Just sayin’… the ups and downs of blogging

So the Happiness Engineers have obviously been tinkering. Again.

The blogging community is just getting on with it. Have we given up railing against the changes, or are we just grumbling away quietly, knowing we are at the mercy of engineered happiness? There is a spectre of doom and gloom hovering…

Since the reblog button went missing with all the ‘redundant code’ they deleted a few weeks ago, things have not been quite right around here. Blogs are being unfollowed arbitrarily… odd new functions have quietly slipped beneath the radar, minor-looking tweaks have been sneaked in with little or no warning and the available stats seem to be riding a rollercoaster without rhyme or reason.

Although that last is not unusual…  stats do weird things.  Go away for a few days and it is a real eye-opener. You can understand it if you just stay off the computer, write nothing and keep quiet. You would expect a drop in the figures. What I will never work out, though, is why, even if you leave exactly the same amount of posts scheduled as usual, have computer access that allows you to read just as many other blogs as normal and you manage to answer all comments in a timely fashion… the stats will still drop. I find that incredibly strange.

And it happens when your attention is simply called elsewhere too… when life imposes its demands and you just do not have the freedom to spend as much time at the screen as you normally would, even though you do everything you usually would! That is even stranger.  It is as if, by some arcane process, the blogosphere knows your attention has been diverted.

In spite of all the weirdness, there are other, and equally incomprehensible factors that make blogging worthwhile. Disappear without notice for a few days and there will be emails from people you have never met in your inbox. Write about a problem, and there are helping hands reaching out.

These are people you may never meet… and yet who have, in this new and mysterious ‘virtual’ realm, become friends. Not just the generic, social media-esque definition of ‘friends’ either, but real people who know you, with whom you have ‘clicked’ and with whom you converse behind the scenes.

If you are lucky enough to actually meet them, these virtual friends are just the same in person… but, like the difference between a photograph and an eye to eye smile, their presence is warmer and richer.

When it comes right down to the nitty-gritty, blogging is about the people, not the words. No matter what the programmers play with, what the stats might do or how much weirdness we encounter, it is the people who read the words that bring them to life… and, in turn, the words bring people into your life too.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
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82 Responses to Just sayin’… the ups and downs of blogging

  1. Ritu says:

    I love this Sue!
    No matter how much they tinker, we keep our friendships and contact going! Blogging isn’t just about words, you are absolutely right!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael says:

    Great piece Sue absolutely agree with you this for me it’s been just the same surprisingly the people have been the thing that has influenced me and had an impact on me more than anything and I did not expect that at all

    Liked by 1 person

  3. KL Caley says:

    Reblogged this on New2Writing and commented:
    Lovely post to have a quick read of about the realities of blogging, stats, friendships & the unexpected “changes in the code”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jenanita01 says:

    We seem to be surrounded by ‘tinkerers’ at the moment. Not just WP, Buffer, FB and Sky are all tweaking like mad and they are just the ones who have driven me bonkers this week!


  5. All true. Maybe because even the most discreet of us (not me) we can’t help but let our dearly held convictions appear in our posts. Anyone who objects will just slip away unnoticed and never come back. Those who stay are probably like us in many ways. I wouldn’t be afraid of disappointment in meeting any of my blogger friends. I’m certain we’d get on.


  6. I couldn’t agree more, Sue. Blogging is all about the wonderful people, and the community that we have built up. I have made some wonderful friends here some I’ve yet to meet (yourself included)! 🙂


  7. So very true Sue. I love the interaction with comments and the feedback I get. Stats are an enigma, and my number of followers bounces up and down, some of which ‘follow’ yet the site is no longer available. I notice when ‘regulars’ don’t post and wonder if I’ve been dropped as a follower. That’s happened a fair few times, and not of my doing!
    I’m glad to be part of the blogging community, to read different things and get ideas, tinkerers and all, though sometimes I do wish they’d leave well alone.


  8. The blogging world & community I love! The technology surrounding it needs a lot of patience. Very good post Sue 😊


  9. ksbeth says:

    yes, in the end, with all the machinations and tinkering behind the scenes, it is the people who connect and read and write and worry with us who matter, not the engineering happiness gremlins.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love this! Not so much the tinkering, but the friendships that go beyond the screen! I have met so many wonderful people. It’s very heart warming. Now if we can get WP to stop their nonsense, that would be a plus! 😊


  11. trentpmcd says:

    I do spend more time and energy with my WP friends that I have never met than my FB friends than I have (at least on line – I do have family, close friends, etc that are FB friends, but I interact with them in live, not on FB!) I never understand how stats work. If I post as mush as usual but read half the number of posts, my stats go down by 20% or more. If I post as much as usual but stop reading, my stats go down 50% or more. This isn’t tit-for-tat viewing, I think it is something about the WP algorithms rewarding those that view, like and comment and punishing those who don’t.


