I was pleasantly surprised and honored yesterday when I discovered that my blog post on the Chinese New Year Celebration was “Freshly Pressed”. I’m new to this stuff and the best I can tell Freshly Pressed (FP) is WordPress.com’s way of showcasing blogs on their site.
To use the Flickr analogy, it’s similar to being featured in “Explore”, though FP maybe more exclusive. Unlike the game of trying to make Flickr Explore, being “Pressed” was a true reward.
I started blogging because of peer pressure and wanting to share my experiences. I’m unexpectedly having fun. Peer pressure? Well I was never forced into blogging, of course. I wanted to feel part of the club of Austin Photographers who blog.
Flickr is nice but I really like the customization of a personal blog. Posting on Flickr is like renting an apartment, while a blog is like owning your own house. Your apartment might be in a really nice neighborhood but the downside is you can’t customize the space. With a house, you are free to make changes, paint it and make it your own.
So it’s with this sense of “creating my own space”, and friendly peer influence, that I decided to create this blog on WordPress.com, about a year and a half ago. I don’t write particularly well or at least I never considered myself to be a writer. My first posts where short and a painful ordeal. But, like other things in life, writing is a skill that gets easier with practice. I’m not sure if I write any better but at least I write quicker — and enjoying it.
There’s a lot of change in the world particularly with improvements in digital technologies and world-wide communications. Whole industries are being transformed and, unfortunately, destroyed. But for me, this is an amazing time. Never before has an individual been able to publish their thoughts, artwork and opinions to a world-wide audience, so easily.
I’ve made virtual and physical friends from around the world, through this blog. Kirk Tuck, a local Austin commercial photographer, is one such friend. He has also been nice enough to point his readers to my little blog.
Our blogging relationship is completely asymmetric. Kirk’s The Visual Science Lab blog is extremely popular. It’s hard for me to comprehend how many visitors he gets. I once saw his stats. His visitors per minute graphs are larger than my visitors by week graph. I know readership is not necessarily the most important measure of a blog, and I’m proud of what I built, but damn it’s amazing to see how the other half lives. Kind of like watching the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in the blogging world.
The “hit” I got when Kirk’s mentioned my blog was a lot larger than being Freshly Pressed. That surprised me. It shows the power of a targeted recommendation, from a popular blogger.
Interestingly, viewers from Kirk’s blog behaved differently from the Freshly Pressed. Kirk’s Blog created a very pronounced short-term volume spike, but very few people subscribed to my blog or even clicked Like on the post. The Freshly Pressed audience, on the other had, left more comments, clicked Like and have subscribed.
I know that being Freshly Pressed is a short-lived recognition. My 15 minutes of fame in a small corner of the Internet. But, I have to admit that it makes me happy. Sort of a tacit approval or acknowledgement that my efforts in this blog space has some merit.
Thank you to all the new visitors who have subscribed. I hope my future content will entertain you. The blog will remain photography oriented but I will mix the technical content, the equipment reviews with my photographic observations.