Rants

Milestone!

Some of you may have noticed that I have not been as active a blogger as I used to be. Well, there are reasons, none of which I’ll go into here, but I mention this because of a related issue. Some of you will know the allure of checking your blog stats, especially when you are starting out, or if you are seeing a rising trend in blog visits, no matter how small. Its good to check the stats. Okay, thanks to WordPress’ fabulous dashboard, checking your stats can become a bit more than alluring. Frankly, with me it became obsessional. There, I said it.

Like most addicts, it began with just once a day, just to see if anyone dropped by. When they did – you may be one of them – and the numbers started creeping upwards, I often snuck in a quick stat check in the morning before I read my emails, and again early evening, to note the difference. It wasn’t long before I was a lunchtime time checker, and before I knew it, that led to checking every time I logged in or out. Sometimes within the hour.

Okay, okay, I’m not the first to write about the obsession of stat checking and I don’t have anything new to say about it either. Except that, as my blogging has become less frequent, so has my stat checking. In fact, I hadn’t looked for almost a month until I posted yesterday. I got the usual satisfaction of looking where my visitors came from, what they looked at, and where else they had been directed from – a digital confirmation of my place in the world I guess. I always think a little about how that person from, Singapore, say, or Lebanon, Mauritius or Bradford came to find me, and mentally thank them for passing by and stopping to take a look. I still find it incredible to be able to think about the world like this in the age of the internet.

So what has this got to do with the milestone the header lured you in with? Glad you asked. Yesterday I noticed that I had received almost 1000 comments and was astonished. So astonished in fact, that my eyes did that Roger Rabbit thing:

roger-rabbit-eyes
Do you know just how much that hurts?

I think that this milestone should be marked in some small way. The naming of a new intercontinental bridge or tunnel perhaps, or a fifth head added to the Mt. Rushmore monument? Too grand you say. Not proportionate. I hear you.

I’ve given stuff away on this blog before, sometimes as competition prizes, and sometimes as trades, and have always had a great response when I have done these things, but I have never wanted to my blog to grow just because I gave away free stuff or made lists of other sites and blogs. I have read enough of those “20 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC” that always involve giving away stuff (or at least promising to) and think that is a cheap shot at stat boosting. I always feel a bit peeved when I read a decent blog post and then urged to ‘Like’ it, or ‘Share’ it on Facebook (and the rest of their ilk):

facilebook
Bbrrrrrr. Makes me shudder. This is not what social media should be. It reeks of petty insecurity and always puts me in mind of children arguing about who is their ‘best friend in all the whole wide world.’ We are not ‘connecting’ here, nor ‘making friends’ – we are just creating stats. Nothing else. It doesn’t matter whether you get 1 ‘Like’ or 100. How many of your Facebook ‘Friends’ would you lend real money to? Or stand alongside when they need you most in the face of real adversity? Bet its not the same number on your stats.

grave

I seek no false ‘friendships,’ nor the pretense of ‘loyal followers’ by doing this but would like to do something to mark the 1000th comment on my blog and give something personal to one lucky visitor. I’m not going to say what exactly, but it will be a unique piece of asemic art. A one-off. Not for public consumption. Just something made by me to say thank you for your time and interest. It is not like anything I have made before and at the time of writing this – it isn’t even halfway complete.

I estimate that one of the comments on this post will be the 1000th. It may well be you. I will not post any more blog entries or check my stats until 31 August. I will contact the 1000th commenter directly via email shortly after and post a brief update to keep everyone in the loop.

So what do you have to do? Comment. That’s all. You might want to tell me why you came here, or whether you are a first timer or or long standing lurker?  You might actually know me. Whats the weather like in your part of the world? Do you have a great recipe you would like to share? What’s happening outside your house right now? What’s on your mind? I don’t mind what you say, just be honest. Just be you.

Thanks for dropping by.

