Welcoming All Readers

I’m discovering that joining Instagram was one of the better social media moves I’ve made. It’s quick and visual, and we all do like that. I should’ve signed up to it ages ago.

Screen capture of Instagram.
Screen capture of Instagram.

Thus how we learn. Using Instagram has also reinforced something else to me. Instagram is mostly photos, whereas a blog like this is naturally mostly words.

Which is why I’ve become ever-increasingly conscious of the first-time visitor. Not that I’m unconcerned about long-time followers, far from it. However, like “old friends” who know you pretty well, you hope one “mediocre” blog moment isn’t likely to cause long-time followers never to return.

Yet with the likes of Instagram running social media riot out there, what makes an “old-fashioned” blog appealing enough for visitors to return to regularly? This is especially tough for a writer. (We tend to be, uh, “wordy.”) And I’ve previously discussed our “shortening attention spans.”

A daily blog is also navigating a minefield in terms of knowing how always to hit the right “pitch” for readers. One example. I happened upon another writer’s blog recently and the first post I encountered was a long one overflowing with praise for some “entertainer” who, frankly, I can’t stand. I think the person is an obnoxious, minor-talent regardless of the number of awards he’s handed. You couldn’t PAY ME to watch anything he does.

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a drunk singer with karaoke text.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a drunk singer with karaoke text.

So within about half a dozen sentences, I’d had more than enough. Everyone is entitled to their personal tastes, of course. For instance, I like Bogart, and have mentioned that here. But I also know full-well that not everyone else out there does.

That post turned me off that blog and writer a bit – not permanently, but just a little bit. However, I’ll go back. Yet am I uncommon in granting someone new to me a “second social media chance” like that?

I hope not, but that experience led me to remind myself to be careful about firing off “controversial” or “divisive” opinions on here. I’m approaching nearly three years’ of posts on a huge variety of topics, but any “current” one is potentially the first time someone will venture in here. As the old saying goes, we never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

And that includes on the Internet. 🙂

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Author: “Conventions: The Garden At Paris,” “Passports,” “Frontiers,” and “Distances.” British Airways frequent flier. Lover of the Catskill Mountains...and the 1700s. New novel of 1797-1805, "Tomorrow The Grace," due out in 2019.