The Power Of One

I was sitting here reviewing my stats and history the other day and was musing about the glacial speed at which my two blogs are progressing.  Although I wish I was reaching more readers, it is not surprising that I am not.  From the outset, I decided that I would let them grow naturally through word of mouth or by accident, without the benefit of all the social networks that I could link to.  Today, after a little over a year, I have 115 followers on Oldmainer and 158 on Poormanspoet.  Respectable I guess, but definitely not setting any records.

Why is that important?  Well, after some thought, I have concluded it isn’t.  It is simply an instinctive reaction that fuels my ego.  We live in a world where numbers count.  We play to win.  After all, it’s why we play isn’t it?  We type away, building up followers.  We sign on and our eyes immediately go to the little box to look for a like or a comment. Come on.  Admit it. It’s human nature, but is it really what drives me.  I decided it isn’t, and here’s why.

When I do get a like, or a comment, I find that it is generally from a core group of maybe fifteen bloggers.  Many of my followers never show up again, or perhaps they are admiring me from afar, but I doubt it.  I think my benchmark of success lies in how many people read me as opposed to follow me.  And they are the ones for whom I write.

Until recently, I wrote a monthly column for a local paper.  Last Memorial Day, I published an entry from my Oldmainer blog called “Yesterday’s Hero” (it is in my archive as one of my early entries if you are interested in reading it)  Several days later, I received a card in the mail addressed and written in a shaky hand.  It said simply “This is one of the nicest articles I have read recently.  This card is meant to thank you and tell you it was a moving tribute”.  Signed “John Tibbetts”.  I don’t know John, but he lives in my little town, so I looked him up.  He is in his late 80’s as I suspected and, I would guess, was one of those hero’s my story is about.

So here’s the bottom line.  I keep that card next to my computer and every time I get discouraged about how few people my blogs are reaching, I glance at it and remind myself that I only have to reach one.  If something I wrote touches just one person, then I guess I am a success.  I call it the “Power Of One”.

About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Communication, Narrative, Opinions, Random Thoughts, Reflection, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Power Of One

  1. I understand what you are saying and I think you are looking at things in a very positive way. I put lots of different things on my blog and certain people respond to different things. I think everyone has a core group of friends who are always there. I have so many interests and do a lot of different things so, as I said, different people follow for different reasons. I enjoy your poetry and read all of your work, by the way. Good luck and don’t give up. Diversify, if you want to attract different people. I didn’t do that on purpose, I just have a million interests that live in my head and all around me. LOL My blog gives you an idea of what my life is like…books, poetry, nature, flowers Chicago, quotes, Paris, Vegas, birds, squirrels, photography, stories, and on and on and on. LOL Never a dull moment , that’s for sure:) I just blog for fun and a chance to be in contact with other artists. I am so lucky to have met some people I admire greatly and I definitely consider them my on-line friends.


    • oldmainer says:

      Thank you for your comments. Much appreciated coming from someone as diversified and talented as you. I am not discouraged. I will quit when I stop having fun, and I am still having fun.


  2. Excellent. 🙂 Fun is what it’s all about. I just have an A+++++ personality so I’m into everything and all over the place. Sigh. Always been like that. LOL


  3. Nigel G. says:

    You should not even mention the word “quit”. I think you have a highly original voice, as I’ve said before – I would sure as hell miss it. You may not know this, oldmainer, but when I started my blog last June, you were the first person to like anything, So you’ve got one follower at least who is not going anywhere. You could call that the “power of two”.


  4. oldmainer says:

    Not to worry. My wife says I was put here on earth to aggravate people, and this is the easiest way I know how:)


  5. splitspeak says:

    I read a quote by Mother Teresa “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one”

    If we can touch even one person’s life, what an achievement that would be! And I am so sure you have had an impact on more than one person. You have done so well in this.

    Love, Mehak


  6. Eva van Beek says:

    I am not very keen on followers either, and not very good at social networking as well – but I appreciate the few regular ones that come to visit on my blog too! Even if I am not online every day, it is always a pleasure to find them, when I do. You are one of them. Always happy to read your posts 🙂


  7. oldmainer says:

    Thank you Eva. I know I enjoy yours and am glad you enjoy mine.


  8. laurie27wsmith says:

    Life is strange Bob. While we’ve been away I mentioned to my wife about the number of followers and likes/replies that I receive. Yes there is a core group that reply and interact and like you they are the ones I write for. Every week I receive an inbox full of weekly digests (yes yours is back) and I visit every one of the 156. I may have to stop visiting the non reply group and put the time back into my writing.


  9. jaggh53163 says:

    oldmainer – Congratulations on passing the one year mark. I thoroughly agree with you. When I started my blog a little over a year ago, I made the same decision. I wanted followers who are truly interested in family life in the 1940’s and enjoy the stories of my family. I want to encourage my readers to start recording their family history for future generations. Only someone who is interested would do this and add to the general knowledge of the time.
    For me, it also is the comments of loyal readers who urge me onward. I love the two-way conversations we have.


  10. Theresa says:

    Thank you for this — it is exactly what I needed to hear. And don’t go anywhere; I love your writing voice, and I just found you!!!


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