A big spike in blog traffic: Philosophical musings

After I posted yesterday’s post about Alphainventions, there was a massive spike in my blog stats curve… I had a total of 210 hits, which completely blew me away. That one post about Alphainventions got 175 hits. However, although that number looks seriously impressive (at least in my world view), I doubt that 175 people actually read it.

Nonetheless, it does leave about 35 views of other posts, which is very nice indeed. 🙂

The downside is that this spike has completely skewed my graph! Now there’s this  jagged mountain peak sticking up like Mount Everest in the middle of the fairly flat and featureless Karoo that used to be my stats graph.

I’d been happily pootling along somewhere between 5 and 15 views a day, and feeling pretty content… I mean, the nature of writing a blog is that you want others to read it, right? Otherwise you might as well keep a good old-fashioned diary on your own computer. But now I feel like I have to live up to something MORE! BIGGER!

Urgh…

On a more philosophical note, this experience has led me to ask:

What compels soooo many of us to sit down at our keyboards, often at the end of an already long day at work, and tap away until the early hours, putting our thoughts, feelings and experiences out there in a kind of public diary?

Are we so lonely and do we feel so isolated, even though our cities are crammed full of more people than we’d care to know, that we long to reach out?

Do we not have enough close friends with whom we can share our thoughts without fear of rejection or ridicule?

Do we feel that our nearest and dearest do not listen to us properly when we want to share our ‘stuff’ with them?

Or does writing and posting one’s photos and other creations on the net provide a creative outlet for energies that are blocked in our day-to-day lives?

And why do we get such a warm and fuzzy feeling when other people – especially perfect strangers – read one’s ramblings and even – God bless’em – leave a friendly comment?

Is it because we feel acknowledged as a human being with something worthwhile to contribute to the ever-growing mass of words floating around in that seemingly anonymous space between computers?

Hm…

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this… I’m in a ruminative mood tonight.

4 thoughts on “A big spike in blog traffic: Philosophical musings

  1. Well, first off, it’s a long time since I actually *have* been making the effort to blog regularly, certainly on my personal (non-business, non-subject-specific) blog. But when I was a Real Blogger, here’s what I was getting out of it…

    I started blogging because I had seen a couple of blogs that were really good, well-written and funny, and they made me think “hey! That looks like fun!” I also thought it might be another good way to keep in touch with my many far-flung friends. As it turned out that was not very effective – the friends most likely to read it were the ones who blog themselves, who are right here in London! And some of my non-blogging friends I think felt a bit alienated by it; they wanted me to be writing to *them*, not just impersonally to everyone. I also had an idea that blogging would be a Good Writing/Creative Practice, but as I don’t have any kind of serious intent to be a writer, that was a bit pointless; and my posts were never that carefully crafted anyway.

    But I kept blogging because – yes – it IS fun. Specifically, I enjoyed (and still do, when I find the time/motivation) shaping a random thought into something worth sharing, something that I hope will be interesting to others, and/or entertainingly expressed. So that’s the creative outlet thing, I guess. I might take a thought that I share with a friend or two and blog it – but will take more care to craft that idea in the blogging – or I might blog something that otherwise would never get shared with anyone in particular, because there’s nothing in it that’s personal enough to make me think “I must tell so-and-so…” you see?

    And of course when I gathered a few readers who weren’t previously known to me, that was hugely motivating. It became about connecting with others, not just about Writing. I can’t say that I felt it filled a lack in my life – I’m not lonely; I have plenty of friends, plenty of conversation and email in my life. But I’m sort of addicted to these connections! I want more, always more! Although interestingly, I don’t think the readers were necessarily good for the writing/craft aspect of the blog. It became more chatty and less interesting, as it started to serve a different purpose. A pity, I think.

    So for me: blogging offers connection, creative outlet, and yes, a sense of validation/acknowledgment when people respond to my ideas. The real question though is: what is the point of Twitter?! Answers on a postcard…

  2. My contention is that we have become much more protective of our space and time and prefer that it not be intruded upon. Similarly we respect (for the most part) other people’s space in the same way.

    My blog allows me to write stuff with a little more forethought than a general rambling (which is limited by the both the cost of the medium used – often a cell phone if there is any appreciable distance to be dealt with – and an awareness that the person i am talking to has other things to do) allows.

    Once you have blogged, the reader visits when he/she has made time to do so and can choose to reply or not as and when it suits. THAT is what is so great about this medium, I think.

    And access to people with similar interests who are not even known to you, of course.

  3. Like Clarence the idea of posting and reading in asynchronous time has a huge appeal for me.

    My original reason for starting what I consider ‘an online nature journal’ was to document what goes on in my neck of the woods. So much of this area has been, and is being developed at such a rapid pace, that I fear all memory of these woods will soon be lost and nobody will remember all that lived and breathed here.

    My son had also started writing his own health and fitness blog and I knew we could help one another figure things out – which we have.

    Some of my family read what I write regularly and provide me with verbal feedback. Connecting with others was a pleasant surprise. The best part of meeting new people in different places with different ideas is discovering how alike we all really are 🙂

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