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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Now, could I have Blog Confessions for $1,000?
What? Why are you running away, Alex? Don’t you want to hear another story?