Keeping it real

For some bloggers, it’s all about the numbers: how many hits, how many subscribers, how many conversions (whatever the hell they are), and so on. They’ll look at the graphs, tweak their site, and then look at the graphs again to make sure the numbers are going up. Or down, possibly.

I’m not one of those people. I couldn’t care less about the numbers, and only look at the graphs to make sure my blog hasn’t flatlined. (I hope it never does, because I’d have no idea where to place the paddles.)

But I did notice a drop yesterday. Not a big one, but enough to make me wonder what caused it. And so I re-read yesterday’s post.

It’s not a bad piece (in my opinion, anyway). It’s reasonably funny (again, in my opinion). It has a nice structure, and I think the ending works.

But it shouldn’t be here.

When I set up this blog, I decided not to include any humour pieces. They would go somewhere else, and I even set up a separate web site especially for them. (I also set up a third site for my writing and editing stuff. I’ll let you know when they’re up and running.) Those sites will be about what I do.

But this site is about who I am.

This is where I talk about my dreams, my fears, my goals, my ambitions, my successes, and my failures. I hope I can look back through the posts one day and say, “So that’s how I got where I am today”. (It sounds so much nicer than, “So this is where everything went pear-shaped”.)

So what happened yesterday? Well, by the time I fired up the word processor I was pretty much wiped out—mentally and emotionally. And I should have just written that, pressed ‘Publish’, and gone to bed. But after rattling on about averages and word counts a week or so ago I felt I’d be letting everyone down if I didn’t produce my 400-odd words.

So I took the easy way out and wrote a humour piece. It really had nothing to do with my life, but it added another 400 words to my word count. And it was funny, so who cares, right?

I care. Not because the numbers went down (or was it up?), but because people came here expecting me to “keep it real”, and went away disappointed. And I hate disappointing people.

So no more humour pieces, at least not here. I’ll get back to talking about my dreams, my goals, and all the other stuff going on in my life. It may not always be 400 words, or even 40. But it will be real.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jen February 4, 2010, 11:21 pm

    I can’t say I see the issue with the last piece. It was still you.

    Unless you’re concerned about search engine traffic, I wouldn’t pay much attention to your hits.

    I would expect that your blog, like mine, sees 95% of its traffic from people who know you in some way. Friends or people from twitter. Chances are they’ve bookmarked the page (like I have) and visit it when they can, when they need to feel better than themselves (“at least I’m not Jen!”), and when they have a completely mad urge to read our minds.

    So perhaps it was today. Perhaps people were busy. Perhaps they were tired. Perhaps they left their reading glasses at home. Or maybe there was a mass power outage.

    They’ll come back, and when they do they’ll catch up on any posts they missed. If you’ve regular traffic, they’re here to read what you have to say, no matter what it is.

    • Bill Harper February 5, 2010, 12:10 pm

      Thanks, Jen. As I said, I’m not big on numbers. And I know full well they can fluctuate. (Of course, when the numbers are low those fluctuations can look pretty dramatic, but that’s okay.)

      But I also lost some subscribers, which means people made a conscious decision to unsubscribe. A bit harder to pass off as just “one of those things”.

      What I’m most annoyed about is that I deviated from my own game plan (to coin a cliche). I have definite ideas about what this database is about, and what I wrote shouldn’t have been put here.

      So I’ve got a couple of tasks to do this weekend (or Monday):
      – set up my other two sites, even if only so I can put stuff there instead of here
      – sort out my “About” page so it’s clear not just to my readers, but me as well. (But if you see me using the term “Mission statement” please arrange for the guys in white coats to take me away.)


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