Your Post’s USE BY date? Summer Writing no. 7

Posted: January 18, 2013 in Summer Writing
Tags: , ,

best before

I’m coming to the end of my summer holidays now. Having spent more time looking at the Reader on WordPress (most recently using the Tag “Blogging”), I’ve began to think about what the life expectancy of a post is. Does it have a Best Before date? This morning, while looking at the Reader, I’ve noticed how the Post ‘feed’ comes in and, despite the cheerful Wait, there’s more! from WordPress when I scroll down on my iPad, I’m conscious of how long it is before the posts below three or four or even eight flips of my hand are buried… effectively forever.

Of course, there are some exceptions to this. There are the Blogs that you, or I, Follow. There are the connections we’ve made by Liking a Post, or by making a Comment. And then there are those that come to your Blog via search engine terms. However, in my case, this highlights those posts that get searched for (and those that do not). I’m sure it’s the same for you and for other bloggers? So in my case, my 2nd ever post on Bladerunner and Frankenstein gets a fair number of hits seven months after writing it. But a lot of other posts get swallowed up by the system – whether that be via being bypassed for new content by the Reader, or within your own site once they go off that first page (or worse, being pushed back into the Archives).

And are some Posts doomed from the start? If the blogger posts at certain times of the day, or even days of the week, might it miss the intended audience entirely? Is it because of the Tags that we see on the Reader that help define the Post – the one that you might think “nah, not that one then” (surely, I’m not the only person who does that!) or is it the word count… you aren’t quite sure and then you see X words (enter your default parameter here) and similarly think… maybe… not.

I’m not sure how long this post’s life expectancy will be (or perhaps, like radiation… does it have a “half-life” after the first few days?), but my record for Likes and Comments (thus far – I’m still only a relative newbie) is four apiece… so here’s hoping. And for me, I’m sub 400 words, so hopefully you’re still here at this point!

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Comments
  1. Keep posting. My year end review showed that three of my most popular posts were not written in 2012, but in 2011 and 2010. I don’t know how folks “find” a post that old. My claim to fame? A post on lump free gravy that I posted November of 2011 — over 1,000 hits and #8 on Google now (that number varies — even got to #1 around Thanksgiving). Then another one “Happy Birthday to My Aunt”. Just about everyone has an aunt, every aunt has a birthday, so it has a following too. Like you I wonder how it works. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • cgparkin says:

      Love this comment – thanks for adding it! It highlights that other non-blogging side of me; wondering about how many views other day-to-day sites get. For me, yesterday, it was typing in a question about the best way of cleaning the fabric on our armchairs! I can just see the gravy tip achieving a “high hit” status!

  2. nuvofelt says:

    I’m always surprised when a comment appears on an old post. I’m also amazed when someone follows one of my blogs! I’m never sure how it’s found…. Just keep posting.

  3. day3of says:

    I feel right at home at your blog. Wish I could get someone to help me decimate my material obligations. I sometimes wonder if accidental hoarding of unused electrically things are a symptom of a weak mind or if these things were thrust upon us to drive us crazy–as in psychological warfare…As for life spans of blog posts, hmm, I’ll be curious to see what happens with mine. I look forward to reading more of what you have to say.

    • cgparkin says:

      Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my blog! I recall an Anne Tyler novel (the name escapes me) where a “clutter counsellor” is employed and I often recall this. The remit was to keep or cull, with consultation only being a last resort (otherwise, most owners would say “oh keep that”). I’m trying a (slightly more) ruthless streak in 2013!

  4. jackie says:

    so true, tweets are even more ephemeral! gone pretty much just minutes after their birth. Such is the world of electronic thoughts…almost makes me want to go buy some good ole paper diaries.

    • cgparkin says:

      Absolutely – and I still have a range of semi-completed diaries (and one actually completed) from the mid-80s! Not much of my electronica (emails and the like) has survived the test of time!

  5. jenny tracey says:

    I have been surprised at which of my posts got the most attention. I thought it would be interesting travel destinations, but so far it’s been the most personal one about when my Mum visited that got the most interest. I mainly just wrote that one for myself, so I will take on board the fact that putting myself out there may also interest others!

  6. athenivandx says:

    This is pretty interesting. Some things we had never thought of before. I think whether a post “lasts” depends on the audience it is written for. For instance our blog is a combination of personal narrative and some responses to things we have read and stuff we think about from reading other blogs or articles online. We write about having more than one person sharing a body (hence the word WE instead of I) and we write about our experiences as autistic people. We have occasionally written about political issues as well.

    Ivan

  7. […] steam, how long the thing could go on, on its own terms.I’ve written about a Post’s use by date before, as well as which Post generates the most traffic. For me, it is my 2nd Post, exploring two […]

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