Saturday, November 20, 2010

Too much information...for me

Just when I had discovered the STATS category on my dashboard, I am unable to access it. When I started this blog I had no wish to know how many readers visited. Then I saw this feature had been added. It volunteered. I'm not even sure what it is telling me, and I certainly don't DO anything with the information, but now that the page will not, after repeated pleadings, reload, I miss it. It is probably just as well that it will no longer communicate. The counting of things goads me into obsessive behavior.

20 comments:

Claire Beynon said...

Dear Marylinn - I can identify!

Wouldn't you LOVE to have a cape like this man's? It brings to mind one I made for my youngest (still endearingly eccentric) son when he was a tot - he placed a very specific order; it to be reversible (hand prints on one side, stars on the other, please) and I was to stitch LED lights into it on the star side so that he'd be able to find his way in the dark.). It's still in a suitcase somewhere. Perhaps I should dig it out and wear it to his 21st next month? In these times, it probably wouldn't harm start wearing something like this around the house? ; ) xo

Laoch of Chicago said...

"The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence."

Rabindranath Tagore

Artist and Geek said...

How useful is that statistic? Would it change the content of your posts? I hope not.
There is a strange new obsession with stats in the digital age.
Personally, I don't like being tracked or keep track of anyone. Especially when it's automatic.

Aah. I miss the count. And the guy in the rain coat, who sold letters.

Kass said...

Oh my gosh, I never even knew about this feature. When I first started blogging, I was shocked when people started commenting and it did change the content of my posts. I try not to 'play to an audience,' but it's there, in the back of my mind. My favorite blogs are the ones where the author just lets it all hang out, not caring how the expression is received. This blogging thing has been a real exercise in trying to be true to who I really am and not saying what I think other people want to hear.

RachelVB said...

I do this too and I don't know why. Sometimes at work I get so bored with things that I have to keep refreshing to see that something in the world has changed or become new again. I sit in front of the computer every day so it's always just there. I only care when it's in front of me and so easily accessible.
Not that it ever changes the content of what's written, but I wonder if it has to do with wondering if anyone out there cares? And that seems to be of some comfort at times.

Vespersparrow said...

Dear Marylinn, that stat button helps me feel that even if there are no actual comments, there are people out there peering in over the windowsill and listening. I don't use it often, only once in a while when I am sad. It doesn't change what I write, good heavens, no. But knowing I'm being read somewhere in the world helps me sit up straighter and more calmly when I write my next post.

Robert the Skeptic said...

After some poking around I found the "stats" tab. I am of a mind that 10 out of 9 people don't understand statistics - I am among them. I need graphs and charts, and still those visual aids are marginally helpful to me.

In short, I have no control over who views my blog, and since my income is not dependent on that fact, it is of little to no interest to me.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - Oh, yes, such a cape and to have thought of the LED lights, a child of much imagination (one of my topics in mind for a coming post). It is grand that you still have it and one might feel a bit more in tune with one's own magic in such a garment. My son wore a cape, really just red fabric, for years...yes, I AM Superman's mother...

Much more interested in ideas than numbers, always.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Laoch - To be in harmony, even just with our own selves, our true selves, is quite a task. A quote I admire, source unknown, is: Not everything in life that counts can be counted.

Thank you for sharing your wise quote here.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Artist and Geek - The statistics and unfathomable graphs were not helpful in the least, except to verify, unless they were lying, that people who don't leave comments DO stop here and read...and that sometimes they go back and read older posts.

