Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stats? Doh!

Employee Matt has a blog, On The Subject of Being Awesome, which I think he started after working here. I think he set a goal of writing every day -- heh -- mostly fiction.

Anyway, he wanted to show me something on the Stats button on Blogger. He wanted to show how many foreign hits he was getting. And wanted to know if my blog was getting them too.

"Stats?" I asked. "What's that?"

Sure enough, there's a stats button that must have been added relatively recently. Anyway, I'd decided a couple of years ago that I didn't really want to know how many people were reading my blog, and I told him that.

"Oh, it won't show you that if you're just looking for sources...."

"O.K." I said, curious. So I hit the stats button. DOH! DOUBLE DOH! Right away I see the stats I'm trying to avoid; Matt quickly changes the page, but it's too late. Now I'm curious, so I start exploring....

I've decided that, overall, my hit rate is a little pathetic for a four year old blog, which has been written on everyday. But then again, for a local blog with local readers, it isn't so bad. I figure about half the hits are people seeking out the blog, and about half are by accident.

What it did, was make me curious about the beginnings of the blog, so I went back-- I've been saying this blog is 3 years old, but really it's nearly 4 years old. At first, I had very few comments. But I also got a bit of notice by the local press, early on. When blogging was "new."

(What was amazing is how consistent the themes and subjects have been, especially about the store.

It's kind of amusing to see how many times I say, "I finally have the store the way I want it and I won't need to make so many changes," because that's the same thing I'm currently thinking and saying.

To put that in perspective, for most of my career, I never had as much inventory as I wanted. Still, the more things change the more they stay the same.)

Back to the stats. Trouble is, once I start checking them, it becomes addicting.

In an ideal world, content would be everything -- but the amount of spam I get, tells me different. I suppose monetizing this site would be throwing in the last towel. There is an interactive element to blogging that I've not ignored, exactly, but maybe I've put on the back burner.

I do love the comments.

I've decided to add labels consistently, now that I'm checking the numbers again, to see if that has any effect.

I've been interested in the 'writing' part of a blog -- and I write about what I know -- downtown Bend and my small business. I don't include pictures, but blogs do lend themselves to the visuals, and I'm not totally opposed to them, either.

That's the thing about blogs that I realized early on: Blogs can be ANYTHING you WANT them to be.

How liberating!


Anonymous said...

I'll bet if you start posting pictures you'd get more traffic from Bend Blogs. Have a good camera?

Duncan McGeary said...

Yeah, I need to get that all figured out.

Anyone with a digital camera these days thinks he's an artist.

Duncan McGeary said...

Also interesting to me is how consistently moderate my tone has been from the beginning.

Even my so called rants are pretty mild.

I think, at first, this was against all expectation form people who'd heard me rant at the store, or who knew how opinionated I am.

But just the process of writing gives me a chance to think about what I'm saying, and how I want to say it.

Duncan McGeary said...

"...thinks he's an artist."

Including me....

H. Bruce Miller said...

"Anyone with a digital camera these days thinks he's an artist."

Nah, it takes a digital camera AND PhotoShop to be an artist.

Spockgirl said...

"Back to the stats. Trouble is, once I start checking them, it becomes addicting."
Addicting indeed. Then wait until they go offline for some unknown, unfixable reason, for days... and the suggested online remedies don't work...

Quimby said...

>> I'll bet if you start posting pictures you'd get more traffic from Bend Blogs. Have a good camera?

As Postman put it in his fantastic book "Amusing Ourselves to Death":

Pictures have little difficulty in overwhelming words, and short-circuiting introspection.

Keep the picture-less format Dunc. I prefer reading to viewing.