One year with Recollecting Philosophy

About a year ago (August 2012) I started publishing posts at this site. Things have certainly not turned out as expected, nor as hoped, but it hasn’t only been for the worse. On the up side can be said I’ve steadily been getting an increased amount of visitors, I’ve developed my writing skills and I’ve learned a lot about the blogging world. On the down side can be said I’m not getting consistent readers and I’m not getting much interaction or engagement.

The philosophy blog that didn’t turn out to be a philosophy blog

This was intended to be a philosophy blog, but it hasn’t quite turned out to be one, at least not the way I intended it to. One reason, I would say, is that I couldn’t find any target group for that purpose. I tried to attract people within the field of philosophy but I didn’t get any response from them.
I would say that there are two texts that could be called philosophical investigations on this blog (one is Game analysis pt 2 – Analysing simple and complex games and the other is Meaning and truth in communication which I’ve only published as a PDF), the rest of the posts is mostly about presenting certain thinkers, and applying their ideas in various contexts. For whatever this latter genre is best called I don’t know, but it was not quite what I had in mind when I chose to name the blog Recollecting Philosophy.

As I wanted this blog to be within a philosophical context I tried to focus on names within academical philosophy that I thought was reasonable, mainly Wittgenstein, Rorty and Habermas. But when I noticed that there seemed to be no academical philosophers that took interest in what I wrote on anyway I changed strategy. To large extent I left out Rorty and Habermas and instead focused more on Bourdieu and Jung, who both are more known within other contexts.

In terms of getting more attention and getting more visitors this was a successful move. However, bringing together Wittgenstein, Bourdieu and Jung also has its problems. You may find scholars who are into either Wittgenstein, Bourdieu or Jung, but you will have to look hard in order to find a scholar who has special interest in two or three of these thinkers. These thinkers are, so to say, out of different contexts. Especially when it comes to the institutionalized academic world. But on this blog I focus on all of these thinkers, and I try to put them in an uniform context. I guess many readers have a hard time making sense out of this, as they usually only know at maximum one of these thinkers well, and are at most oriented in a context where one of these thinkers exist.

Writing strategy

At the upstart I prioritized quantity over quality. Instead of keeping things for myself I wanted to share as much as possible as quick as possible. I did not want to do any polishing work, I hoped that it could be done by the readers. I expected readers to reply on what I wrote, and then I thought that in dialogue we could come to a clearer view together. But I was wrong in that aspect. After a while I would get readers to my blog, but that they actually would care to take a closer look at my texts and engage in discussion with me, I was wrong about. It is still so that a vast majority of the visitors to this blog only visit one page before they go, and they leave no trace after themselves.

The difficulty has not been to get visitors, the difficulty has been to get visitors to actually pay attention. Realizing this, I changed strategy. Instead of focusing on writing many articles and quick publishing, I started publishing less often but I worked harder on the texts I did publish. I put more effort in the writing. I can’t say that this has resulted in that more visitors take contact and engage in discussion with me, but I’ve noticed that some actually do pay more attention.

The most recent thing I’ve done is that I’ve published a PDF archive, where I’ve posted a compilation of selected posts from Recollecting Philosophy and also I link to PDF files of longer blog posts.


About Dandre

Former student of philosophy, maths and literature. Now studying master program in sociology. Some thinkers of central interest include Ludwig Wittgenstein, C. G. Jung and Pierre Bourdieu.
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6 Responses to One year with Recollecting Philosophy

  1. Laurène says:

    I ran across your blog by searching for something on Wittgenstein and Bourdieu. I like the content, keep posting 🙂

    • Dandre says:

      Thanks! I’ll keep posting… The ideas for posts are many, but to realize them is a harder part. Right now I’m working on a post on Bourdieu’s idea of “slow thinking”, and after that I’ve been thinking of a post entitled “locating the libido” connecting both Bourdieu and Jung.

  2. lutzid says:

    Thanks a lot! This is a very interesting and insightful summary post and very helpful for beginning bloggers like me. I definitely share your point of view from the first paragraph. To your upsides I would add that blogging can be an efficient way to develop ideas – even if it’s only for yourself 😉 And blogging is a great way of keeping track of one’s intellectual development, like a living archive.

    Sure, it takes time to build an audience. As with other social media things – for example Twitter – most users tend to underestimate the necessary investment (also in terms of reciprocity). That’s why many blogs are so ephemeral. I’m thus glad that you want to keep posting 🙂

  3. noir-realism says:

    I haven’t read any of your other articles as of yet, just happened across you site in the recommended part of my WordPress Reader. You might actually do a search for other philosophers on WordPress, Blog, etc. I started my own neomaterialist blog in 2007 and have gained a slow following over time. It’s a lot of work to expand your base and reach out to other philosophers, but worth the effort. I actually do a lot of feedback posting on a multitude of blogs on the web as well which is one way to get pingbacks and firsttime visitors. Following other blogs is another or actually exchanging links with those that are truly of interest to you. Gook luck in your endeavors. One thing I did when I first started blogging was not to worry about traffic. For me the important thing was to write for myself, and then if others found interest or felt like challenging my stance so be it. It’s been a good experience so far and I’ve met a lot of great people from across the globe that I’d of never met without this new communication medium and the Internet itself.

    • Dandre says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As for me, I felt quite eager to get visitors when I started up this blog. But later on it has shifted, now I don’t really care about visitors in terms of quantity – but it makes me happy to see when some visitors actually stays for a longer while on the blog.
      It’s nice of you to do feedback posting, I think many appreciate that. When you actually do communicate with other people blogging certainly becomes more interesting.

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