Borepatch and I have been blogging since 2008. We started blogging together in June of this year.
Last night we had a long, wide ranging phone conversation. It was a great conversation, one I would have with a brother, if I had one. It touched a lot of topics and I think neither of us could quite find a way to bring it to an end.
One of those topics was this blog, what we are doing, why, and how we assess ourselves. Bloggers create their content, either unique or rehashed, and post it. We have no editors. We are unpaid. The digital equivalent of the guy standing on a soapbox in the park.
We can look at two things. Hit counts and comments. Hit counts are a measure of how many people visit the site, how long they stay, how many pages they click on, what they click on, and how they got to the site. It is a regular, clockwork way to get a feel for hits. A lot of you are regulars, you stop by every day. Some one time visitors go to a particular post as a result of a search.
Comments are the other measure. Comments are like manna to a blogger. If you moved a reader enough to get a comment, it's a plus. A post that generates a discussion of readers, especially a discussion that doesn't devolve into insults and Godwin's Law, is a gift.
Sometimes you put up a post that you labored over. Something you care about, a personal story like the one I did a few days ago about photography and the Marine Corps. You think, "There, that's a great post." You put it up and sit back waiting for comments. Instead, crickets.
Other times you put a picture of a cat and some one line joke and thirty people chime in.
It may be that we are using hit counts and comments as assessment tools and it's a false measure. Maybe the regular readers really enjoyed a post, but just didn't have anything to add. Maybe the ones that got something out of it only lurk and never comment. How would we know?
We don't know what we don't know.
Meanwhile a picture of a cat...
And three one liners, that's an extra two just for reading this far...
1. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.
2. Never hit a man with glasses. Hit him with a baseball bat.
3. With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.