Continuing on with the exploration of my blog archives, I went through this morning and noted which of my posts have received the most “likes.” (This is as opposed to the most views – which I noted a few days ago.)
I suppose the difference between likes and views can be attributed to how much somebody actually enjoys a post (or not!) But I’m inclined to think it’s more, at least here on my blog (I don’t know about all social media), an indication of who’s viewing from within the WordPress community, and who’s viewing from outside it. Because you have to be logged in to WordPress to like or comment – but anybody can read the thing.
I think my highly-viewed-but-not-equally-highly-liked content indicates a large percentage of non-WordPress views. (Hopefully I’m not deluding myself here! 🙂 ) The higher views do seem to coincide with my using titles that work well for search engines. For example, as I noted in my post about my most-viewed content, when I titled a post with the phrase “Life Attracts Life,” that post got a lot of views…but not anywhere remotely near an equal number of likes. Same situation with “A Valentine’s Letter for the Person I’ve Never Met.” And those are both really searchable titles.
And, the WordPress engagement was the same as for most posts I write. I would think that if the posts were just terrible, that would be reflected in less WordPress support…and that wasn’t the case here. It seems that the posts moved through WordPress the same as any of my posts – but that they somehow also connected with a wider non-WordPress audience. I find that interesting!
A really good example of this is the case of a post that just barely missed my top 5 most-viewed list: “Artifact: The Film” – so-titled because it was about a music documentary named Artifact (trailer here). It was like 3AM, and I had just finished watching the doc and wasn’t ready for sleep yet. So I wrote a rather rambling synopsis of my initial opinions/impressions of it into a post, put in some links to support what I was saying, titled it oh-so-creatively, and then went to bed. And that post has since had quite a high number of views – and very few likes. One like, to be exact – which is crazy, given the number of views.
Now granted, it’s not the finest post I’ve ever written (far from it!) But I really think the difference between view numbers and like numbers is there because the views have come via search engine, not WordPress – and the reason for that, I think, is as simple as that my post is titled with the name of the documentary, and so it’s gotten traffic from people looking for info on the doc.
This seems to be borne out by the fact that I’ve occasionally seen the number of hits to the post spike – and that has coincided (I’ve noted) with the band doing bits of promotion for the doc.
I’ve noted also that there’s pretty consistent reader engagement with the post – through the clicking on the links, at least. And it’s rare in my blogging experience for people to bother to follow links I put in and then not like a post – or comment in some fashion. Unless, that is, they can’t like the post or comment, because they’re not logged in.
So anyway, that’s an interesting phenomenon to try to trace: this whole “likes” vs “views” thing.
I wish our blog stats were a little more comprehensive – particularly regarding search engine terms. I do realize that’s not WordPress’s fault, but Google’s and the other search engines…and I realize also that the search engines are blocking that kind of info for reasons of privacy. But still! More definitive stats info would be nice! Less guesswork in these areas would be nice!
So, when I compile a list like the one I’ve compiled below, looking at “likes,” I think what I’m really saying is: What posts have received the most attention from fellow WordPress bloggers?
And the answer to that would be these 5:
1-More Thoughts on Conscious Uncoupling [Thanks to Freshly Pressed, this one also has the distinction of being my most-viewed post.]
2-Weekly Photo Challenge: Between [This showcases one of the first pictures I took when I was first getting really, really serious about photography. I like this one a lot!]
3-Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue [I’m really proud of this one!! It’s my son and my dad, in case you’re wondering – but the connections are so many. The dialogue is so multi-faceted. It almost looks like the same person at different points in his life – which adds a really fascinating layer to the generational connection. I think this might stand as my favorite photo challenge ever. It was just so interesting!! It really got me thinking a lot about how pictures speak.]
4-Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story [I love Assateague Island! But yeah…don’t ignore the signs about no food! I love how the lifeguards are so completely disinterested. Ponies eating people’s lunches…just another day at work!]
5-Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers (tie) [I remember that I almost didn’t participate this week because I couldn’t think of anything interesting to post – and then I happened to be walking past the Natural History Museum, and it just hit me. These challenges are so much fun to try to meet! 🙂 ]
5-Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art-The Life of Maggie (tie) [Any prompts that guide me to make music playlists are pretty much irresistible. (I love doing that!) And when I can do it in conjunction with photography? Super fun!!!)
So, the takeaway from this list?
I think it has to be first of all that Freshly Pressed (and I imagine the new “Discover” tab that has recently replaced Freshly Pressed) is quite the powerful spotlight!! It’s hard for your content to missed when it’s highlighted this way – which is pretty exciting!
The other notable thing is that participating in WordPress events is not only fun, but a great way to engage socially with other bloggers. The writing prompts and the Weekly Writing Challenge (which I don’t think they do anymore) are/were nice that way. But the Weekly Photo Challenge is the best, in my experience. It’s just a really active group that consistently participates in those. (Super-nice people, too! Very encouraging!)