you prefer for your own blog?
Please share!

NaBloPoMo July 2015

Ultimate Blog Challenge

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • CAROL CASSARA
    Twitter:
    July 9, 2015

    I really want smart readers and I do have them. I love the comments & discussions they start or continue. I realize i don’t have mass appeal and have finally come to terms with that.

    • Laurel Regan
      Twitter:
      July 11, 2015

      That’s one thing I don’t really have here – discussions between commenters. I wish there were more; then again, I suppose the topics of my posts don’t really lend themselves to discussion (unlike yours!).
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Photo Friday: PatternsMy Profile

  • Anita Irlen
    Twitter:
    July 9, 2015

    My choice: loved and reviled. I think we all struggle with this issue, at least I think we do. A lot of it depends on character. There is nothing wrong with a “safe, comfortable, and non-controversial” blog but that’s just not me. And there’s a difference between those things and wishy washy. In the past, I’ve caught myself censoring myself in order to be less offensive. When I do that, I’m out of character. I blog because I have opinions, some of them strong. I blog because there are things I want to change even. I’ve found that I quit reading blogs that read like the author wants to please everyone. That’s offensive to me! Good question. Thanks

    Anita
    Anita Irlen recently posted… eat food!My Profile

  • Sammy D July 9, 2015

    Such a timely question, Laurel, and my sentiments are exactly like yours. I love my sheltering, supportive community, but aren’t there times I need to speak out even if I risk shaking up the community or losing some supporters. After all, how ‘real’ are they if I can’t state an opinion in a civil thoughtful manner and not lose them because they’d rather I stay silent.

    In fact, tomorrow’s post is one I hated writing but needed to do in order to move on from a book that hurt me, even though I wasn’t the author’s named target. We have to demand civility above all else – in our writing, our comments and responses. There is a place for strong opinions but ‘hatred’ as a word or an expressed sentiment should never be part of the equation if we want healthy discourse.
    Sammy D recently posted… Mono a ManoMy Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      Twitter:
      July 11, 2015

      Thank you for these thoughtful insights, Sammy. I am looking forward to checking out your post later (I’m spending the day trying to catch up on bloggy stuff!) and seeing what you have to say.
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Photo Friday: PatternsMy Profile

  • Lata July 9, 2015

    Laurel, in the end one has to do what one is comfortable with. There is no right or wrong here. Personally, I always admire the courage of people who take on the world without worrying about social opinion or even their safety. But I know my courage is limited and I am okay with that. I find courage when hugely indignant. At such moments, I blog about issues. At other times, I enjoy my cocoon
    Lata recently posted… What Should An Award Stand For Answered!My Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      Twitter:
      July 11, 2015

      True – there is no right or wrong, just what’s best for each individual blogger. I’d like to think that if I truly felt I had something important to say, even if it was controversial, I would have courage and wouldn’t hold back.
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Photo Friday: PatternsMy Profile

  • Monica N.
    Twitter:
    July 10, 2015

    I was probably a bit like you. My initial thought was small group of devoted readers. I mean who wouldn’t want that, right? Then I thought about it some more and realized criticism has its place. And although I don’t always like it, depending on how it’s packaged, constructive criticism can be the soil through which we grow and blossom as writers. A larger readership brings diverse opinions, and that’s a good thing. So, we’ll get some crazies in the mix, as well. So what. I’m learning to take from comments what is fruitful and toss the rest out. Easier said than done, but with time I hope to become really good at it. This will help me not to worry so much about others opinions. And instead of writing for praise, I’ll just always write my truth. My readers, to date, are agreeable and kind, and I so appreciate that. Sometimes I just wonder whether or not I’m getting the real writer experience. In the end, I agree with Lata – “one has to do what one is comfortable with. There is no right or wrong here.” And we’ll strengthen each other in the process.

    • Laurel Regan
      Twitter:
      July 11, 2015

      I really appreciate your perspective, Monica – thank you. I definitely don’t mind constructive criticism and diverse opinions – it’s the crazies I’m not crazy about! 😉
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Photo Friday: PatternsMy Profile

  • Carol Graham
    Twitter:
    July 10, 2015

    An excellent question, Laurel. I have different motives in posting on my blog. Some are warm and fuzzy and usually related to family (especially my fur family) but others are to inform (my new series) or to spike interest in topics that may be challenging – so the audience varies.

    I have started another blog since launching my radio show last week and that is a whole different cup of tea because each post is someone else’s life story; many are controversial.

    I appreciated you bringing up this subject and know I will be thinking about this more.

    Bottom line: I love my blogging friends who are such a great part of my life and they will always remain intimate no matter how my blog changes.
    Carol Graham recently posted… Did You Ever Pay It Forward?My Profile

  • nabanita
    Twitter:
    July 10, 2015

    I’m more inclined to chose the later because I don’t like nastiness and conflict…But then again at times I have been subject to nastiness on my blog due to the topics I have chose to write on…And that actually affected me quite a bit… So, as much as possible I would ideally want to chose the second option but I’m also not entirely willing to let go of the first…Makes sense?
    nabanita recently posted… Is Blood Really Thicker Than Water? Yes? No?My Profile

  • Rachna July 10, 2015

    I prefer non-nasty, non-controversial comments. That is not to say that I mind dissent. Not at all. But, my mantra is say it politely no matter how divergent your point of view is to mine. I like as many diverse opinions and conversations on my blog as possible.
    Rachna recently posted… Marriage — a union of two forgiversMy Profile

  • elly stornebrink
    Twitter:
    July 10, 2015

    This is a great question you pose Laurel! 😉 Methinks the latter is comfy and cushy and wonderful at times like BAR members! 😉 However, considering I can and at times am very strongly opinionated on certain/many/lots of issues, I would rather speak my mind/truth and be at peace with that and be reviled if need be. It makes me think of people who have made a difference in the world which I aim to do…they are not the ones to keep the peace, they rock the boat! 😉 <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted… Quote Challenge Day 2: Quotes are mine!My Profile

  • elly stornebrink
    Twitter:
    July 10, 2015

    ….going outside their comfort zone! (Oops! meant to add that!) Thanks for inspiring my third quote tomorrow! 😉 <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted… Quote Challenge Day 2: Quotes are mine!My Profile

  • Chicky
    Twitter:
    July 10, 2015

    I used to speak my mind on my blog earlier. I was so badly trolled once that I took my blog off the radar. I just didn’t have the time to deal with so much nastiness thrown my way in the form of comments and emails. After that, I have taken a more restrictive approach to blogging. Especially when it comes to social issues in India.
    Chicky recently posted… Crash Dieting: To Do Or Not To Do?My Profile

  • Leanne July 11, 2015

    I like community and I’m not a big fan of spouting off online. My blog isn’t about confrontation or controversy and I don’t think I want to head down that path. I’m happy for others to shout their views to the world and get the big readership numbers. I don’t think being yourself on a blog is watering it down – it’s just a reflection of who you are and how you feel.
    Leanne recently posted… let’s hear it for a drama free life!My Profile

  • Mithila Menezes
    Twitter:
    July 12, 2015

    I want a readership in which only people who understand the philosophy in each line, read and understand it. I don’t want people to read the posts like as if they’re browsing through a book in a library. They should be able to take something home from each post that I write. And my witty lines should bring a smile on their face! 🙂
    Mithila Menezes recently posted… Being Social v/s Being Super Social – Ask.fmMy Profile

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