For a long while now, I’ve been thinking about Blogging Etiquette, in particular the etiquette of statistics. Etiquette and “Netiquette” very often follow the same rules.
Displaying your statistics in detail, or delving into them, is the real-life equivalent of pulling out your bank statements and talking about how you make your money and where it goes. It’s tacky, and if you pulled a stunt like that at a party, the ghost of Emily Post would beat you with her phantom book.
You should know, I’m a believer in etiquette. I know there are many people who would argue against the necessity of structured rules, and how the rules of etiquette change drastically online… but I have faith. The rules see you through. Etiquette tears down walls and opens doors. It slows down the world a bit and lets everyone develop in their own unique way, without having to forsake common ground.
Sometimes though, etiquette slows things down too much.
The money thing is one example. I have to wonder how many of the world’s financial problems would be resolved if people who successfully, or unsuccessfully, managed their money opened their bank statements to the public and risked that ghostly beating.
We expect everyone to go into the world with only a theoretical understanding of money-management. If you asked someone to paint you a picture of their financial life, they wouldn’t be thinking about inflows or outflows. They wouldn’t be considering high-risk areas, or sections where they could improve or stabilize. They certainly wouldn’t be contemplating ways to maximize their earning potentials. They would give you the wrong answer– one based on whether or not they could afford fancy cereal, and if there were any immediate high-risk situations around the corner. That answer simply isn’t taking all the numbers into consideration, which is a result of unfamiliarity with common problems. Of course, you can’t just respond with learning out of a book. Your personal needs need to be factored into your picture, too. Even someone in the middle of a theoretical financial disaster, could be living exactly the sort of life they want to live.
In short, if you don’t know what to look for, you can’t look for it.
After talking to some folks, I’ve decided to do regular updates on my blog statistics, and beg forgiveness from Miss Post. I’m not sure how they’ll be structured, but I do want to point out different things each time. Maybe I’ll just make a static page so no one, except those seeking, is bugged by it.
I want to cover where to find the statistics you need and what statistics to ignore. I want to delve into why anyone who blogs publicly needs to be literate in website statistics– even someone like me that has absolutely nothing to gain from it (i.e., I can’t foresee ever wanting to quit my job to blog full-time, I have no products for sale, I’m not a writer or any career where selling your image is part of your job.) I also want to talk about measuring numbers that no one just provides for free– like effectiveness or clout.
Don’t be afraid, there’s very little math involved. In the case of reading site or blog statistics, as it so often is in the case of money, it has less to do with math and more to do with our own psychologies, goals, and time.
For the record, I’m not saying my blog stats are an example of a successful blog, only that I am quite qualified to teach web statistic literacy, and mine are the only stats I have access to. (Well, I’ll probably reference the husband’s, as well.)
Just to wrap this up with some actual content instead of just thought-wanderings, here’s a mini-summary of my blog stats.
The end of the year marked 150 days of this blog. We finished with a few more than 23,000 views and 1,060 followers. There were 4,750 comments, but the regulars probably know that most of those are my own. . One article was Freshly Pressed. One suggestion was used for the Daily Prompt. One holiday was successfully created and celebrated. Oh, and I posted 300 or so posts, though a good number of those were doodles, jokes, and awards.
In terms of maximizing a site’s viewership, clout, fellowship, or direction… few of those stats are important. I’ll go into why in a later post.
For now, though, I just want to say that I’m constantly stunned and grateful for the community and readership of this little blog.
Thanks for helping me make my blog into a bright, active tiny town of friends.
(Oh, for you newbies, welcome aboard, make yourself at home, help yourself to some tea, madness, and hugs. )