Sunday, 14 June 2015

For the Sake of my Public...

The nice chaps at Google Blogger want to give me advice on the subject of ‘How to grow your audience.’ So I asked myself: ‘Do I need to grow my audience?’

Well now, apart from disliking the word ‘audience’ which sounds a little self-important and pretentious, it’s a pertinent enough question that isn’t quite as easy to answer as you might think. But let’s go through the motions and then it’s done with.

I think it’s probably true to say that pretty much everybody who writes likes the idea that somebody will read what they’ve written, otherwise the whole exercise feels to be in the nature of a short circuit and short circuits aren't much use to anybody. Then again, the reason I write isn’t to deliver a lecture to a crowded auditorium; the blog is simply a platform on which I can play the commentator, the curmudgeon, the clown, or whatever else I feel like being in that moment. Contrary to popular perception, walls don’t have ears, so if you talk to them you know they’re not listening and you’re back to the old short circuit problem. Ergo, having somebody read what I write is important up to a point. But here’s the rub:

The word ‘somebody’ is singular, and it only takes one regular visitor who reads all or most of what I say to satisfy the requirement. Since I happen to have more than one regular visitor, I’m content enough. So the final answer is:

‘No, I don’t need to grow my audience.’ What’s more, I prefer to think of the regulars as friends sitting around a table with me here on the platform rather than nameless and darkened faces staring back at me from the stalls. I dislike crowds and I dislike pedestals. It’s a personal thing.

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