Saturday, February 21, 2015

Viral Thoughts

The Compaq Desert - Mojave, California
The Roesch Photography Blog sits on the outer fringes of the photography blogging world. Yes, I do have followers and some people make this site part of their regular web reading, but by-and-large this blog is small potatoes. Some photography bloggers would be disappointed if one of their posts received in a day as many views as this blog does in a month.

Sometimes, though, a post of mine goes viral. Not really viral, but sort-of viral. When I think of viral I think of millions of views, or at least over 10,000 views. I've never had anything like that. My most viewed post (listed on the right side of the page under "Popular Posts") has been viewed about 7,000 times total. That's not bad for a little guy way over on the edge of internet nothingness, but that's a very small number compared to what the "big boys" get.

What I would call "sort-of viral" are posts that get shared and receive attention and get significantly more views than would be typical. For example, and this is the most recent example, a post of mine from back in 2012 has been viewed over 1,500 times in the last week. That's viral for me, but it is difficult to call that "going viral."

When a post goes sort-of viral it might be because someone shared a link to my blog on a popular photography forum, then several people on that forum shared the link on other sites. That's happened several different times. A couple of times social media (specifically Facebook and Pinterest) has made a post go sort-of viral. More than once a blogger more popular than I has linked one of my posts to one of his or her posts. Most recently, a website (actually, it started with one website and at last count is three websites) linked my blog in an article.

I'm happy for the views. Hopefully those that come to the site take a look around and see other posts. That sometimes happens. If that's you, welcome! Take your time and enjoy the site.

To sum all of this up, having a post go sort-of viral is cool, but I still remain on the fringes--on the outside looking in. That's alright, I don't mind at all. Perhaps that makes my voice just a bit more independent and a bit less biased. After all, no one is paying me to do this, which means that I'm not influenced by the ideas of advertisers.


Interestingly, just 24 hours after publishing this post, the page views of the post mentioned above jumped from 1,500 to over 5,000. And, while it seems to be slowing, over 50 people viewed the post in the last hour (as of this update).

Of those who viewed that post, about 8% clicked at least one other post on the blog. About 5% clicked at least two other posts. About 2% clicked on three or more posts on this blog. Those percentages may seem small, but I would say that is pretty typical. If I'm lucky, 10 or maybe 15 people (of that group) will follow this blog (or at least regularly visit it).

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