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:
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):
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.
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.
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!
Thanks for the comments – special somethings are on the way…