Last month, 25% of the visits to my blog were made from a mobile or tablet device. Compare that to December of 2012 which was only 12%. I was surprised when I checked my stats that so many people read my blog from a phone. I honestly thought it would be lower.
This is not another post about how blogging is dying. I really don’t think it is. I do think that our Internet habits are changing and our blogs are not changing with it. Blogging was designed to function on a computer but now most of us – including me – access the Internet and blogs from our phone more often than our computer.
There are things I do like doing on my computer. Typing long things and doing multi-tasking are hard to do on a phone. But I am only on my computer for a short time in the morning and an hour or two in the evening. It’s not enough time to really interact with the book blogging community. And I’ve really felt lately (and I’m sure some of you have too) the disappearing of the book blogging community. I think it’s directly related to the changes in how we read blogs – especially reading them from a phone.
I’m not the kind of person to blame others if I’m feeling lonely out here in the blogging world. I know if I feel like no one comes to my blog it’s because of me and my habits. I was overwhelmed by my Feedly that had close to 300 unread posts and over 100 blogs that I subscribed to. I just stopped looking at it because it overwhelmed me. So I went online trying to brainstorm and find ideas of better ways to follow blogs. What I was looking for doesn’t really exist. I wanted a way to read blogs and then be able to comment on them on my phone. I tried commenting on a blog from my phone but after typing it three times and not being able to log in to leave a comment, I gave up. I tried subscribing to blogs on Facebook and found that less than half of the blogs I wanted to follow even had a Facebook page. Some of these blogs were author blogs and the authors hadn’t updated their Facebook page in 6 months or more. Facebook has the ability to easily read posts and then leave a quick comment. The only drawbacks are that it uses your real name and not your blog name so the conversation can be very one sided and it makes it hard to develop relationships with bloggers if they don’t know who you are. The other drawback is that to see all of the posts from blogs you follow you have to make an Interest List which is not intuitive at all.
There are drawbacks to the other ways I read blogs on my phone. Feedly is nice but it only really allows you to read things. Commenting is hard and even tweeting the person from Feedly that wrote the post would take more research than I have time for. Twitter is nice if I happen to stumble upon a cool post, but it’s not a reliable way to find blog posts from blogs I follow.
I think this is why book-tubing on YouTube has really grown and thrived (at least from what I can see). It is so easy to watch a video on your phone and you can comment there in the app which you only have to log into once. You can subscribe to lots of blogs and watch them as you have time. I really want to get more into book-tubing for those reasons, but I just love writing so much that I don’t think I could do book-tubing full time.
So here I am. Frustrated. And I don’t really know what do to about it. I think blogging needs to be more mobile friendly and it needs to go beyond having a mobile theme for your blog. There needs to be a way to read posts and easily interact with other bloggers no matter what device you are using. Is there a better way to interact with book bloggers besides comments? Since social media is easy to use on a mobile device, is there away to interact with readers that way?
I’ve taken all my frustrated energy and decided to try an experiment. I’ve placed my twitter username in my RSS feed, my header, and my footer for each of my blog posts. I’m really hoping that if people are reading my posts on their phone and want to say something it will make it easier for them to send me a tweet. I’m also going to tweet my new post of the day several times instead of just once. I’m hoping more people will see it on twitter and then hopefully tweet me back. I’m also following a lot of blogs on Facebook. I get on there often to like posts and sometimes leave comments to bloggers. I’m hoping these things can help make blogging a little more mobile friendly for me.
If you want to have a Facebook page but don’t know how to have your blog posts go there automatically, The Book Vixen wrote a great post on how to do it with IFTTT that works for Blogger and WordPress and is free.
I want to hear what you think. Do you think the blogging community works in a mobile world? Do you have social media sites that you read and interact with blogs from?