Blog stats for $500, Alex.

One autumn leaf, two leaves, three leaves, four...

One autumn leaf, two leaves, three leaves, four…

Readers, shall we take a break from our early autumn chores and play a little Jeopardy?

Let’s stand in front of our TV audience and pick a category.

I know what I’m choosing, Alex.

“Blog stats for $500, please!”

Thirteen geese--count them!

Thirteen geese–count them!

Alex Trebek pauses and peers at us contestants over his glasses.

The question I must answer for $500 is:  Are YOU head over heels in love with your blog statistics?  Do you care about blog stats?  Do you stay awake past midnight to discover your daily count?

Hmmm, that’s three questions.   Answer them all and maybe I’ll win $1,500. Let’s see what he says.

Readers, if you answer them in the comment section, I’ll divvy up the prize money with you, honest, when Alex sends the cashola.   (The stats will tell me which ones of you answer 100% truthfully.)

OK, Alex, sit down, it’s a long blogging stats story.

I used to be a blog statsaholic.

No kiddin’!

One aster, two aster...

One aster, two aster…

My stats obsession started in junior high.  I used to make “minute charts”. You know, you cross out every minute.  NOT ALL THE TIME LIKE AN OBSESSED PERSON, you understand.  Only when I was so bored and suffering and ready to perish from inactivity or restlessness.

Later, in mature adulthood, I sometimes counted dishes while washing.  One dish, two dish, red dish, blue dish.

Sometimes–OK for five years–counted miles on the car.  Every Sunday set the trip meter back to zero and eagerly waited to discover the outcome seven days later.

One silver car, two silver cars...

One silver car, two silver cars…

I have two bookkeeping-accounting type jobs because they PAY me to count and track dollars, how cool is that?  Life simply doesn’t get much better.

Should have figured I was in trouble when blogging arrived on the scene.  All you blog-savvy types know that we are gifted with an entire scroll-down page of statistics about our blogs.  Every post receives detailed numbers.  You can analyze stats for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  You can tell how many of your Facebook friends visit to read the post you publicized, and which ones are lying when they push the “like” button.

(Kathy, be real.  You usually can’t identify the EXACT people except in your imagination.)

So I proceeded to become totally addicted to blogging stats for the first four years of blogging.

One train boxcar, two train boxcars...

One train boxcar, two train boxcars…

It started the very first day of writing the 365-day outdoor blog.  I parked myself in front of the stats page and wouldn’t move.  Ten hits!  Eleven hits! And then danced around the living room like a crazy woman.

Five days into the outdoor commitment and Christmas reared its mistletoe head.  Only five darn visitors read my *sniff* wonderful *sniff* holiday post. Perhaps they hated me.  Perhaps the blog was doomed to failure.  I cried in the turkey gravy.

“Darn Christmas!” I pouted to the rest of the family, a fact which they will never, ever, ever let me forget.  (The language may have even been slightly more dicey, at least as passed down in family lore.)

Alex, it was a challenging four years.  My *sniff* stats compulsion *sniff* would not be tamed.

It was even worse during Freshly Pressed incidents when thousands of visitors paused at this blogging doorstep.  I can not even detail the shame here.  Suffice it to say, I had to peel my eager stats-loving fingertips away from the keyboard.  Barry didn’t help.  He’d say, “How many hits now?”  and I’d be back to complete compulsive breakdown.

Sometimes we cry

Sometimes we cry

Luckily, Alex, somewhere about a year or two ago (gosh, do you expect an ex-statistician lover to know exactly when?) the compulsion finally eased.  Life outside the computer mercifully  re-appeared.

The shame eased.  The humiliation ceased.  Phew!

Eighteen months later I still love the stats page, but don’t really care anymore about the number of visitors or hits.  It really doesn’t matter that much if 50 folks pause to read, or 300.   It’s more a mild feeling of “oh isn’t this interesting?” and then on to something else.

This has been such a relief!  Blogging became much more joyful after that obsession ceased.   It wasn’t something I could simply stop myself from doing with a stern talking-to.  It just had to play itself out.

It was the best of blogging days, Alex; it was the worst of blogging days.  Do you think, please, you could send the $500 in small denominations so I can count them?

Just kidding!

Now, could I have Blog Confessions for $1,000?

What? Why are you running away, Alex?  Don’t you want to hear another story?

The railroad crossing of Life

The railroad crossing of Life

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in September 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to Blog stats for $500, Alex.

