Sunday, 9 October 2016

Is There Anybody There?

The first post on this blog is dated 9th October 2008. I started out on this journey merely to see what this blogging lark might be about, and hoping to sustain regular posts for a year. It seemed a reasonable target: beyond that horizon it seemed unlikely that I would have anything worthwhile left to say. This eighth anniversary, 1287 posts later, seems like a good time to review that assumption.

Like many bloggers, I've been noticing a steady decline in the number of daily visits and comments in recent times. I suppose I may finally have run out of worthwhile things to say, but I prefer to believe this has more to do with the overwhelming noisiness and distraction of the Web and social media. A blog like this might be compared to that carousel of belts in a quiet corner of a busy department store: always there if you need a belt, but hardly competing for attention with the storefront display of this season's fashions, much less the electronic gizmos one floor up. No point in complaining: we accessories know and accept our place.

The real scale of this decline is hard to judge, however. As I've said before, Blogger's own stats are totally misleading: apparently I had 3000 visits in just one hour last week, up from a mere three the hour before, and back down to five the hour after...  Yeah, right, спасибо большое, but don't hurry back, Russian robot! Google Analytics isn't (aren't?) necessarily much more accurate, either, though always more reassuringly sober to the pessimistic of mind, and much less plagued by robotic visitors and false accounting.

But I'd really like to get a better sense of how many regular, returning visitors I'm getting, not least to figure out to what extent I am wasting my time here, when I could be writing 2018's Booker Prize winner, or just watching more TV *.

So: help me out here. Here's what I propose:
  • Temporarily, I will allow anyone to comment on this post, including anonymous comments.
  • If you regularly visit this blog (let's say, once a week or more) please submit a comment to this post – anonymously if you prefer – simply saying "regular reader".
  • I won't publish these comments, obviously, merely count them.
  • After, say, a week I'll change the comment settings back to "no anonymous comments".
That's it! Please don't be shy – I really do want to know you're out there. If you are a regular reader, enjoy what you read, and want me to continue, an anonymous, two-word comment doesn't seem a lot to ask.

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I mean, if I can make just one young lady become shiny today, it has all been worthwhile, hasn't it?


* I recently discovered there are eight series of House, M.D. on Netflix, each with twenty-four episodes, each a witty variation of exactly the same plot-line; my favourite kind of TV! And I still haven't got around to watching Breaking Bad... What was I saying about the distractions of the Web?

1 comment:

Mike C. said...


I do not intend to publish any comments on this post, merely count them. Thanks to those of you who have commented so far, especially for the compliments and encouragement. I am hoping the guarantee of anonymity will bring more "lurkers" out of the shadows!