Just some rambling and not entirely cohesive thoughts on things that are irking me somewhat…
Irk 1. Stats
I’m under no illusion whatsoever that as far as blogs go, my little blog is of fairly miniscule significance in the blogosphere in terms of ranking, site stats and status….and if truth be told, I am grateful for this and I’d like to tell you why.
There are many advantages to being stricken with cyber dorkiness…for a start it means that there is considerably less pressure to blog daily, or even as some bloggers do, hourly (we all know that increased blog traffic is a consecquence of carpet-bomb posting, don’t we?)
Another bonus to having ‘wallflower’ status in the blogosphere is that I don’t have to worry about my sitemeter statistics. I don’t lose sleep if I get a huge amount of visits (by my blog standards), or if I get relatively few visits (again, by my blog standards). I don’t even break a sweat when i go on holiday and my readership halves…in fact that’s when I know you read me because you want to, because you know that when I’m away I’m unable to post, you don’t bother to show up! Pretty cool eh? To clarify, I do get a warm glowy feeling that people want to pass my way in cyberspace… but it doesn’t validate me or my blog.
For the uninitiated in sitestats…never interpret what you see on a stat counter as being genuine human visits…there are many reasons for this that I won’t go into now, but hits are often made by spam crawlers and not humans…for example, I’ve had over 16,000 spam comments deleted since I’ve been with WordPress alone!…so you see, tehnically, a hit is not necessarily what it would seem, on this or anyone elses blog!
Perhaps my thinking on this matter is aided by the fact that I don’t happen to have a competitive bone in my body and that I can be so vague and laid back about things that I blog practically horizontally half the time. So I don’t mean to sound snarky, but I am not now and never will be bothered what your (read, anyone’s) sitemeter stats are. Full stop. Brag and you will annoy me so much I won’t even visit you!
So why am I blogging about this today? Because my dislike is growing for blogs/bloggers that boast about their site stats or those that post ‘look at me’ type posts…..usually these include images of a static sitemeter page showing a multitude of hits.
Where’s the humility?
As far as i’m concerned it’s prideful and it certainly isn’t going to persuade me to read their blogs more often (if at all) just because they tell me how popular they are, in fact I find it so distinctly offputting that in all likelihood, I’ll visit such blogs less and less until over time, eventually I won’t visit them at all.
I’ll be truthful here and now, because I always am (whether it makes me unpopular or not), even priestly/seminarian/’vocation discernment bloggers’ are not above this kind of behaviour – yes I know they are fallible human bloggers, but it doesn’t mean i don’t still find it distasteful when they do it.
(incidentally, I don’t refer here to those who mention their stats for a particular reason that is not intentionally boastful)
Irk 2. Self-Importance
It really irks me when I’ve taken precious time out of my day to visit blogs only to read posts telling me that readers are not to email the blog author unless we follow certain criteria, that readers are not to comment if they expect a response, and well, they’re not to ask anything at all really…. because, those particular blog authors are very busy and important people….
It makes me want to scream at the computer screen,
“Most of us have busy lives, quit being a pompous ass!”
Irk 3. Other Stuff
As a reader, speaking only for myself on a personal level, I enjoy developing friendships with reasonably likeminded people the world over, via cyberspace…I’m just a friendly kind of person who believes in the power of the internet to change lives for the better.
Of course, not everyone has the time or the inclination for cyber ‘friendships’ and it’s something I can appreciate. But for me it comes down to this….I know the power of online friendship (and it has nothing to do with how many friends I have in my day to day life or how sad you might think I am for writing this post) because well, let me give you a really good reason for why I believe in the power of cyberspace
…about 6 years ago God worked through the medium of the internet, through friends I made on an online Catholic forum, and God used the cyber friends i made, to introduce me to the holy Catholic Church…and if you know anything about me you’ll know that almost all my immediate family members converted either at the same time as I did, or fairly shortly afterwards. (Read my ‘about me’ page for more info if you haven’t already – the tab is at the top of the page). This internet thing, it’s an incredibly powerful tool!
So that’s how I know that there is grace working its way through cyberspace even as I type this…. I just can’t help but think that for some, blogging has become more about number-crunching and places on blogger-billboards than building up a genuine rapport with their readers.
And something else…
Irk 4. Cyber Sycophants
Another thing that bothers me increasingly is the sickening sycophantic behaviour that is prevalent in the Catholic realm of the blogosphere…it’s getting more like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Catholic Blogging everyday, and I don’t like it one little bit.
Anyway, we won’t get into that right now….
You might be reading this and thinking I’m having a bad day, that I’m really just an envious little sow who wants more hits on sitemeter…but you’d be wrong…I’m happy with my sitemeter stats whatever they say, because they tell me that people are reading this blog…that many of you are taking time out of your busy days to read, comment, email etc.
To put this in perspective….I know 25-30 of my readers (friends) personal home addresses/work addresses (that have been proffered voluntarily over the years, thank you) because some of us have developed a kind of friendship that transcends cyberspace…and that folks, is why I bother to blog…because I do believe that many of you, dear readers, have actually come to care about me and my family, just as I have genuinely come to care for you and yours. You’ve lifted me up, carried my big boned body on a tidal wave of prayers many a time, and I am thankful that you are not a statistic to me, nor I to many of you.