  12. macjam47 says:

    Sue, you are so right! More than anything, blogging is about the friends we’ve made. Lately, it seems I’ve been popping in and out a lot but when I pop in everyone is here and it’s as though I never left. People are concerned if you are suddenly gone for an unexpected absence. They celebrate your joys. They comfort your losses. I know I’ve made some really strong friendships through blogging and I value these friendships as much as those I’ve made in person.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I agree, Michelle. There are friends out there that I know I am unlikely to ever meet, but I value their friendship, advice and support. The blogging community shows an awful lot of support when it is needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. willowdot21 says:

    Yes blogging is all about the people, and I love them all.💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Eliza Waters says:

    Blogging friends were the unexpected gift of blogging that I did not anticipate. It keeps me anchored!


  15. Widdershins says:

    Starts pale in comparison to a really well thought-out, and/or cool, comment. 🙂


  16. Oh, yes, that endless tinkering of the so called Happiness Engineers… Never got used to it during the ten years of my blogging “career”… Yesterday evening every comment that I have made on other blogs vanished into spam…
    I have some severe problems at the moment, dear Sue, so I cannot keep my head clear and free enough for writing English short stories for your #writephoto project. I hope things will get back to normal in a few weeks, and then I will gladly again take part of your wonderful project.
    Have a fine weekend. 🙂


  17. I’m down a couple of hundred views a day and I’m not getting all of my mail. I keep going and trying to jiggle the people I follow, but i think I’m getting MAYBE a third of what I normally get. But y’know, they keep doing this. I can’t let it drive me crazy. It’ll sort itself out eventually. I’ll keep going and trying to delete and re-follow all the posts and see if that helps. Eventually it will and JUST when it sorts itself out, they’ll mess with the software again. Is this how their engineers stay employed? By creating problems, then fixing them?


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Same here with the views, Marilyn… and not as many notifications either. You just have to shrug and wait it out…till the next time. I keep noticing odd tweaks…just small stuf that probably has big stuff behind it. They’ll stop playing again eventually…also till the next time.


  18. I should mention that I get blocks of posts from you and other people. Nothing, nothing, nothing, then 20 emails at a time … then more nothing. So I either have an overwhelming amount of mail, or nothing at all. In waves. But i will not let them make me crazy again. I’m trying very hard to stay sane this year!


  19. Yes, agree, it’s all about the people, Sue. And, when you get to meet some of those people in real life…😀

    Have you noticed that WordPress has swapped around some of the buttons under the notifications button? ‘Like’ used to be next to ‘approve’, now ‘spam’ is next to ‘approve!’ I’ve almost, on several occasions, marked genuine comments as ‘spam.’ thinking I was ‘liking’ them.

    As for stats dropping, I’ve noticed recently that not all my posts end up on the WP Reader. Report it to WordPress and they will magically get it onto the reader and say it’s there, but they haven’t been able to explain to me why nobody has ‘liked’ my post. I mean, I always get ‘likes’ from the WP Reader. They are still looking into it, along with another problem I’ve reported where the tick in the ‘open in a new window’ box disappears when I create pingbacks. I have to go back to the post when it is published and add the tick in again! Grr!


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Yes, I agree, Hugh…and the Bash is wonderful for that!

      I nticed that too…but approve of the ‘edit’ button they have added for comments. Something we have long been asking for.

      The one that is bugging me is that several close friends from the blogging community have emailed to say they ave been unsubscribed from my blog… some were quite concerned about me, not having heard from me online. Makes you wonder how many less close friends have benunsubscribed behind their backs too. I had noticed the ‘follow’ figures had done some weird things lately.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, for some reason, I was unsubscribed from Sally’s and Graeme’s blogs recently. Horrified when I found out, but how many more have the gremlins unsubscribed me from? I do, occasionally, unfollow blogs, but only if I no longer find them interesting or they haven’t posted anything for a year.
        I’m still waiting to hear from WordPress (they emailed me on Wednesday to say they were looking into the bugs I had reported). I live in hope.


  20. I wouldn’t mind the mess they make if in the end, it accomplished something that had some value to their customers — US. Mostly, I think they keep tinkering because that’s their job. Tinkering. Making a mess. Fixing the mess. Making a NEW mess. Fixing it again. If they don’t do anything “new,” then they probably wouldn’t have jobs. I’m all in favor of keeping people employed, but there has to be a better way.


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