Chris

See you at the end of the month…

PS. According to the stats I’ve had over 173,000 visitors so far… that’s only 1 comment for…. no, no, NO! I’m not going back to those days!

ADDITIONAL
Thanks for the comments – special somethings are on the way…

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6 thoughts on “Milestone!

  1. Hi Chris.

    I was watching this

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b038hr8t

    just now, and it made me think about asemic writing. Alistair Sooke was looking at some of the drawings of Da Vinci-the-anatomist (the point Sooke was making was that Da Vinci was way ahead of his time, fancy that) but what I noticed is that the Da Vinci script annotating his drawings is as intriguing as the drawings themselves.

    I know we all know that he wrote in mirror writing (though the jury’s still out about why he did), but has anyone looked at the relationship between the writing and the drawings? And just how he constructed those pages? Were they on-the-job records of investigations and excavations as-they-happened, or artefacts made afterwards? Deliberately done?

    I ask because your ongoing investigations are very studied – you take an idea and run with it, take it to extremes. You then evaluate your findings and proceed, translating them into other forms – it’s a very conscious process. There’s instinct involved here, too – something might just look or feel right – but you seem to downplay that.

    Am not quite sure what I’m trying to say here – unless it’s that sometimes you (one) can think your(one’s)self out of just being?

    I do love what you choose to show us about your working processes (and your works-in-progress). Where is your heart, though?

    Pen

    1. Hi Penny,

      thanks for your comments – I haven’t seen that programme (but will be watching this weekend) and appreciate your inquiry into the ‘instinctive’ part of the process. I hadn’t realised it before, but looking back over a number of posts, I have tended to focus on the practical and methodological here – it is genuinely interesting to have this pointed out as it has led me to reflect upon a number of things in regard to my work and the blog.

      Having experienced a number of significant changes in my life over the last 18 months I am not functioning in the same way that I was a few years back, and my inspiration and motivation is definitely coming from a different place. I am discovering new thought processes and modifying my perspectives and expectations at every turn. This is a very interesting and quite daunting stage in my life, and maybe I need to consider adding other threads to my blog to explore this more?

      In answer to your question “where is the heart?” Well, in regard to my asemic work, I would like to think that is evident in the end results – the books especially – where the results of the conscious process are put to use. But thanks to your comment here, I hope to bare a little more heart with each and every post from now on! Watch this space.

      All the best,

      Chris

  2. Hi Chris,
    I subscribed to your blog after seeing about it on the blog of Unsubscribed (Lee).
    I loved the bookworm you made for him – Well I assume it was for him because I couldn’t see them for sale (?). So fitting for a man obsessed with old books (I’m sure he won’t mind me saying obsessed!).
    I too give stuff away but it is random and I don’t do it to gain followers because I don’t advertise that sometimes I offer people free stuff. Sometimes people may become a follower or make a great comment or whatever random reason I see might qualify them for free stuff! I never expect anything in return and make clear that there is no obligation to correspond further.
    Passing something from the virtual world of blogging into the real world seems like a good thing and it’s good that you do this too.
    I’ve a friend who organises instameets in Sheffield and again it is a brilliant way of taking people from a virtual existence into the real world. Making real world connections, no matter how small is important. Even a smile and a chat with someone in the supermarket queue can help to brighten a dull day!
    Long may you continue to inspire people with your work.
    Good luck with all your blogging and best wishes, Postcard Cafe

    1. Hi Postie,

      Love your blog – it is very consistent and addictive too, especially for an ex-Sheffielder like me! I have another blog about typography and lettering that has fallen into disuse during the last year but I think you’ll enjoy some of the image sets in there too. http://mytypeof.wordpress.com/

      Thanks for your comments too, it’s always good to know that there are others who can see the web beyond the shallow ‘social media’ vehicle that it is currently portrayed as.

      Keep up the good work!

      Chris

  3. It’s the care you take. The original content. The enthusiasm. The love of texture. The teachers obsession with explanation. The good humour. And stuff. (has to stop before getting all carried away).

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