8.08.2016

Summer vacations and heat kill blog traffic. Should we just take the rest of the month off?



Every once in a while I take a look at the numbers. How much traffic we get at the blog. Where it's coming from. How much feedback we're getting. For some reason as Summer drags on the numbers are trending toward a precipitous decline. A portion of the decline is part of a wide spread pattern or trend across the landscape of photography (as opposed to photography of landscapes...), as sales numbers for serious (interchangeable lens) cameras drop year over year so does interest in the nuts and bolts articles about photography.

Thom Hogan takes the month of August off and I'm beginning to think that's not such a bad idea. I'm coming off a very busy June and July and it seems like a waste of good nap time to write just for myself. I already know what I think about things like the Rio Olympics (go swimmers! NBC, stop showing me the stupid beach volley ball junk and stop supporting stupid ideas like air rifle marksmanship. What's next, Pokemon Go championships?) and I know what I think about some of the new product announcements from camera makers (incremental, incremental).

I'm going to leave it up to my readers. Should we keep rolling out blog posts for the rest of August or succumb to the inertia of the season and come back when there's more to write about and more people back from vacation to read it?


29 comments:

Frank Grygier said...

It is August already! Take a break. I am sure you will tune to the Olympic Golf coverage. Should be riveting.

GJGK Photography said...

I have been reading it!

Victor Bloomfield said...

I continue to read your blog avidly, and to be disappointed with a day when it's not there. Nobody else tells what it's like to be a real photographer like you do. And you've confirmed my monogamy with the FZ-1000.

But, on the other hand, you work too hard not to take a vacation occasionally. I'd forgive you, so long as you told us when you were coming back.

George said...

Love reading your columns. Perhaps shorter "summer notes" like this one, with longer stuff from June 1 to Sept 1 only as you feel inspired?

Bruce Greenstein said...

Let August be the month you invite articles from your readers. You curate. They write. We all read and benefit.

TMJ said...

Have a break, everyone needs one.

John Berger said...

I am a quiet, but regular daily reader. Your blog is one of the few on the Internet that captures my daily interest. I am interested in your casual analysis and commentary on the various equipment both new, retro, and old, especially lenses and how they work (or don't) for you in both your business and personal needs. But I think I am most interested in your ongoing narrative of photography as a business, and how you deal with clients, situations, return on investment of money and time and personal effort, technique, lighting, and where the business from your perspective has been, is, and appears to be heading. Take a break, but don't quit, post on those topics that break thru the noise and really mean something to you-I am sure those topics will be important to us too. Keep on truckin' but get down near the speed limit and leave 108 MPH for the younger crazies. And it is summer, don't skimp on swimming !



Richard Rodgers said...

Don't always agree with what you write. Don't always disagree with what you write. Do always read and enjoy what you write. Go get a cool drink and hang in.
Richard rodgers

Michael Matthews said...

As a daily reader my initial reaction is: rats! On the other hand, you're spot on as usual. There seems to be a broad falloff of momentum in the entire subject. A pause to recharge is always a good idea, especially when one works as hard as you do.

I never made it to the affluent class which sees it as perfectly normal to spend August in Maine or two weeks at Christmas in some place warm and self indulgent. But it has always seemed right. I don't know what Thom Hogan's up to in August, whether it's relaxing or working his butt off doing something else, but it doesnt appear to kill off his audience. I'd say hang up a gone fishin' sign with a date certain for return. Besides, if you get twitchy there's always the next novel in need of attention.

Bruce Bodine said...

Kirk,

I enjoy the blog every day but take the rest of the month off and spend it with the family, you deserve it!

Bruce

Anonymous said...

Hi Kirk,

I hear what your saying, and if it were me, I'd probably feel the same way. It may be a good idea! But I'd miss your musings regardless. I do think if a person enjoys something, they should speak up and say so, whether in our personal relationships or enjoying a blog and thinking it will sustain itself without any of our involvement. Same as any relationship. As far as photography goes, I know a lot of dabblers have been diverted to cell phone cameras. That's fine, I could care less, I don't sell cameras, or have a blog. That leaves the more serious people out there that have always been there, but not so good blog numbers I guess.
Whatever your choice, if you take a break, enjoy your time off, and recharge yourself. We all need that. And if you continue to pump out your wonderful blog, I'm reading it and enjoying it, every time!
Best Regards,
Doug

Alex said...

I read if there is somethng to read.
If you feel its worth/not worth writing, regardless of the time, thats someting completely different.

Michael Matthews said...

As a daily reader my initial reaction is: rats! On the other hand, you're spot on as usual. There seems to be a broad falloff of momentum in the entire subject. A pause to recharge is always a good idea, especially when one works as hard as you do.

I never made it to the affluent class which sees it as perfectly normal to spend August in Maine or two weeks at Christmas in some place warm and self indulgent. But it has always seemed right. I don't know what Thom Hogan's up to in August, whether it's relaxing or working his butt off doing something else, but it doesnt appear to kill off his audience. I'd say hang up a gone fishin' sign with a date certain for return. Besides, if you get twitchy there's always the next novel in need of attention.

Don Picard said...

The last thing I want is for you to get burned out, as you're one of the few bloggers about photography who is actually a working professional photographer. I read you daily (though comment rarely), and while I'd miss my daily Kirk Tuck fix, I'd rather miss you for a few weeks while you recharge your creative batteries than have you flame out and go off and do something else that doesn't tie up so much of your (non-profitable) time. Take the month off, and God bless. Let us know when to tune back in, and I'll be there.

Cheers,

Don

Joe Kashi said...

I have to agree with the others that taking some time off is in your, and our, best interests. However, selfishly, I hope that you will continue to post at least periodically during any hiatus, as your blog and Mike Johnson's TOP are the mandatory daily fare for me.

James Boychuk said...

Hi Kirk - take the month off from the blog. Your are a prolific and gifted writer. Take som of the spare time with Belinda, Ben and the dog. Take time for yourself. See you after Labour day. Jim in Ottawa.

Mike Rosiak said...

Hey, how about that Katie Ledecky!

I don't care much WHAT you write about, I just enjoy the way you write, and more importantly, the way you think (which of course is reflected your writing).

Everyone needs a break every so often. This looks like a good time to kick back and zone out viewing the Summer games. Y'all just come back afterwards, hear?

Cliff said...

Take a well deserved vacation. See you in September.

Gato said...

DON'T GO. PLEASE DON'T GO.

But more seriously, everybody needs some time off. Sounds as if you've had a busy summer, maybe a little down time is in order.

It is a sad day around here when you and Mike Johnston both take a day off, but I'll get by somehow. May be forced to read the NY Times or something. But enjoy your vacation if you take one. We'll be here when you get back.

Anonymous said...

I think taking time off can be a good thing. During this period you could post links to older articles.

DavidB

Phil Stiles said...

Kirk, by all means, take a break. If you have to ask, you need one.

The Contax 45/2.8. I've had two of them. The small size gets me in, but then the good, not great, performance gets me out. The G Series 45/2, however, is superb, but the adapter seems a little complicated. For this focal length, I'm happy with my Sony 28mm on my 6300.
Cheers,
Phil Stiles

Les said...


Why not be like the French and take the month of August off?.................. and watch all the action from Rio...some of these sports you've never considered can be intriguing once the tactics and fine details are explained......

Daniel Walker said...

I look forward to your blog everyday and miss it when it doesn't appear. Your writing is both entertaining and very genuine. Will look forward to your return.

Dave Jenkins said...

We'll see. You are a compulsive writer, Kirk. I doubt you can stay away that long.

Meanwhile, I like Bruce's idea. Invite readers to submit articles. I bet you'll receive some surprisingly good pieces.

Peter Williams said...

It's Winter here, you have an international audience.

Anonymous said...


Aged 87 what is one to do for a month without your articles. Here in England the papers are never worth reading, full of stupid statements by our politicians and so called celebrates. Photo magazines are as bad. while the news from abroad is horrific with Isis and Syria. Turn on Tv and thews is the latest madness from Trump, but then our electorate is just the same , they will vote for anything provided its not connected to a yesterdays politician.

Now thats an idea, why not turn your camera on Trump . in the past photographers have always found the truth

Kepano Kekuewa said...

Certainly, if you want to take a break, take a break. Though, you likely appreciate the risk of losing readers after a hiatus. I don't know if my previous comment got through (sometimes I try to comment from my iPhone - unsuccessfully), but it would be great if you could figure out or otherwise enable accessibility through the Apple News app.

Back in the dinosaur days, I had all my favorite blogs bookmarked. Then came Google Reader which aggregated RSS feeds. Then, when Google abandoned Reader, other services popped up. Through that transition, I managed to make my Reeder (sic) app work on all my devices so I could easily keep up with my blog reading. But, more recently, Apple News has become my app of choice for news/blog aggregation. Briefly, The Visual Science Lab was accessible from Apple News, but that is no longer the case. Since your blog is no longer in my primary news reader, it requires a deliberate effort on my part to open another app or visit through a browser. In effect, this means my daily visit to your blog has all but stopped. I do remember to swing by once a week or so, but that little bit of extra friction has, at least for me, impacted my interactivity.

Can't say if I'm representative of your reader-base or if I'm even statistically relevant, but I thought I'd share my own audience feedback. Newsshooter is another site I used to frequent that worked briefly in Apple News then stopped.

I'll check back on Sept 1. Until then, enjoy the time away from the blog knowing that there are many of us who will miss your writing.

Ravi Bindra said...

I have been reading regularly as always but on an RSS feed so I probably dont show up on your stats.

However, take 2 weeks off in August. Everyone deserves a break - even from having fun.

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