I spotted this out of the window yesterday. Crepuscular[1] rays of sun on the Town Hall in Leeds.

town hall

Grabbed camera, took the shot. Quick tweak and upload to Flickr.

Cross-post to Twitter, bounce it up to Facebook, schedule a couple more tweets across the evening. Watch as the likes and favourites ping up. Retweets happen. People like it.

Woke up this morning a flood of emails from Flickr as the photo hits Explore. Tweet about it again. More interaction, more people like it.

Then ask myself the question. Why?

I took the photo because I like taking photos. The light was spot on[2] (and indeed was gone thirty seconds later) and I could tell it’d make a nice photo.

Why share it on Flickr?

Well, I’ve got a lot of friends on there, and I thought they’d like to see it. I like taking sunset photos, and the Town Hall looks ace.

Why Twitter? Someone commented that they’d seen the photo a *lot* on there.

Again, I’ve got friends on Twitter, some of whom live in America. They might like it too, so I’d post at different times, to give them a chance to see it.


Friends and family who live on Facebook. Surely they’d like it?

It becomes clear. It’s all about the attention. And here I am, blogging about the attention, drawing further attention to it.

So, why crave the attention? Would I go up to someone in the street and show them the photo? Pester someone in the supermarket or coffee shop?

No, of course not. But here I am, sharing it to the world at large.

It also raises the question of why blog? I’m sure we do it to amuse, entertain or even educate, but ultimately isn’t it all about showing off, even just a little? Here’s what *I* think of stuff. Here’s a nice photo *I* took.

Look at me, look at me, look at me now. Listen to what I have to say.

I’m not like that in real life, so why am I so garrulous online? There’s an advert on television at the moment which shows a guy in real life versus his online counterpart. His online self is slimmer, fitter, a better dancer. Online, we can be who we want to be, rather than who we are. I’ve written about this before.

Or are we just two sides of the same person?

Thoughts, comments, questions are, as ever, welcomed.

Are you the same online as offline? Do you blog, tweet, share photos? Why?


[1] and isn’t that a brilliant word?
[2] no pun intended

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

6 thoughts on “attention-seeking”

  1. I know why I blog and tweet – it’s because I’m a self-published writer and if you want readers beyond family and friends to know about your book, you have to find as many ways as possible to reach those readers.
    However, I admit that now, I also enjoy the process. There’s something addictive about the thought of someone reading what I write. Maybe they might even approve, or enjoy, or learn something from my words. (I can dream.)
    Basically, I think I am the same person on and off line, but my online words are edited, and more carefully thought out. And when I feel down, I can’t be bothered blogging, so I guess the depressed me doesn’t often, if ever, show up online.

    1. I must admit that I quite enjoy blogging (and tweeting!) and it’s the act of creating stuff which I particularly like. All the more fun if it engenders a conversation and discussion. Quite often I’ll post something up here, but end up having the discussion about it over on Twitter!

      There are some times, like with you, where I’m a bit down on it and can’t be bothered with the whole thing. I realised last night that the photo in the post had now had more views in 24 hours than my blog has ever had, which was a bit depressing. But then again, they’re different audiences!

      1. Different audiences – the beauty of Twitter is that it doesn’t take a lot of time, and people are mostly time poor. There are times when I don’t read a lot of blogs for that reason.
        Well done on the photo, by the way. 🙂

      2. Thanks!

        Yes, definitely different audiences. I’m sure some people subscribe to the blog via RSS and email too, so they’ll see it much later than when originally posted. It’s always nice to get a comment though rather than just a ‘like’ – I seem to find that I get those from random other blogs which, when you get there, are just trying to sell you something!

  2. The photo is beautiful, I’m not surprised it got a lot of attention. As for whether I use Twitter–I have an account, but one of these days I’m going to have to figure out how the Twitter universe works. It looks like fun, but I still don’t really get it.
    PS Not trying to sell you anything. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: