OK. So now I've tweaked my blog. A new reader...well, visitor anyway since I dunno if he'll be back on a regular basis...mentioned he was frightened by my white-letters-on-black-background setup on here, that it usually leaves him blind after reading for a few minutes but having it in a larger font like mine helped. A month or two ago I tried having my blog added to the Elderbloggers website and the lovely lady who founded it told me at the time the white-on-black was too hard on older eyes, too. Stubborn Swede that I am, I stuck to my guns and kept my blog as it was. But when a visitor speaks up and says the same thing...well, a person can change, can't they? I don't want my little place of quiet refuge to cause aggravation to anyone. I sent an email off again to Ms. Bennett at Elderbloggers letting her know I'd changed my format and I'm hoping I'll now be added.
My very dear bloggy friend Liz who lives in Wales wrote a very interesting entry today about blogging and it got me to thinking, especially since my aforementioned visitor also mentioned stat-counting in his comment he'd left for me on his blog. Liz said:
"And do I want to increase the number of hits I get that way? Stats and visitor numbers are all very well but how much nicer to have readers who will come back again and again because they like what you write..."
She was referring to someone who'd written about using sensible titles for blog entries so that Google or other search engines would send more traffic to your site. She used as an example "depression", something she'd recently written about, and what she said made a lot of sense. How many people who are searching for help with depression and are looking for help sites are going to want to end up at our blogs? I know what she means. You should see how many people find my website thru searches for "storm shelters", "building shelters"....you get the picture. Do you know that Bob Dylan had an album called "Shelter from the Storm"? I didn't, not until I came up with this title for my blog. And I thought I was oh-so-original. Yeh, right. I'm not now and never have been a big Dylan fan tho I did like his song "Lay Lady Lay" from many, many moons ago. Oh well. After reading what Liz said and what Astoria said...what do stats really amount to, anyway? In "Real Life" I'm not a person who needs or has many close friends. Dear Hubby tells me I've never met a stranger and I can carry on a conversation with anyone...I have dozens of surface 'acquaintances'...but I don't keep stats on them. Why should it be any different in bloggyland? Why, indeed? I am an extroverted introvert...I am non-social, not anti-social. I treasure my 'alone' time. And truly, when I sit down here whenever I find a few free moments, I'm not writing for anyone out "there". I'm writing for me.
While changing the color scheme here I also tweaked my sidebar a bit, too. Not long ago I'd complained about blogs with too much stuff on the sidebar detracting from the text itself and I've gradually added 'stuff' over on mine that was getting out of hand. Open my mouth and stick my foot in, eh? Not the first time! But now I've got it pared down to what I like best and I think I'll leave it as it is now. Liz had also mentioned a post written by Nourishing Obscurity who recently wrote about the 10 worst blogs he'd come across as far as the pages loading and trouble commenting goes. Liz's was one of them! At least for him. Since getting DSL a while back I really don't have trouble with anyone's blogs loading for me now. I read his entry this morning but when I went back to try to link to it this evening I couldn't find it. Does anyone have trouble loading mine? One thing I also tweaked is the word verification code on my comments. LOTS of people have complained about those on blogs. I'll leave mine off unless I get hammered with spam. I know for my own blog, friends/family who don't have a blog have a horrible time posting comments with the verification code blocking them from publishing. What good is that? Most of them have opted for just emailing instead, and that's fine too.
Author's Edit: I don't know why I was under the assumption I needed to 'apply' for Elderbloggers. I got a very nice email from Ronni Bennett this morning and, for any of you 50-and-over writers out there who might like to have your blogs listed there, this is what she had to say:
"BTW, it's not an "application" to be an elderblogger. Anyone can call themselves an elderblogger; it's not a club or organization, just a loose grouping of bloggers who are age 50 and older. There are thousands of elders who blog; I add blogs to the list that meet my criteria for well-done."
Thanks, Ronni, for clearing that up!
He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.
-- Harold Wilson --