Friday, March 28, 2008

HNT Refresher Course

"...but Os, aren't you concerned about people quitting?..."

Funny how I get this question from time to time. And it seems that it runs in cycles. Waves of people opting to back out of HNT at the same time. These past couple of weeks have found the lastest wave of quitters (and that's totally the wrong word, but I can't think of the right one...). According to their sites, the reasons vary. Some have pulled out for professional reasons. Others have grown weary. Some say that it's not "fun" for them anymore. Some posted a long explanation, feeling they needed to justify their decision. I have no problem with that. Really. I have no stake in their site, and no say in what they can post, anymore than they have any say in what I decide to post. I'll admit I was somewhat bothered by some of the comments that certain posts generated. Some of them were a bit too sanctimonious and "holier-than-thou" for my tastes. Others were more of the "kissing-ass" variety to maintain their friendships with the blogger (reminds me alot of the playground antics from 5th grade...). Yet others commended them for their decision/reasons, but also let them know that they themselves would be continuing. If I were to have commented, I probably would have fit that category. I'm not going to say goodbye to them, because I don't visit their sites in the middle of the week for their HNT. I visit for their writing or their stories or their pictures. These people aren't dead. They've just made the decision to no longer participate in HNT. And I'm totally fine with that.

"...but Os, aren't you concerned about people quitting?..."

I wasn't going to post anything about this until an amazing thing happened today. From my best estimations, I found TEN new HNTers this week. In either their first or second week! TEN!! And there's probably another dozen that have come on board since the first of the year! We haven't had growth like that since early 2006. While I don't believe that we'll ever hit the numbers that we did that year, I feel like we're experiencing a a bit of a growth spurt. And that means new friends to be made, new stories to read, and new adventures to explore. And a chance for me to run a little refresher course here:
  • GUIDELINES - If you haven't read them recently (or ever), click on the link and read them. They haven't changed a single word since the day they were first posted during the third or fourth week. You can also find linkable icons to put on your own sites.
  • THEMES - Themes don't happen a great deal. I've noticed some people upset that they "missed" a theme, when no theme was given. I will almost always give a 2-week notice for themes. And I'll post a theme-alert at the top of my sidebar, which will link to the instructions for it.
  • "I'M UP!" - It helps all of us if you comment on my site that "you're up", rather than hope that people will just wander by. Not a requirement, by any means, but how will anyone know you're out there if you don't let us know? Unless that's how you want it...???
  • COMMENTS - I hear this alot--"how come no one comments on my HNTs?" The easy answer is that the more you comment on other sites, the more you're going to get others to comment on yours. The amount of skin you show affects that to some degree, but it's just a small part of the equation. That's just the way it is.
  • COMPETITION - THERE IS NO COMPETITION IN HNT!!! If you feel that there is, then it's a mindset that you have to deal with. There is no "best of HNT" contest at the end of the year. There is no "best of HNT" website sanctioned by me or anyone associated with the "production" of HNT (which, it happens, is only me). Yes, Vixen does her Friday Favorites successfully, and others have done it to some degree. But they ask permission to use photos, etc., and it's up to the individuals if they want to be included if asked. Again--I can't help what people want to put on their own sites.
"...but Os, aren't you concerned about people quitting?..."

The answer--no, I'm not concerned. It's a cycle of life. I think HNT is going strong, and will for quite awhile. To the newbies, welcome! To the veterans, thanks for your perseverance! To the ones who have left, thanks for sharing!

No comments: