Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Seeking popularity

It's funny, when I started writing this thing I honestly didn't care if anyone ever read it. It was for my wife first, me second, and maybe the kids down the road. I went the anonymous route and I told no one what I was doing. Part of that wasn't shyness -- I just didn't want to get hooked onto an albatross if I didn't enjoy blogging. I was also worried that I might not have much to say and that I would burn through my cancer-related thoughts in a week or two. (Sadly, no.)

A year or more down the line, this is still largely a personal exercise. L. has told many of our friends about the blog, and many of them have started reading it regularly, which is hugely meaningful and flattering to me. Google and a few links from other sites have also attracted people with similar interests and concerns. On a good week, a few hundred different people drop by and check the place out, and I like to imagine that some of them find it convivial and take away something useful to them.

That said, I'd like to attract more readers. I'd also like to entice more commenters -- which is really difficult, since I suspect maybe 1 out of every 50 regular readers becomes a regular commenter. To that end, I have removed pretty much all barriers to commenting. You can write anonymously and you no longer need to deal with re-entering the stupid "captcha" words which, to me at least, never resemble the script of any language I know. We may see a bunch of Nigerian-scam-type stuff here for a while as I work out the consequences of opening things up, but I hope we'll also see a little more conversation. Depending on how things go, I may start restricting comments to select posts as an attempt to husband a pretty limited resource. (Or does that go against the blog spirit? I know nothing!) For those who do not wish to comment publicly, even anonymously, there is an e-mail me link on the right side.

I'm also hoping to find ways to get linked to around the web a little more, possibly by engaging more with other, better-established blogs. I've been meaning to do this for a while anyway, just for the pleasure of it. I very recently began reading The Assertive Cancer Patient and while the author there is as different from me as can be -- she is a 10-year breast cancer survivor, makes beautiful jewelry, lives on the opposite side of the country, has a ton of moxie -- learning a little bit about her strength and struggles has been inspiring.


Kathy said...

My blog was initially the same, just a trials and tribulations log about my children and me....until cancer. After diagnosis, I refused to write about it. I wanted that part of my life to be separate. Now, I believe that the best way to portray myself is as a person living with cancer. It is not my identity. It is not what defines me as a person but it is a defining reality about how life is lived, has changed some of my views, rocked my world, and added a dimension to my life I never expected. My blog has become now a tool to connect with the old friends, welcome new ones, and share ideas with others in our small sarcoma community. I welcome any reader who can bear my trivial recitations and happenings of the day and take from that the life outside of cancer as well all that the diagnosis brings.

Now, I'm the first to comment on the comments :)

Elsa D. said...

You are famous in Toronto. One of my friends reads you religiously.

I have to see how I remove the "capcha" words from my blog also ;)

pat said...

Great idea. I am a loyal follower of your blog and depend on hearing from you.

Anonymous said...

You do an amazing job with your blog. You are an inspiration to all of us, regardless of health status. If you keep writing, I'll keep reading.