Words And Numbers Don’t Mix

Posted: October 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ve fallen into the trap. After I post something. Looking, peeking at the stats. Watching them for a day or so, counting, comparing. Low numbers are not my favorite. The little graph here at WordPress shows my BEST day, as defined by the numbers. Lots of clicks, the bar is high on that day. In my case, it was just shy of 100. The tall bar looks likes a skyscraper compared to the other bars, the numbers built those as well, floor by floor. The BEST looks very impressive standing up tall like that next to all of the other bars, tiny grass huts perhaps. There were not a lot of numbers to grow those ones. They sit in line, in the shadow of the best and busiest day. A reminder that numbers play a big part here in the world of blogging.

I visit as many blogs as I can. I enjoy them immensely and usually take away something good that I can apply to my day or even life. They make me feel connected to people. They make me feel as though I am not alone, that my feelings and experiences are not unique. A good feeling. So what about the numbers? I’ve read people’s words of discouragement about their blogs. Some stopped posting because of the numbers. They feel that their blogs aren’t making a difference, or having a large enough impact on those people whom they are trying to reach. All because of the numbers. This is why I think words and numbers don’t mix. To me, it’s like oil and water. You can shake and shake and it looks good, then eventually the separation begins, the oil rises to the top. The line has been drawn and the fact is very apparent that they are two completely different things. Yet, we will shake and shake again, trying to combine these two elements that just are not meant to stay together for any length of time. So, this being said, why as bloggers are we so concerned about trying to mix our words with numbers? It’s a painful process, agonizing at times, but in the end, the numbers seem to have more power than the words which created them.

I think what I am trying to get at here, in my round about, dizzying way, is maybe we need to stop trying to place a numeric value on our words. Maybe we should put a nice looking carpet over the trap door and simply forget about how many, how much, how often and give ourselves a break. Numbers change, while the words stay the same. The messages we are trying to convey are exactly the same despite how many clicks trip over each other to get to them. For all I know, that one click, that one person who came here to read may have taken away something good, something they could relate to, something they connected with, which allowed them to go forward into their day, or life knowing they are not alone. That their feelings and emotions are not unique. And as far as I know, number one is the best.

So whether one person reads this or I end up with a gigantic skyscraper bar exceeding all others, I shall use my imagination and allow myself the indulgence that numbers are not welcome here. This is a place for words and words only. The numbers could be much better served over there on Wall Street. Not here at my blog or maybe even yours.

Oil and water, words and numbers, no matter how hard we try, are not meant to coexist any longer than they have to be.

Now excuse me, I have a nice looking carpet to pick out. πŸ˜‰

October 8, 2011

Coventry CT

  1. dani says:

    my life would be lacking something special if it were not for the posts of you and Becky in particular. i have discovered SO many amazing writing/poetry blogs and i just cannot keep up with them now because of my vision/vertigo and i REALLY miss the feelings i get from reading others’ words. i remember when you and i started tweeting poetry and then started our blogs almost simultaneously. we both ran into times during the first few months when we became overwhelmed with others reading our words ~ each one containing a piece of our hearts. we’ve come a long way, baby! {smile} i have so many ideas stacked up since i haven’t been able to be online to write for weeks, but i’m starting back now and it’s something that makes me feel good whether anyone reads or likes what i write or not. that said, i do look at my stats. for me, it’s with utter amazement that people DO want to visit my blog, even if it’s only 2 views in a day. and the comments are far more precious, aren’t they? if what we write touches one person enough to take the time to tell us, how great is that? you are an amazing person and an amazing writer ~ whether poetry or like this post, sharing part of yourself. thank you for sharing and thank you for your friendship, bunny. i don’t know what i’d do without you in my life. i love you! *giant glittery super squishy hugs*

  2. You’ll get there, Joanne, to the place where you’ll stop thinking of the numbers behind the words. When I first started blogging, I was looking at the stats all the time. Then I stopped and only check them every once in a while. (Like yesterday after reading your post since you reminded me.)
    First of all, it’s so much more fun to realize after six months how many people stopped by and how the views just exceeded last year’s stats while it’s not even the end of 2011 yet.
    And other than that, ever since I started blogging, the real importance was on my words, on what I needed to get off my chest, to share and the comments I received, filled with lots of love.
    Especially when I’m feeling down, and reach out, even if I’m not completely open… Those comments trump all stats really.

  3. terrepruitt says:

    I look at my stats – sometimes obsessively – and then I laugh because I’ll get a comment that is better than that rare skyscraper of a bar. ONE comment. Just reaching one person is cool. I do get kinda sad when the number is really low.

    People blog for different reasons too. Some blog to journal their lives for their kids, some blog to get their feelings and emotions out. I blog to try to share information with people and spread the word about Nia. Sometimes my post are truely just a recipe I want to share and document. I actually use my blog for recipes because I have my iPad or iPhone near and I don’t have to find the recipe in my cookbook.

    I love those tall bars. I clap and get giddy at the tall bars, but my heart is warmed by those small bars. I really appreciate those little ones because I know those are my friends and “loyal” readers.

    This reminds me of that photographer blogger. If you blog for something specific that is outside of yourself and your control you might be very disappointed. If you blog because it is something you want to do and you like what you post then high numbers are gravy.

    Oh, by the way . . . .new look, huh?

    • You always leave such thoughtful and interesting comments. Thanks so much. Yes, new look. I like to change things around every so often. I think by writing this, at least for now, I’m realizing why I do keep this blog. It settles something restless inside me. The words and ideas start churning around and to get them out to find some relief, I write them down here. Everything I’ve written is off the top of my head with no interference of any kind. I like it that way, not editing myself or trying to polish things. It’s a freedom I allow myself and I am so glad that people as wonderful as yourself stop by. It still amazes me too, even just reaching a few people is a thrill to me and that is what blogging means to me. I have confidence now, where it never was before, to share, out loud for all to see, the thing I love to do most, write.

  4. Pamela Carlson says:

    My sweetie (who reads zero blogs) and I were talking about this numbers thing last night. In the abstract, he thought that someone writing a blog that has (say) two readers was likely wasting his or her time. I took the view that if even one person got some value out of the blog, and the blogger was writing something meaningful to themselves, that was more than enough. Really the only problem I see with the proliferation of blogs is how difficult it can be for a reader to find the ones that will speak to you amongst the thousands & thousands out there. I’m all for people using creative energy.

    P.S. Keep on writing. I love to read your blog.

    • That is so cool that you were talking about it. The blog world is enormous, but the beautiful part is finding and following the ones that you love and get something good from. Two and a half years ago, I didn’t even know what a blog was, and now I don’t think I could get through a week without reading the great ones that I read. I’ve come to rely on them for information, entertainment and gaining insight into the writer’s lives. Thank you Pam, I think I will keep on writing. πŸ˜‰

  5. Linda says:

    Just clicking in with you! hahahaha – I look at mine too and get discouraged sometimes but when I have something to say it is usually for somebody so I just write away and try not to worry about who clicks in. Keep writing sis – I for one love what you have to say!

    • Thanks Sis. I know I as well as others get discouraged by the numbers, and some, hold back completely and don’t even start. To me, that’s a shame because even if we reach that one person, we can make a difference. If I didn’t truly believe that, I would have closed down this blog a long time ago. I think people’s words are a gift and should be used to let their voices be heard. That one post that someone might not write because they don’t think anyone will read it, could be the one that makes all the difference in the world, to someone. Love you!

  6. Well, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the very best of the best…YOU GET A 10!…BUT WHO’S COUNTING?…Loving the words!!

  7. Caroline says:

    (xoxox/2)*1,234,567^10. :o)

  8. Becky says:

    I’m very curious about my stats. It doesn’t govern what I write about though. I think, even as bloggers, we’d be fooling ourselves (at least I would) if I didn’t have that hope in the back of my mind that my blog could turn into something else… you know? A book, a short story collection, something… so, I check the stats and dream of a book holding all my little thoughts. But… having said that, I’ve grown as a blogger based on me and my commentors, not based on the numbers.
    ps — I love you.

    • Perfect answer! I think we all dream of having our words turn into something BIG. We are writers, how could we not want that. I do get sad when I read of people giving up, sharing their words because of numbers. P.S. I love you back.

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