Since I discovered the now defunct (or so it seems) bonus, it had no impact on what I posted. There have been times when few, or no, comments appeared that I thought, hmmm, maybe this is not very interesting. Yet I continue to write whatever has come and tugged at my sleeve that day. I know of other bloggers who do track visits and are able to do some sort of identification. If they are blogs I visit often, I worry about appearing to be a stalker. Oh, well. But no, that is not information that I would want. Just think...say I was able to find out the Michael Chabon or Helena Bonham Carter was reading my blog...I'd never be the same, completely frozen and sputtering and insanely self-conscious, rather than able to have the stimulating, comfortable dialogue that goes on here. Yes, The Count is missed.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - I have such admiration for the writers, for they need to be people who CAN write, who are fearless and seem not to censor themselves at all. Their honesty continues to give me courage. We all have our styles but I can't think what the point would be if we were not true to ourselves. That I have not encountered any angry readers I consider a blessing. I think we know in the moment what has chosen us to give it voice and I, too, hope I will always be willing to do that.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rachel - It does tell us that we are not just howling into the wind, seeing that someone has stopped by. I think knowing there were readers of whom I was not aware was enough, which is why I haven't badgered Google to help me get the STATS function back. Even though some of the information was a bit confusing, it told me that yes, people were reading, then it moved on. And there are sufficient, meaningful comments to tell me that without counting the crowd.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melissa - We live so much of our lives on trust, don't we, without verification, that a device which gives us that reassuring pat on the shoulder serves a real purpose. To know that someone comes, and even comes back on another day, is enough to help me believe I am being waved on to the next checkpoint. We can breathe more easily (and I will try to remember about sitting up straighter.)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - That people do, or try to, make money from their blogs baffles me, but then so do a lot of things. I was interested to see, once I discovered it, that the STATS option existed at all, for I had never been asked if I wanted it. Which I suppose is why I was caught off guard when it stopped working. I hadn't realized that I liked knowing people who left no comments had stopped by. But with it or without it, I continue apace.

Radish King said...

I think having the stat counter is a reminder however subtle to examine our artistic aesthetics if indeed we reach toward art and not just conversation and companionship.

As artists we have to decide if we are writing toward an audience or if we can ignore the audience. I believe it changes what we do it has to. Personally I avoid the idea of audience on my blog and in my art but that's just me. I don't think there's any right answer but I do think we need to come to a conclusions as artists in how we perceive audience.
Rebecca

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rebecca - I find the community among the blog writers I follow to be something I value but hope, intend, that what I write is unchanged regardless. There is a sense of continuing to move forward, strengthening my voice, identifying what my form will become. The only audience I know is the one which comments. The comments/responses form a world separate from the blog where conversation can take place.

I don't see my blog as something commercial, though perhaps it is a stepping stone...and have no published work to offer, so I have not given much consideration to audience. I can see the importance of being clear about the relationship.

Artist and Geek said...

Marylinn-I agree, whether in cyberspace or books, readers should never influence the writing of the author. When I briefly skimmed through older posts, I see growth, but you remain true to your voice.

Maybe and I'm just guessing, that's why there are so many authors who write well for years, have a sudden bestselling hit and then try to repeat the formula.

When I first started to look at blogs, I was amazed how unaware people are about just how much info they reveal. Ever notice that marketing is geared more and more toward what you might like?

Thanks to a very capable IT friend who set up the following for me: "Pick a place, any place...", I smile when things pop up that have nothing to do with me.

We are dependent on the internet, doesn't mean that we have to give up privacy or expose what we never consented to to begin with.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Artist and Geek - It may be a natural wariness, or the caution of the friend who encouraged me to start a blog, but I am very conscious of too much personal information...some of which must be offered, for if we aren't sharing our authentic selves, what do we bring? The balance is not always clear.

Thank you, for I hope my voice stays consistently my own through the few years of writing here.

I know that Google has a million secret ways to track us and things about us...recently my brother-in-law turned up as a suggested friend on Facebook and the only, the only common thread we have is that maybe twice a year we email each other. There is no other means by which they could have matched us. It was eerie.

My son reported that some people who bought the new X-Box Kinect (sp?) were shocked to see videos of themselves appear without their knowledge or consent for the camera function of the Kinect is, supposedly, part of its appeal. Yikes.

grrl + dog said...

u huh...

and external judgement... looking outside yourself for value.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - We can only follow whatever guides us. That there are readers who comment pleases me, opens doors to discussion or lets me know more about them, their ideas and experiences. Yet the writing feels as though it stands apart. This is my hope and my intention.