  1. Vickie Hall says:

    oh, my. these fall photos (especially the first, ‘fallen leaves in water, blue sky ‘) make me wish to be living back in a place where the seasons change and fall comes in earnest. a place where things die, irrevocably and in aching beauty, as this is also true, irrevocably and in aching beauty : ” It wasn’t something I could simply stop myself from doing with a stern talking-to. It just had to play itself out.”

    “tagged addiction, compulsion, jeopardy, life, permalink”, as are we all. xo

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Vickie! I wish you could live here, too. So often when we’re here we don’t see the “aching beauty” which is here. But it’s here. Thank you for reminding me.

  2. Vickie Hall says:

    darn, edit : what’s with the reverse quotation marks ? disconcerting, to a noodle like me.

  3. I was transfixed at first, but like you now just check it every once in awhile–

  4. poetinjena says:

    Kathy, with regard to Blog statistics: no comment.

    To be honest, I am neither friend or foe to them, and I imagine they have a similar regard for me.

    Anyway, just dropping in to say how lovely I find your photos.
    How could one ever never find inspiration in nature,
    especially this time of year,
    Winter’s springtime.

    • Kathy says:

      Dear Poet Jena, You know I cannot imagine you being transfixed with statistics. You see like a sort who feels with your body and heart more than being overtaken by a statistics obsession. I am glad you stopped by, though, with yourmagical words.

  5. Susan D says:

    Love all the photos, too, Kathy, and how you managed to tie Fall in with the counting theme in them. So cool!
    Well, you know I’m not a blogger; just a rookie writer who’s done fairly well, thus far, at Yahoooo, stat wise. I’m okay when I have spaces (days) between articles. I’ll check to see the latest count in the evening and toddle off to do other things. But when I have a fresh article published, I can’t yet resist eagerly awaiting its first stats.
    My biggest sin, though, is comparing my stats to others. I am a legal snoop as Yahoo displays everyone’s numbers for God and anyone else to view. I am once more having to admit and acknowledge that I’m a very competitive person. I don’t view myself as a competitor, but there she is, that fierce little bugger. I haven’t yet learned to balance these new findings. But, I’m “counting” on achieving peace with it all.
    Thanks for this today! I needed it 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Susan Dee, how I love you! I never fear that you will understand. You may not be a blogger, but your rookie writer-dom is so similar. Thank you for being YOU and sharing your humanity and divinity.

  6. Carol says:

    In the beginning. . . yes, I was obsessed with stats. That was when they appeared before your eyes, at the top of the home Dashboard page, teasing, taunting, forcing my attention upon them. Now? I take pleasure in every message that says “so and so has started following you”, but I have not looked at my stats for a very long time. A. Very. Long. Time.

    Now I must go check my stats. Since you brought it up, of course.


    • Kathy says:

      Carol, it sounds like you “recovered” from your stats obsession before I did. It took me longer. Sorry to have brought up the whole subject. Isn’t it wonderful that it’s possible to move on from challenges like these?

  7. Kathy – I would blog whether another person came by to visit, or not. I like capturing my thoughts in a paragraph (sometimes two) with a supporting photo.

    That said…

    …every Tuesday morning I do, indeed, check my stats page just before I push the “publish” button for the current post. I admit, I do enjoy my little “Well will ya looky there” fix 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      These days, Laurie, I feel the same way as you. For example, very few people come by to look at blogs on late Friday afternoon. It’s not a time to publish. But who cares? I’m always publishing at the worst times lately with only an oh-well grin. Glad to hear you check your stats page at least ONCE a week, ohmygoodness!

  8. Dawn says:

    Huh. I never look at my stats page. I’m not even sure where it is.

  9. lucindalines says:

    Oh all these people who don’t care about stats, I must admit to still being obsessed. Perhaps some day when there are too many visitors to count, then I won’t care, then again who am I kidding, I will never have that many visitors. Why can’t I just be happy to find a place to put my drivel?

    • Kathy says:

      I love your honesty, Lucinda. Perhaps someday your obsession will drop away too. Perhaps suddenly it will be OK just as it is. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  10. Dana says:

    I’m too afraid to look at the blog stats, Kathy. I haven’t written anything for months, haven’t *read* anything (online) for months, and I haven’t commented on any posts for a long, long time. Yes, I still exist, but the stats have definitely loosened their grip on me. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Dana, it’s made my night to see you here! I can imagine those blog stats have loosened their crazy fingers! Will look forward to when they begin to blog again.

  11. When I first got internet here on Beaver Island, I used to sit and watch the screen waiting for e-mail to come in.
    Writing takes me a long time. I type slowly and with only two or three fingers. I edit obsessively. Still, when I have the time, I often spend more time looking to see who has read, liked and/or commented on my blog than I spent writing it. I’m trying to get over it.

