I am a bit confused at the moment.
Of course this is not such an unusual thing in itself. I am often confused. But the cause of this particular bit of confusion seems worthy of note, so here I am … noting.
A few days ago I had a Facebook chat with one of my blogging friends. Sandi (Ahhsome) is one of the first bloggers that I became friends with in the blogverse (even though we have yet to meet in person). She is part of the reason I have whatever level of success I have with my blogs. And she is also the one who introduced me to the whole idea of community in the blogging world, and the power that it could have.
She has not been very active in posting in recent weeks for several reasons, so wanted to say hi. In our conversation, she mentioned a current frustration that she felt was worth blogging about, but at the time it was too much of an emotional trigger for her and she did no think she could put her frustration into words right then. So I told her I would take a stab at it.
The result was this post about the state of education in our country.
Now to my confusion. And a realization (I am good at those).
I am proud of that post. I think it is well written and has a good message. But I don’t honestly think it is the best thing I ever produced. Yet somehow, my stats in the last few days have jumped in an extreme way. Kind of like what I expect happens when one gets Freshly Pressed, yet as far as I can tell I did not. My highest day for visits was back in May of this year, when I posted about a Parrot Head convention I had attended, and frankly I expected that simply because Jimmy Buffett was one of the tags I used. Since that post I have rarely come even remotely close to those numbers. Yet with this decent post that I did as much as a favor to a friend as to express an opinion, I blew past that record (which is about three and a half times my current daily average) by about 60%. And the next day again by another 40+%. And the following day (today) promises to be just as fruitful, even though this is the weekend when stats usually drop for me.
So in two days I have had more visits that I usually have in an entire month. My record number of visits has more than doubled from one post, which means about eight or nine times my daily average until this point. What confuses me is how people are finding this post. And why nobody is commenting.
Despite these unheard of numbers (for me at least – compared to some blogs my numbers are minute), I have had less feedback on this post then some that have only been read by a few people. Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. Just surprised.
Now for the realization. Though I am not all about stats, like everyone else I always thought it would be nice to have a huge following. But this freakish(?) event brought something home to me. Apparently I wrote something that touched people; that resonated in a way that others felt it should be shared, or it reached people some other way. But was it a positive reaction? Or negative? Did I set something in motion? Or just get dismissed as an odd curiosity? I have no way of knowing because I have no feedback. It dawned on me that I would rather have a few readers who interact with me and each other than a whole slew of readers who don’t react at all. High numbers don’t actually matter unless you are making money every time someone visits. And even then it only matters for the pocketbook.
We (or at least I) write to express myself. Sometimes I wish to be heard, other times I am simply creating for myself. What does it matter if a thousand people read what I wrote if a thousand people simply dismiss and forget it right afterwards?
I would rather have one person be moved by whatever I present, and tell me, even if they disagree. That way I know my words caused a reaction at least.
My personal lesson for the day. I hope others benefit from it. Or tell me I am wrong 🙂