Friday, January 25, 2013

Guilty pleasure

I enjoy writing.

Can you tell?

As you know if you've been hanging around the water cooler here, I am prone to getting mesmerized by blog traffic stats.

When a new milestone looms, I can't take my eyes off the graph for too long.  I start 'running the numbers'.  Will I break through to a new plateau this month?

Scootcommute hit its all time high last May at the same time as I did. Two mesmerizing days spent in sunny Vancouver in the company of fellow riders, and bloggers.

Hitting a new high seems all but inevitable right now.  But I still can't tear my eyes off the bloody graph.

Of course Blogger will just set the bar higher still, and tomorrow's high will be just be a step along an unending winding path towards a new imaginary ceiling.

I guess I'm mesmerized because, as intangible as a blog might be, it's something of value that I have built, word, by word, by word.

Something of value to whom?  Well... I suppose something of value to you.  Otherwise, you wouldn't be here.  Thank you.  I am pleased that my ramblings are worthy of your visit.  After all, I started this blog so that I could return the favour I got from reading other bloggers like Steve Williams, Dave Dixon, and Orin O'Neill.

I think I've done OK.

What I have received in return has far, far, far surpassed what I have given.  Thanks to Bob, David, Sonja, Dave, Roland, Steve, Orin, Brandy, Dar, Keith, Dave, Rob, and...  I feel like some poor Golden Globes starlet, desperately fearful that my struggling brain is going to forget to mention some one of you who really deserves my appreciation.  Oh well, I apologize in advance for my omissions.

So... what do those numbers look like now...

Epilogue

Another milestone passed.  It was fun to see it happen.  One second the line is poking at the virtual 'ceiling', and then poof Blogger raises the bar, the pressure is instantly released, a new much higher ceiling appears, and, if anything, the statistics look smaller, more insignificant.  Which is what they are, really.

But I get carried away watching the blue line hit the ceiling.  It's silly really.  But I think these things strike a chord in many.  Recently the general discussion forum at ModernVespa hit the 1,000,000th posting.  Everyone got a little silly seeing who was going to post the millionth comment.  It reminded me of those contests at retail stores and supermarkets when I was a kid.  The millionth customer.

Similarly, the excitement wanes almost instantly.  There is not much magic in the 1,000,276th post, now is there?

Lottery tickets are in the same vein.  Before the draw there is the possibility.  After the draw, life goes on.  But someone...

10 comments:

  1. You just made me look up my own statistics, which I usually don't really pay much attention to. I have an extreme peak of viewings in May 2012 when I had visited NZ. By the way Roland says hi, and I will have him visit your blog in order to help boosting your stat counter ;-)

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    1. Hi Sonja, sorry I made you look. I just can't help myself. Say hi to Roland from me. Doesn't matter if anyone clicks or doesn't because the numbers are generally too big for any individual to make a difference (unless of course I would have missed the ceiling by a few page views). I appreciate that you were willing to put your spouse to work to help me out though (he-he-he-he).

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  2. David:

    earlier today I clicked on your site a few times, so you may get a "spike" today

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    Replies
    1. Bob, you're such a tease! That's like damning with faint praise.

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  3. I occasionally look at my statistics, but am pretty clueless what to make of them. It's better for me to just enjoy reading what others write and, like you said, try and return the favor.
    ~Keith

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    1. Blogging sometimes seems like work. I feel guilty when I haven't had a chance to check in with all you guys and comment when I've got something semi-intelligent to say. But once I get there it's never a chore because all you guys truly rock!

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  4. I agree with Keith above. If it is something you enjoy doing then just do it. Writing to me is about passing something on...your experience, your knowledge, your lead on something good. It's not about stats or "sales." It is a nice ego boost however when you hit new numbers or pick up a couple new "followers."

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    1. Rob, I couldn't agree more. For most of my blogging life I'm content to ignore the stats. I get caught up in it when I see that there's milestone looming. Then it's like trying not to rubberneck when you're passing an accident.

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  5. Hmmm stats you say. I peek at some every once in a while but more to see what weird key words people are googling to actually bring them to my blog. I may have to peek and find the graph out of curiosity.

    I enjoy reading everyone's blog. Every blogger lives in a different place and has different roads to ride and review and thoughts on life. The blogosphere is a cool place to see the world.

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  6. Brandy, that's weird, isn't it. Some posts, like project reports, you kind of know are going to generate a larger number of page views.

    Then there are those that come out of left field that there's no way you could have predicted. In those cases it's usually that you used a word or phrase that Google gets a lot of searches for, and your blog picks up a bunch of page views.

    Overall, I find that blogging allows you to understand the phenomenon of internet traffic better because it's like a little lab, with little tiny levers you can push and pull, and this enormous machine reacts to you.

    There's an exhibit at the science centre in Toronto where they have an enormous chunk of concrete at the end of a steel cable hanging from the ceiling. They have four pinball levers connected to elastics connected to the concrete. You pull on the lever and the concrete doesn't move. After 4-5 pulls it starts to move. With patience and time, you can get that pendulum swinging in a four foot arc.

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