Steven mentions that his loyal readership at Chizumatic is probably on the order of 200 hits a day, and mentions that he toyed with the idea of putting a web counter on the main page. Speaking from experience, I hate web counters.
The only reason I have a Sitemeter on Haibane.info is so I can look at referrals, which given this blog’s rather small traffic is pretty useful to see who is linking to me and where my traffic is coming from. There’s some overlap with Technorati and between the two tools I have what I need to maintain my budding web-relationships (for example, with Shamus, whose blog has become my favorite geek site of late).
I have successfully avoided putting a web counter on my main blog, City of Brass (formerly UNMEDIA) for the past four years plus I’ve been blogging. That’s because CoB is where I write for writing’s sake; I have no idea who reads it and no idea what my traffic is like. So I am functionally unable to “tailor” my writing for an audience even if I wanted to. This keeps my writing at CoB relatively “pure” in a sense, quite unlike my diaries at RedState or Dailykos where I have to admit I am always keeping the possibility of getting on the Recommended list in mind.
I did have a Sitemeter at Dean Nation as well, which had some really awesome gyrations back in 2004 when it was the epicenter of the Howard Dean netroot community (far more than the stupid “official” blog which was nothing more than a rah-rah echo chamber. Dean Nation had teeth, and I used them on Howard a lot). Nowadays I use DN as a repository for obscure essays on Purple Politics, a hobbyhorse of mine which I am quite sure no one in this partisan era gives ten cents’ damn about.
Ultimately, traffic is a curse, not a blessing – after all, back when Steven had a majority of human readers rather than bots at USS Clueless, he was deluged with pedantic nitpickers. Personally I’d rather write for a small audience of fellow travelers (or test my ideas in a hostile camp of well-informed skeptics) than try to get big and famous. I was big and famous for a while with Dean Nation; now I’m in the blogsphere backwaters, and that’s fine with me 🙂 My real priorities are my wife, child, community, and career.
I LIKE blogging at Haibane.info. I like it a lot more than I’ve liked blogging for some time now. I’m grateful to anyone reading it and even more grateful to anyone contributing to the discussion. God save me from being famous! I’ll just settle for some Blogad/Amazon affiliate revenue to help cover the costs 🙂
2 thoughts on “traffic”
Stop it. You’re embarrasing me. 🙂
You are right that traffic is a curse. Group dynamics change once a blog crosses a certain point and gets “big”. When comment threads jump in size so that each post has comments from dozens of people, it becomes hard to have a conversation. Each comment is just an attempt to grab the attention of the readers and be heard above the din. People aren’t going to waste their time on long thoughtful responses that will be buried below ten pages of flames and “me too”-ing. So, the more eloquent people clam up, and at the same time the trolls and clowns find themselves with an audience.
You can mitigate this by turning off comments and adding a forum, but then it’s just a wasteland meta-blogs that you have to babysit. Meh.
So yeah. This is the life. 🙂
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