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, I am wondering now if it’s something about living in rural areas in which internet connection can give us the thrill of connecting beyond the woods? For many years I felt isolated and a little bit trapped. This blogging world opened so many doors.

      Understanding totally your time spent with your blog, and the desire to get over it. To be able to simply write it and forget it. But unconsciously I wonder if our blog writing/posting feels more like a little child we must watch, monitor, make sure she does well in the world? Perhaps that’s part of it, as well.

  12. dawnkinster says:

    That first photo is perfect for this weeks WordPress photo challenge which is “saturated”…because it’s saturated color AND wet! 🙂

  13. Heather says:

    O Ms Kathy. You know exactly how I feel about this. Was very amused to read your blog this evening. Mr. Trebek gave me a chuckle, too 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Heather, thank goodness SOMEONE thought it was funny! I laughed–obsessively–when crafting this. However, most of the commenters *sniff* have not commented on the humor *sniff* a fact I will try to recover from. (I am still not sure most people *get* my humor.)

      As you probably discerned, it was our conversation yesterday which prompted this blog stat rewind! Thank YOU for the inspiration. And for laughing.

  14. Great story! Got a kick out of the dialogue! Blog Stats isn’t a category I would have chosen on Jeopardy because I know I would have done badly. However, if there was somehow a category on Obsessive Internet Habits, I’d feel I had a better chance of a win.

    • Kathy says:

      Gretchen, I am so glad you found this amusing! C’mon now, you can take the next category, then. And be sure to write a blog about it! (Just kidding, it can be challenging to tell our dark obsessive habits to the Entire World!)

  15. Kathy another enjoyable read. I’d never have guessed that you are/were a blog/stats- aholic! You are so sincere and seem to be such a genuine person that I did not think there could be a vain bone in your body. 🙂 🙂

    I’m kidding of course- kinda of.:-) Of course I am kidding and trying to throw you a bone. Anyhow I did not know what all of that means on the Dashboard and did not look at stats for a long time. When one posts infrequently as I do, there is no point in looking for hits and views. I like to see what countries have been to my blog and what search terms were used. Right now I might have had 6-8 foks that took a peak, today. So I have no stat worries.

    PS: It must be h— to be popular. 🙂 ( I’m joking again)

    • Kathy says:

      Oh my goodness, Yvonne? What does vain mean? I must google it, because am now feeling flushed with shame! It says: having an excessively high opinion of one’s self.

      Oh, phew, I mustn’t be vain then. I have mostly had an insecurity complex–the very opposite.

      As for have low hits, that never stopped me from looking. I was just excited with seven hits as eight. (It always felt like a numbers addiction, rather than a sense of high self worth. It didn’t matter whether I was counting dishes, mileage or blog stats. Same difference.)

      Having said that, I think we all have strengths and weaknesses in our personality. We’re all flawed and we’re all wise. We’re a strange mix of devastatingly flawed and amazingly wonderful. Don’t you agree?

      • Dear Kathy, I hope that after reading your reply that I understood that you undrstood that I was joking. Understand? 🙂 Yes we are all flawed and I’ve never had much of a favorable opinion of myself so you are not alone. I think blogging gives each of us some sort of self worth whatever that means. Even if one person comments favorably that is a bit of an ego booster but I find lots of satisfction in using my camera and in the care of my pets, growing things that attract the birds and butterflies, etc. etc…

        Of course as you have written we are all flawed but I think the word flawed is a bit harsh. We are all different but you see that is what makes the world go round and gives meaning to life.

        Best regards, yvonne

  16. Connie T says:

    My blog stats are not that great, so I don’t even look at them. I just checked them to see if they changed…but no, still not worth looking at. Today I got 82 views, I usually get 12. I am really making an impact on the blogging world. I am surprised I get followers though.

    • Kathy says:

      Wow 82 views! That is always such a surprise, when one spikes up from a lower number to a higher one and you never know why. The other day I got an unexpected 120 hits in two hours. Looked like it was one person going back through the archives. Oh well…

      • Connie T says:

        They go up when I do the photo challenge. But then if I don’t post they drop. Sometimes I don’t even want to post. I have doing this for years though, you run out of things to say.

