I had a recent conversation with a woman who claimed that she could get up to 300 e-mails per day. To manage the flow, she had programmed her e-mail to color code e-mails into categories, such as personal, friends, business, et al. As I wrote before, blogs require management, and sometimes it is keeping up on the responses and prioritizing what you need to attend to at that time… besides working, taking care of the home, giving some time to your spouse, children, house guests, dogs, etc. Blogging has a risk of addiction, and statistics are the meth of bloggers.
For those who do not write a blog, here is what I have on my Dashboard. In the middle of the Dashbaord is a box which lists the number of posts I have completed, comments received, comments approved, and spam. In the upper left hand corner is a partial listing of posts that I have drafted but not published yet. Below that is the daily statistics of views.
As far as the number of posts that I have writen and published, I already know this. I wrote them. The number of comments is up to you readers (send me some more). Spams are comments which WordPress considers suspicious. Most of these are from business oriented websites and off-shore sites. They are mostly looknig for most exposure and traffice to their sites.
Some spam can be rather amusing either because of poor translations of their text into English, or they are in a complete foriegn script (how many of my readers are fluent in Russian or Chinese?), or picked up on some key words in my blog, but missed the point. For instance, I received some wine adds on my post about the youth orchestra playing classica music, when I made reference to them them sounding like fresh wine (not to mention that they were from a Christian academy and the adult sponsors do not drink). Or, better yet were the errectile dysfunction and condom spams to my post about having a buck goat for breeding purposes. You can hardly wait to get it on! Spams go to Delete Perminantly file.
Drafted posts are a blessing and curse. Being on the compulsive side, I tend to think up more posts than I believe that my readers want in a short time frame. And, then the Vicar’s Dad decides to teach a Sunday School lessons or I dream up a monthly topic to write, so I have a dozen posts to file in. On the other hand, having these ideas rattling around in my head takes up what limited attention and memory that I have. Drafts allow me to outline future posts, put some ideas into digital format, and come back to them at a more leisurely time. I think that I have have wittled down the draft box from about two dozen to ten posts for now. That could take me two months just to dole them out a couple per week. Meanwhile, I’m dreaming up more intereting ideas…
WordPress’s statistics include a little bar graph with activity over the past 48 hours. I can tell when you are sleeping and awake by the spikes. Another bar grasph provides me with the past week or so, with the total number of Views each day. I have never figured out a pattern, such as people check out my blog more of the weekends, or I have spikes the days I make a post. No. You all are pretty random. Most days I have ten to twenty views. Then 80 to 100 of you will show up for coffee. Then you all take a hike and leave me to my lonesome.
Below this is a listing of the most active posts in the past week, and 24 hours. Predictably, the most recently posts have the most views, but then something that I wrote on Rhode Island or the southwest will pop up with half a dozen views in a week. My Monument Valley post is probably the most frequently viewed one over this year. I even found it on the second page of listings in a google search once. Of course, fequent views tend to breed more views. If I want to track the statistics on a specific post, I can pull up that post and click on its statistics. I get a bar graph and daily calendar, which let me know when people viewed it. Also, I can back-check other bloggers who viewed that post. Again, this might allow me to connect with like minded bloggers around interets such as travel, culture, gardening, art, etc.
Regarding that addictive quality of blogging, a risk we face when writing, is that all these statistics show up automatically. Every time I make a post, WordPress gives me not only a complementary acknowledgement, but sets goals for me. “Just 2 more posts to reach…” As soon as I pass that goal, the bar is raised another five posts. And, then there are pop up notices to check out this or that help message to increase my “traffic”. When I log out, the Freshly Press site shows up, encouraging me to check out some other blogs, Like a few, leave a few comments, stay up another 15 minutes, get up 15 minutes early, open my blog at lunch… Ah, such a slippery slope!