I don’t know why. Maybe it is because yesterday, as cold as it was, birds were singing. There was in this the illusion of spring and new beginnings. I spent a few hours cleaning my desk and computer of some aggravations long put off and when finished, finally, there came the sense of a clean slate, of starting fresh. We’re in a new month, and even though it starts with the coldest weather by far this winter, in some way we’re done with winter, and it’s time to move on.
One of the things I’d like to find in this blank page of the longer, warmer days ahead is a renewed sense of community among those who read and write to pages like Fragments. I’d like to regain my feeling that this page is more than a repository for personal ruminations, resources and resolutions.
While there are a few known stalwarts who come at least a couple of times every week to visit and leave a comment or email, for the most part, I don’t have any sense of “face” with blog readers really over the year since February 2006 when I was working so frantically on the book.
I’ve heard over the past few months from some folks who preface their communications with something like “you don’t know me but I visit Fragments every morning…” and often go on to say that it has meaning and importance for them. These occasional glimpses of the invisible background of readership has given me encouragement when I’ve needed it. Those little hellos have helped me to persevere, have sustained my enthusiasm, and helped dispel the illusion of isolation that settles over a hermetic blogger from the remote reaches of Appalachia when it is only his own voice he hears. Hard to believe that I’m approaching this blog’s fifth birthday. And there have been peaks and troughs all along. And more of the former, by far!
So I’m hoping for changes ahead, both in quality and quantity.
Numbers don’t tell the story. Visit counts are a poor measure to a blogger of the worth of their efforts. Even so, they can give some measure of growth or dormancy. And higher visits probably bring the higher likelihood that among those visitors will be friends of the kind I’ve made and kept and treasured over these past years of blogging.
My visit numbers haven’t changed significantly for more than a year. I’ve not made the effort to create growth. But now, I’d welcome a little higher rate of “front porch visits” to FFF. You can help. Please send the page link, rss feed link or individual posts to a friend or relative you think might appreciate whatever it is that happens here. Hopefully, they’ll thank you for it!
Have you noticed the little “letter” icon below each post on the front page of the blog lately? You can click on that and easily send a particular blog post link to a friend!
I’m going to try to be a better visitor myself, and am sorting through the best ways to keep up with 50 blogs from my list (broken at blogrolling.com and hence part of my frustration with adding to my blogroll).
This hour of optimism and vision will pass, I’m sure. But at this moment, early on a new day in a new month and a new year, it still feels like good things can happen. But then again, maybe it’s just the caffeine talking.