  17. Vickie Hall says:

    Since I am not in the world of bloggers, I have a perhaps stupid question. It is related to the difficulty that many communicators face when limited to type -face. Is there a way to post some blogs in type-face and other blogs in voice , all on one site? It seems like it could be fun to have a blog site with this option, voice or print. That way, Kathy, we could all have heard you laughing and all of us would have caught the wave. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I don’t think this is available–yet!–Vickie. That would be kind of fun, wouldn’t it? Here’s a secret tip as to when I am laughing when writing these blogs. I always label the laughter ones “humor”. 🙂

  18. bearyweather says:

    I never started blogging for the status or competition of hooking as many readers as I could. I blog for me .. it is a creative way to share life and thoughts and my photos. I have to admit that low viewing numbers makes me sad at times … especially when I have posted something I was hoping would start a conversation and I wanted people to talk to me. And the opposite is true, also when I post something at just the right time with something catchy that draws new viewers in and my stats jump to the hundreds for the day. I am realistic about this blogging thing … I do not post on a regular basis. It can be weeks between posts when I am really busy. The bloggers with the highest stats are those that do this everyday, visit a lot of other blogs and comment, and are talented writers. I just don’t have time these days …. maybe some day. I enjoy the blogging time I have, though and don’t plan on stopping … I just slow down sometimes

    • Kathy says:

      Bearyweather, I’ll bet very few of us started blogging for status or hooking readers. I know I didn’t. But that didn’t stop me from loving the numbers. It can be so sad when we write perfectly wonderful blog posts where we want to start conversations and people don’t contribute as much as we think would be nice. That can be so disappointing. If I had a full time job I wouldn’t be writing half as much as this. I so admire those of you who post regularly AND work a full time job!

  19. msmcword says:

    I, too, have stopped focusing on my blog stats (to be honest, I don’t have that many to begin with).
    And, as always, I enjoy your photos.

  20. lisaspiral says:

    It’s good to hear you’ve finally overcome the compulsion. I still glance occasionally, but mostly I don’t care anymore. I credit your struggle with how quickly I got through my own. Now if I ever were to be freshly pressed I suspect that would go directly to my head and I’d be all over the statistics again. Addiction, it’s for life.

    • Kathy says:

      It seemed a long time, Lisa, to recover from that particular compulsion. Thank you for honoring the struggle–it was very hard at times. Glad to hear that you, too, reached the stage of not caring much anymore.

  21. sonali says:

    I think the curiosity for knowing the blog stats remains and statistics usually provide useful data. But being obsessed by it, is definitely not something worth being upset for having less stats or being over excited for it being very high. Whatever, if it adds more fun to the game then why not?
    But, for the experienced bloggers, they usually can predict the stats they would have without even having to see the stats page, perhaps some average count…

    • Kathy says:

      You know, Sonali, that’s how I kinda looked at it. Like it was playing a big silly game. But it proved too easy to get *caught* in the middle of the game and think the stats actually translated to higher or lower self worth. That was why I was glad when the seriousness of the game drifted away 18 months ago. It’s still fun to look but not compulsive any more. So glad to see you this morning! I am getting ready to go for a walk.

  22. Sartenada says:

    I answer to Your question: “Do you care about blog stats?”. Yes, I do. Sometimes I calculate what the average number of visitor per post is. When writing this I have 323 234 visitors. The amount of posts is 242. This makes the average amount per post about 1335. I know that this is not the correct way to calculate, but I do it my way and I love statistics. When I was working, I made quality reports for my airline company which were based on statistics.

    I love the first photo very much.

    • Kathy says:

      Sartenada, you have a very popular blog! That’s because you post so many gorgeous photos and you make everyone want to visit Finland and see the sights. It sounds like you are definitely a stats person, but perhaps in a healthy way.

  23. Stacy says:

    I don’t speak numbers, Kathy, so I have never been good at stats-gazing. That, and it is quite depressing when my numbers have remained flat since my blog’s inception. I am a terrible promoter of self. Do numbers lie? Words do….not sure about numbers. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      YES, Stacy, I think numbers lie! We don’t think they do, but they do. At least our interpretation of them can be so untrue. For example, you can get all excited if you have hundreds of hits–but it could all be one visitor. Once I got 200 hits in an hour. It turned out to be my brother-in-law scrolling back through past pages. How funny.

  24. I WIlkerson. says:

    Ahhh, I guess I have a love/hate relationship with blog stats. But at least they don’t keep my awake. If I am developing an obsession it is with getting more pictures in foodgawker–just as perplexing!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, wouldn’t it be awful to be kept awake by blog stats? I have enough trouble sleeping without that! Good luck with your current obsession. So much that we can get obsessed about, lol!

