Once a year I go through each of my social media accounts. Every time I do this I find Abandoned Properties.
What are Social Media Abandoned Properties?
You’ve probably guessed what I mean already. Abandoned properties are accounts where the author has stopped writing, updating or maintaining their account. You may be one of these people. When I started blogging almost seven years ago I had a free WordPress.com site. Because a WordPress.com site is free most people start there. And because it’s free anyone with an idea or opinion can set up their own soap box and have at it. Depending on your comfort with technology, you can have a blog set up in under 30 minutes. The WordPress.com environment is a free-wheeling and diverse universe to exist in. There are blogs on everything and anything that you can imagine. It is the epitome of free speech. There are the usual rules about hateful speech, exploitation, plagiarism etc. Other than that you can be as brilliant or stupid as you want. And there is plenty of both! Over time, many bloggers decide that they weren’t really writers after all, ran out of things to say or just don’t have the time to keep up with it.
Social Media Clean Out 2019
This year I went through all of my WordPress followers. Many of them followed me over from my WordPress.com site to Omnirunning.com which is built on WordPress.org. WordPress.org allows you to have your own address, such as omnirunning.com. It also allows you to sell things such as My First 5K medals, display frames or pretty much anything you want. Some Fortune 500 companies have their sites on WordPress.org. I discovered that many of my old blogging buddies have moved on. When the last post was from a few years ago, I could tell the property was abandoned. Others had messages saying they had closed up shop. Some old blog addresses were up for sale. More than one final post was written by someone dealing with a serious disease such as cancer. Those were sad to read. I hope those writers decided life needed to be spent elsewhere. A lot of Twitter accounts were also abandoned. Probably about 20%. Some of these were for events such as 5K races that have been cancelled. But a lot of them were personal Twitter accounts where someone just stopped tweeting.
How to Save Your Favorite Blog
Most of you are casual consumers of social media. Most of us are. There are plenty of corporations cranking out millions of words, info-graphics, memes and cat videos each day to keep you amused and sometimes informed. There are also millions of bloggers out there pouring their heart and soul into their work, just like a musician or craftsman. Many of them feel they are speaking in an empty public square or yelling into the void. For some writers that is fine. Writing let’s them vent and they don’t care if anyone reacts. They may prefer it. Then there are the bloggers who feel they have an insight, information or advice that they feel is worth sharing. For those writers, hearing crickets after they hit “Enter” is hard to take. From my own experience I know that some blog posts take hours to write over several days. Very few are spontaneous unedited articles. For anyone hoping to engage in dialogue about a subject close to their hearts the deafening silence can be discouraging.
What you can do
If you are reading articles on Facebook or 280 character excerpts on Twitter, try clicking through to the blog post. Clicking through to the actual blog post gives you the opportunity to like a post and even leave a comment. Leaving any indication that you actually read a post is very encouraging for most bloggers. Going to a writer’s blog also allows you to explore their other posts. Often you only see the latest post on Twitter or Facebook. Google and other search engines show you the most popular posts. But they may not show what is of most interest to you. As a reader you should take an extra minute to click through to the full article on the blogger’s site. I think lack of engagement is what causes many bloggers to close up shop. Why bother if no one is reading?
What can I do?
While I was reviewing other blogger’s sites, sometimes I saw a link to my blog listed on their “Blog Roll”. When I clicked through to my blog, I saw what I knew already: my home page needs to be rebuilt. Asking you to follow me is not enough. I need to make clearer what my blog is about. I also need to make it easier to follow my blog. On my home page I don’t have any options to follow me! On my blog page I only have two ways for you to follow me. As a blogger I can’t assume that everyone who comes to my blog knows anything about how this works. 99% of this stuff is still a mystery to me. How can I expect my readers to know what “follow me” means? I think some people are afraid to follow a blogger. Some of this is probably due to every store you’ve ever been to sending you 10 emails every day. I just can’t get my self to unsubscribe from CVS or Best Buy. I might miss something! All of us are buried in email already, who wants more email? Unlike CVS, most bloggers only post a few times a week. Most of us post once a week. It takes a lot of work! So if you follow a blogger, don’t worry about being inundated with email from them. If you do follow a prolific blogger you can always un-follow. You can mute a Twitter account also. Read well my Friends! Andy