Who Are You?

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Blogging, as near as I can see, is something new in the world. There have always been people throughout history who have desired to express themselves to a receptive audience. No matter the nature of nature of their contribution, art, literature, opinion, teaching, or simply blathering on, the problem has always the same – finding the audience.

The internet has changed all that, as it has changed so many other things. If you put something out there, somebody, sooner or later, is probably going to see it. How many somebodies is the only question. Here’s a map of visitors to Madang – Ples Bilong Mi  since September 2008. Frankly, it amazes me:

Visitors since September 2008

The biggest dots represent 100 – 1,000 visitors at that particular location. I suppose that the information is based on the IP address (each computer in the world has it’s own IP address – the first digits represent the geographic location). The distribution is pretty much what one would expect for a blog in English.

Aside from the map, I have no idea at all who you are. Few visitors leave comments. This has been my only disappointment. The web allows interactivity, it does not promise it.

I’m sure that anyone who blogs seriously must certainly desire to increase readership. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? A blog is not like a diary. A diary is not intended to be read by others. There are many kinds of blogs. Madang – Ples Bilong Mi  is like a writer’s daily journal polished up a bit, with pictures. Of course  I want people to read it.

So, the question is, how does one increase readership? It turns out that it’s not so simple.

One way is by using the power of search engines. Google is the prime example. Roughly one third of my readers come to me from search engines. Unfortunately for small-time bloggers such as myself, Google gives huge advantages to the big boys. You get closer to the top of the first page by having a lot of other big sites linked to your site. That’s a big part of the formula. So, Google provides a small, steady flow, but keeps you off the first page unless you can get the big boys to link to you (not a favour that they hand out easily).

Another way is by emailing everybody that I think of asking them to send emails to their contacts asking people to check out my site. This gets dangerously close to spam, as far as I’m concerned. Many people on my contact list could not care less about my blog. I do occasionally ask people to send my link to others, but usually only if they have mentioned that they have visited Madang – Ples Bilong Mi  and enjoyed the experience.

That brings me to the last way that I can think of. Ask your readers to help you.  This too seems intrusive to me, but I’m not above begging.

If you are a regular reader of Madang – Ples Bilong Mi  then you must enjoy it, or you wouldn’t keep coming back. If you’re just stopping by and you like what you see, then you fall into a similar category. Either way, you can encourage me by sending the link to my site to your contacts. If it’s not obvious to you how to do this, then use the link in the sidebar under Pages called Email this site to a friend. It will display a page explaining what happens and a link for you to click which should fire up your email application and open a new email message. Change the text to whatever you like and put your contacts in the TO: list.

Whether you choose to feed my boundless ego by sharing Madang – Ples Bilong Mi   with your friends or not, thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the experience.

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6 Responses to “Who Are You?”

  1. More Altitude Says:

    Of course… I always enjoy the experience mate! :o) Good to keep in touch and enjoy (currently vicariously) the underwater world through your photos (though I’m due to head to Sri Lanka in a week or two, so I’ll do my best to get some dive time in).

    I’m also working on how to get my readership up- I’ve found having a site that already gets a lot of traffic (I get about 500 hits a day on my flickr site) as well as a facebook site (where I also post links and updates) helps generate some- unlike yours which is mostly self-generating. Still looking at sub-50-hits per day on my blog right now tho. Best of luck at your end!

    PS- FYI, I use ClustrMaps on my flickr site but have been sorely dissapointed- it tracks hits for a year, then resets the map so you lose all your hits from before the 12-month mark. They tell you that they ‘keep’ the previous data, but they only give it to you in a thumbnail summary map that is utterly useless- not the detail that you get here- so prepare yourself to see your map erase itself… :o(


  2. Daniel's Says:

    Really enjoyed reading this… but Who Are You? 🙂

    Just kidding, just nice to see this kind of posts.

  3. MadDog Says:

    Nice to hear from you, mate.

    I’d work with Flickr more, if I weren’t taking so much time on the blog.

    You know what I’d love to have? I’d like a WordPress plugin that takes all of the images that you put into a post and uploads them into pre-defined Flickr Categories based on the tags that you put on the images. The plugin should also make sure that each image links back to the blog. I’ve looked for something like that, but have had not luck. I do get hits on my Flickr site, but I don’t get nearly as many as I would if I send stuff up regularly.

    Yeah, I know about the ClustrMaps gotcha. I plan on making a JPG file of the large map image you get when you click on it and then doing a text widget in the sidebar that says “Last Year’s Hit Map” or something like that. I’ll loose all the detail, but I’ll still have the pretty image.


  4. MadDog Says:

    Hi Daniel,

    I’m just an old spook living the life. No, seriously. If you want my cover story, check the About page in the sidebar.

    Keep reading. I guarantee that it will get weirder.

    DISCLAIMER: I am a professional joker. You cannot believe anything I say. Anything that I say concerning covert activities is not to be taken seriously. If I say I did something, then I didn’t. If I say I didn’t, then I did. If I still say I didn’t, then I didn’t inhale.


  5. Olsem Wanem Says:

    I found your site from the PNG Gossip Newsletter that I have been receiving for 10 years or so.
    I was born in PNG to US parents, and lived there for the first 18 years of my life. Some of my best memories are of our vacations to Madang. We used to rent a little flat-bottomed boat called the “river truck” from some shady little boat place and go out to Pig Island. I haven’t been there for 20 years, but I still think Pig Island must be as close to heaven as I’ve ever been.

  6. MadDog Says:

    I remember that little boat from a long time ago. I have enjoyed hundreds, if not thousands, of happy hours at Pig Island. We do probably half of all of our dives in the vicinity of Pig Island.

    It is a very special place.