"Does anyone read my posts?" and the silent majority

This is Day 3 of the Your Turn Challenge, an initiative to practice the art of shipping by writing one blog post every day for a week.

Every time I’ve looked at the tiled archive view that shows all the posts from the Your Turn Challenge, I get sucked in and can’t resist reading. I could read for hours, and totally have.

Due to bandwidth, I end up tweeting about 2% of all the posts I read. I feel like I know many people even over the course of three days purely from reading your posts. Even with thousands of posts now on our Tumblr, I’ve hit publish on some repeating names and it’s fun to recognize people.

The funny thing is: all of this is going on in my head. Most people have no idea that I’ve been reading their writing and that it’s moved me.

I realized that some participants might be wondering, “Does anyone out there read my posts?”

The answer is yes. A clear, resounding yes.

I can’t stress enough how important it is that you realize the value of what you’re saying even if there’s not a reaction from people about it.

Think about how hard it is to get people to change their minds or their behavior. To see things a different way. People are stubborn. If your post was able to change even one person, then I say hell yes it would be worth it.

There are people participating who have never used social media, but started a blog or Twitter account because of the Challenge.

A teacher wrote about his discomfort with the subjectivity of grading and how he chooses to give students the benefit of the doubt, despite a debate in schools about grading with two decimal points versus one. For example, 89.99% is a B but 90.0% would be an A.

A glass maker is just now starting to write about his craft in addition to creating art every day, and wants to use his blog as a way to teach others about his passion.

One of the volunteers who’s helping publish posts usually gets take-out when his wife isn’t home, but decided to cook last night as another way of shipping and trying something new.

A pet shop owner compiled a bunch of funny short anecdotes about the crazy things customers have said coming into his store over the years.

An engineer talked about wanting to get better at telling people bad news - he no longer wants to work 36 hours straight because of not being able to tell a client that a project is taking longer than planned.

A woman who has a name that’s difficult to spell wrote about a barista at Starbucks, and how taking the time to notice little things doesn’t go unnoticed.

A Vegas entertainer wrote about his upcoming college reunion and how he hasn’t written anything long-form in a decade, and is glad to have the chance to sit down to write between the traveling and performances.

A physician wrote about finding her voice and expressing her opinion after spending many years having to be careful with her words due to doctor-patient objectivity.

A participant in Spain wrote about his hometown and how he wants to see the culture surrounding education change. I learned about a border town in Morocco that I would have never thought about if not for his post.

One person wrote about trimming clutter from his life and only buying things that he loves. He even has a “trash challenge” to try to donate or sell five things in his apartment each month as a reminder to keep life simple.

Someone wrote a unique post on wires - phone wires, cable wires, electrical wires - and how they impact the look of the streets in Philadelphia.

These are just a handful of the many posts I’ve read and loved over the last three days off the top of my head. There are many more that are slipping my mind now.

Even if your audience seems silent, keep doing what you’re doing.