John makes a confession and vows to alter his blogging life:
I have become a SiteMeter junky. It's a good feeling to look at your blog at the end of the day and see that you've had 50 hits, especially when your previous record was in the 20s. It has gotten to the point where I will check SiteMeter numerous times during the day and think to myself, "John what else can you put on the blog today to keep people coming back?" That's the wrong way to approach this project. I have to stop forcing myself to post just for the sake of drawing interest. If people are interested in what we're doing, they'll keep coming back, and in the mean time I can keep some of my sanity. So, I'm a SiteMeter junky on the road to recovery. I'm going to post when it fits into my schedule, and I'm going to stop paying so much attention to SiteMeter.This brings up an interesting issue that I think most serious bloggers have to deal with at some point: Why am I blogging?
When I started this blog 20 months ago it was never my intention to appeal to any particular audience. In fact, I assumed virtually no one would read the blog except for a few friends. However, I found most of my friends had no interest in reading my blog and along the way I got hooked into the local blogging scene (if you can even call it a “scene”). That transition of intended audiences has had a subtle effect on what I blog about. My focus, and I use that word loosely, has shifted more toward local content and away from national and partisan political themes. I still do this primarily for myself but I’m aware that others are looking on. And just as public and peer pressure can affect the way I dress, I think my blogging is subject to similar pressures in some small way.
As for SiteMeter, I go through time periods where I care more about it than other times. Mostly I like to se what search engine hits I’m getting (some are pretty funny) and it’s always fun when I have a good number of hits in a day (anything over 100/day is very good for me). But in the end, the numbers don’t mean that much. I don’t have the talent or time to create and maintain some mega-blog that gets 100,000 hits a day -and I know that. Like John, I have many other things going on in my life and most of them are way more important than blogging. There have been times when I even thought about hanging it up completely. Someday that will happen, but I’m hoping it isn’t any time soon.
As long as I’m on the subject, I might as well float another idea I’ve thinking about: making this blog a collaborative one (or creating a whole new blog) with one or more partners. The advantage would be that I could take a week off like I did last week and the blog would still have others to keep it going. It also might make for an interesting mix of writing and a steadier stream of posts. And who knows, maybe even more SiteMeter hits!