Metablogging: November 2002 Archives

Some Decisions to Make


Some Decisions to Make

I'm finding that more and more visitors are making their way to my site via arcane searches on Google. Apparently an entire generation of college students is terrified to read a poem for themselves and try to come to terms with what it is saying to them. I get two or three dozen searches a day for paraphrases for certain poems: Orlando Gibbon, Holy Sonnet XIV, Anne Bradstreet, and Edward Taylor among them. But as I do not now, nor will I ever, have intention of paraphrasing (unless the original is in say the Kentish dialect) this is wasted time for these poor searches. I am certain they arrive at the site and are merely frustrated by the deluge of material produced each week. This is not the problem. The problem is one noted by a great many bloggers already, and that is I am hypnotized by statistics. Unlike others, it is not a matter of concern about how many people are visiting--although that is interesting. I spend far too much time trying to determine if there are patterns in the numbers--does a week start slow and build, why are there anomalous days in which I get twenty-to-thirty percent higher numbers, is the change in visit correlatable to any other phenomenon (for example, I note that each time the name order in Mr. Seraphin's list changes, so too does the number of hits for about two days afterwards, usually going up). I love numbers, I love the patterns of numbers, and I love the analysis of data. But it is taking too much time away from actually blogging and actually thinking about what to say, when to say it. Worse, it is taking time away from poetry and it is giving me something to think about other than my literary output--which should be my chief concern. I want many to be able to read my poetry, and as outlined yesterday, I want my poetry to be a vehicle for evangelization, apologetics, and simple enjoyment. This takes a great deal more craft and thought than has recently been given over to thinking and writing. So perhaps I would do well simply to remove my stats.

On the other hand, it is by my stats that I have stumbled into some wonderful places. A great many people who visit do not leave comments, but they have their own wonderful sites which I would be unaware of had I not checked stats. So maybe what I'll do is to ask any new visitor who has their own blog to leave a comment somewhere so I can place a return visit. I am nearly always edified, and often tremendously pleased at the wonderful things that I find.

The blogworld is an interesting place. The quality of writing is not even from place to place, but each place that I go, I get to meet someone new and learn as much as they are willing to tell me. That is an exciting, interesting, and fascinating activity. Everyone that I read consistently, and nearly everyone that I do not, has interesting things to say even if they are not profound reflections on the nature of poetry. The sites I have the least patience with are those they tell me little of their owners and offer for me tidbits from the news with a line or two telling me why I should read it. These are mercifully few. Those that I like best are from ordinary people who have offered to share interesting aspects of their lives--ordinary fathers, mothers, family members, home-schooling moms (as we are about to decide what to do with our 4-year-old, these are particularly interesting right now), religious, clergy--there are so many different people and so many different ways of knowing the world. I am increased when I can come to terms with a new way of perception, a new mode of understanding the world. I am diminished when I refuse to make the effort. As my blog is primarily to help me figure out the road of prayer, I prefer to associate with those with whom I have the greatest religious affinities. I also prefer to stay to quiet places that are not trying to cater to everyone, but have a very clear audience in mind.

Enough baring of the soul. Basically, I am torturing myself over keeping or dumping the site statistics. If anyone has any opinions considering what they have read here or reflecting on their own experience in this matter, I would be deeply appreciative if you would share it. It may go a long way to helping me decide. Is your life and feeling about blogging better after dumping the stats? Was it a dreadful, serious mistake? Are you thinking about dumping them as well? Are you obsessed with numbers and patterns? Whatever, I'd just like to hear any reaction, favorable or unfavorable as I consider this.

(Being a geologist by training, you may rest assured that along with nearly any other decision I make, this too shall be made in geologic time. Or as Andrew Marvell would have it, "vaster than empires and more slow." See, another argument for the delectation of poetry--it becomes part of your day-to-day vocabulary and you can thoroughly confuse people with whom you do not wish to converse anyway.)

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Metablogging category from November 2002.

Metablogging: September 2002 is the previous archive.

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