  25. Munira says:

    *teeheeheeee* you’re SO funny Kathy, I laughed out loud at “It was the best of blogging days, Alex; it was the worst of blogging days. Do you think, please, you could send the $500 in small denominations so I can count them?”
    I swear your sense of humour is in direct competition with your deeper spiritual side! 😉

    p.s I still do get a kick out of my stats….but only when i post something!

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, I am so glad you laughed! For a while no one was laughing…and then I began to doubt myself. Grinning at your observation about the humorous side competing with the spiritual side. You may be right! Who will win? Will the spiritual side love the humorous side to death or will the humorous side kick the spiritual side… stay tuned! P.S. I see you just posted something. Can’t wait to see!

  26. me2013 says:

    Do you know I have never really bothered with them. When I first started blogging years ago, My son explained it all to me and he would be the one who would try to tell me what to include to get more readers. I think I write more for me than for other people.

    I like to go back and read my mindless drivel, sometimes I even make myself laugh. 😀

    • Kathy says:

      It’s a gift when we realize what you’ve realized. Then we can enjoy what we’ve written–just for the sake of it. I think that’s a huge blessing. And am smiling at how you also know how to laugh at (with?) yourself!

  27. You’re so funny, Kathy! This made me “tee hee” out loud! Here’s my take on stats –

    Alex T: This colorful blog stat is an all-time favorite. Me: What is the Flag Counter? That is my favorite one because you can see the flags from all the countries people visited from.

    • Kathy says:

      You know, Patty, it seems like there’s a few of us that have the same kind of sense of humor. I have discovered in the past year–slow learner, here–that not everyone has or appreciates the same kind of humor.

      As for your reply to Alex, he has another question for you. Besides the US and Canada, what country featured the most visitors to your site yesterday? Inquiring minds want to know!

  28. I used to watch jeopardy therefore I did recognize the name 🙂 I think I wrote for years without having more than 4 or 5 people read. When more started reading and commenting, it bothered me because it meant I should say something back and usually no one gets my humor unless you know me. So I stopped so those who were not what I called true followers would go away and when I came back occasionally I only followed those who were still there or the ..”real” friends that I could click like on their blog to say I was there but had nothing to say and they could do likewise. Maybe since I am almost done with this life it is easier for me.

    • Kathy says:

      It’s weird, Linda, I was just sharing on a comment up above about how we all different kinds of sense of humor, and not everybody gets it. It can be so special when someone understands us. That is so interesting that you wanted those to go away unless they were “true” followers. Never thought about that… I get sad sometimes when people don’t comment because I figure there always has to be *something* to say and besides, it’s just a way to connect. But that’s a silly attitude and I am trying to grow up about it. People should be able to speak when they want to be, and then speak in silence when they want to. That is true friendship. Thank you.

  29. Colleen says:

    Still laughing Kathy! I am a stats challenged person, at least as far as I know. Although I do calculate (loosely) the average time it takes for the cars in front of me to go through the drive through line at Starbucks. Does that count?

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Colleen, I should TEACH you! Stats can be so much fun! (I really should have studied them in school–maybe wouldn’t like them so much.) LOVE that you calculate the Starbucks average time! Gosh, I would have a blast doing that.

  30. I’m the same — was in love with stats for the first 6 months or so (esp during Freshly Pressed) but now I sometimes forget to even check after I post.

    • Kathy says:

      Jessica, you may be on to something. It may the Freshly Pressed that makes us kinda whacko for a while. Every silver lining has some challenges… Glad to hear you’ve lightened up, too. 🙂

  31. To be perfectly honest, I flunked Statistics in University. I am a wordsmith, not a mathematician, so I really don’t care that much. It’s nice, when I notice more people are checking out the blog, but I am not obsessed by those numbers. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Withershins, you are probably lucky. Imagine the craziness of loving stats AND words! It’s really obscene. Someone should limit our love. Nah, just kidding. Glad to hear you’re not numbers-obsessed. Those words are so much more fun anyway!

  32. Karen says:

    Your posts always make me smile. I can relate…especially when I first started blogging. I so wished someone would read what I was posting and would check my stats constantly. Speaking of stats, yours should be higher but I’m not getting notified of your posts even though I am a follower.

    • Kathy says:

      Karen, glad to make you smile! (I often smile myself when writing these kind of posts.) Isn’t it interesting how things change after we’ve been blogging for a while? Gosh, sorry you’re not getting notified of these posts. You might want to check your subscriptions and see if it accidentally got turned off. That happened to a few people at one time.

  33. My stats are so low they are not obsession-worthy.

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