Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eat My Stats!

Did you know that in Blogland, there are wizards behind the curtain?  For example, when it came to designing this blog, I had no idea what to do, so I just picked the simplest setting, figuring that the background would be blank until I could someday have my 30-something techno-wiz friend Julie make a custom one for me.  But after I had entered my first post and clicked on "view blog," lo and behold!!  A wall of books had magically appeared as a background!  So clearly, there must be some program out there that tracks the words in your blog posts and, if it sees words like "write" and "book" and publish," designs your background accordingly.  Is this cool, or creepy?   I'm not entirely sure, but here's something else that has been boggling my mind ever since I discovered it.  So, on what I guess is my tech control panel of sorts, there is a link for "stats," and when you click it, it tells you exactly how many people have viewed your blog, today, this week, or since the dawn of time.  So I now know that in the ten days since I've started this venture, I have had exactly 36 views!  OH MY GOD!!!  I'VE GONE VIRAL!!!!  But wait; it gets better.  When you're on the stats page, there's another link that's called "audience," and when you click on that, it shows you a map to illustrate the geographical location of your myriad viewers, and also lists them  for you by country in case your map reading skills are subpar.  And as a result, I know that someone in Germany has been reading my blog!  And someone in Russia!  And, I think, someone in Alaska!  Well, it looks like Alaska to me, anyway.  It's all sort of overwhelming, to be honest.   But now that I know what a sizzling hot ticket I am, I have a favor to request.  If you like my blog, would it kill you to leave a comment?  What, are all your fingers broken?  You don't know what a sad thing it is to obsessively check your new baby blog a couple of times a day for comments, only to meet the same dreary chain of zeroes.  Please!  Drop me a line!  In your native tongue, if necessary!  Don't make me beg.  Don't you think it's bad enough that, at my age, I have to grovel before editors and agents whom I should more appropriately be dandling on my knee?  Wait - you vast audience out there.  You're not intimidated by me, are you?  Is that even possible?  If so, I will tell you a story to illustrate how unintimidating I truly am.  A couple of nights ago, I suggested something I can't now remember to my daughter beginning with "why don't you...?,"  and she smiled at me and, maybe 30% joking, replied, "Why don't you just be quiet, like, forever?"  And just as I opened my mouth to respond, she said, "It's not forever yet."  Okay?  Do I make myself clear?  NO ONE is afraid of me, and I'm getting lonely here, people!    Give me a reason to keep going!   And, even if all your fingers do happen to be broken, have a fabulous New Year!


  1. I wrote a story on a while ago, and I’ve had to make blogs for school before, and the audience location thing amused me greatly too. I’d get readers from Japan or New Zealand and be like “WHAT?! How did these people even find what I was writing?!?!” Thank you, Google, for making obscure things findable.

    What’s even more amusing (and revealing) is finding out what search terms people are using that lead them to your website/posts. I think search term trackers/reporters are something you can add to your website, and it might be a feature that comes with certain web hosts. (I remember, years ago, adding a hit counter to a website that also told me search terms, and I’ve seen online writers post some of their search terms.) The search terms are sometimes bizarre and hilarious, but most are a good way to see the interests of readers and to adjust topics accordingly.

    “Why don’t you be quiet forever?” Your daughter is snarky in a good way. :D

    By the way, seven of my fingers are broken, but I’m commenting anyway since you asked nicely. It’s taking forever because I have to resort to “hunt and peck” typing. I’m assuming that since you want comments, you don’t mind necrocommenting. And if you do mind, then that’s what the delete button is for. :P

    I was reading a book review blog yesterday, and the newest post complained about short comments that gave no indication that the commenter had actually read the post (“Great review!” “Great pick!” “Thanks for the review!”). Which is worst, mindless comments or no comments?

    1. More good advice, this time about search terms! Thank you! And I love the word "necrocommenting." But, ummm... You're not going back through my blog and reading everything I've ever posted, are you? Because that would actually kind of terrify me.....

    2. No, not reading everything. Just the titles that appear to be relevant to my interests. I like statistics, which was why I read this one.

    3. Oh. Okay! Thanks for clearing that up! So you like statistics and books about war.... What else?