Back in September, I wrote a post about my best friend and me. I told the story of how, in our early twenties, we packed up her car and moved to Texas.
It is by far, my favorite post… but I had anxiety it might fall flat:
- hoping strangers will read random recollections about your twenty-two year old self? That is what’s called a narcissistic delusion.
- it had nothing to do with houses, home-repair, DIY, or renovation projects.
But then magic happened. It’s the only scientific explanation.
I felt like Lady Gaga. Like I’d sold out Wembley Stadium. Like I was Kate Middleton— and people were screaming my name and sending me free clothes and begging to do my hair.
All because of something I PULLED OUT OF MY HEAD.
And it totally made me rethink what I was blogging about. I mean, l love my house and all. But seriously? I have waiting to be the Princess of England for, like, ever.
I’m practically overqualified for the position.
It was amazing… my transcendent, meteoric, imaginary rise to fame and royalty.
You people? You magical strangers who read my story? You are my favorite people ever. You can come to my house at midnight and eat my food and put your muddy feet on my white sofa. I will offer you figs and olives, and buy the good champagne. I will run your errands and walk your dogs and unload your dishwashers and take out your recycling.
I do not know how you found me, or that story, but I LOVE you.
The idea of random strangers relating so much to me and Lara’s experience is amazing. I wish I knew every single one of you.
If you are one of the people who shared it on Facebook? I love you extra.
I was one, Lara was two… Who are the other 206 of you??? CALL ME!
Blogging is two things. Your own creativity. And other people’s consumption of it.
Prior to my September post about friendship, I didn’t really appreciate the consumption end. I mean, I looked at my stats everyday… If they were up, I was arbitrarily happy. If they weren’t, I was arbitrarily disappointed.
I say arbitrary, because I have nothing to compare them to. No one talks specifically about their stats or their numbers or their page views or their followers.
Something about the consumption part is vulgar. Or rather— caring about the consumption part.
Most of the conversations I’ve had about blogging, frame it as personal fulfillment. Almost as though blogging is a private journal, rather than transparent access to the most intimate places in your home and head.
Plus, no one mentions how they’d really like people shouting their name and offering Valentino couture.
Here, I feel like I should offer a disclaimer: I do understand some blogs will scoff at these numbers as paltry. Lucky you. Or that you might feel sorry for me— that my epitome of awesomeness came so cheaply.
I don’t relish being the object of too much Schadenfreude. Or judgment. But to me, this was the peak experience of my year. Possibly even since my wedding… So humor me.
My impression before now, was that there’s something distasteful about acknowledging your statistics… Similar to saying you like exhibitionist orgies.
But now? After 656 page views? I feel this—bring the orgy. Bring the leather pants. Bring me my guitar and my microphone and my chariot. Bring me sequins and spotlights and disco balls and big hair.
I cannot exaggerate… how quickly my fantasy-machine kicked into overdrive.
And then it was over. Like a flash-mob reading.
So now, my inner exhibitionist is sad. That after being uncovered and dusted off and tarted-up with fake eyelashes—now I’m supposed to go back to gutting our kitchen…
I’m sad that my Freddie Mercury outfit is impractical and stupid. And that it turns out I won’t be going on tour anytime soon.
And I would like to know— whom do I contact? For more of the blue stuff?
How do I access the blog-meth? Where is my dealer?
When I started thinking about how to show you the wild variance in my page views, and the corresponding views and shares of that post. Initially, I tried to figure out how to do it without actually SHOWING you my specific numbers.
You know, a shoulder shimmy, a little boa action. Nothing vulgar. Nothing hardcore. Keep my mystery. And my privacy. And maybe my pride.
So I cut out my all-time views. And chopped out any real statistics. I definitely didn’t want to show anyone how many people looked at my home page or total visitors or total clicks or whatever else these stats are monitoring.
But eventually I had this thought: why am I so closely guarding this information that’s pretty much meaningless? It’s not like it’s my I.Q. score.
Why wouldn’t I tell you these numbers? I’ve showed you unabridged house-ugliness and been open about the fact that I have a distinct and special ability to drive my husband to the brink of insanity. No WordPress stats chart is more private than that.
And the more I thought about it… Isn’t the core of blogging, curiosity? You get to see inside what people think about, write about, dream about… Inside almost everything except the actual blog.
And I decided, it’s kind of like a public service I’m doing here. So why not continue my good works and over-sharing?
So you’re just left with a general sense of – yay! Or, bummer…
Not exactly an in-depth breakdown of your blog’s performance.
If you’re not a blogger, these charts are relative. Meaning, if you have 1 view per day, the graph will reflect 1 as your high-point and the chart will show you are kicking ass with your 1 viewer. If you get more views, the chart has to adjust to accommodate the new, higher level of page views. Which then reflects the disparity between your high point and your low point.
In my case, an avalanche of disparity.
A visual representation of a one-hit wonder.
Leaving me with an enthusiasm hangover and a totally skewed WordPress stat chart… And making every other day of my blog look sad.
My parents like to tell a story about when I was three. We had gone to the beach for lunch, and a group of older kids walked by… I toddled down the sand after them, waving half a banana, and cried— will you be my friends???
And that’s how I feel now. Come back! Please! Don’t leave!
Here! Have some of my banana!