About a month ago WordPress launched a new blog statistics page that shows the country that the click to view your blog originated. If I am representative of many new bloggers, we begin writing because we have a creative side that needs to get out or have something funny or interesting to say and keyboards rarely interrupt or doze off in the middle of our diatribe. Then in some mysterious way we kind of get sucked in to who is reading our stuff and even resort to surfing around other blogs leaving lame comments in hopes that they will return the favor. Honestly I have only heard of that method of generating new readers. I have never tried it myself.
I will be the first to admit though, that knowing people are reading your blog or even winding up there on accident because they Googled the word squatchy is pretty sweet. For a certain period of time we get sucked into the statistics page and even neglect things we once held so dear like Facebook to see if anyone new has stopped by to read our nonsense. I think it is a phase that we bloggers mature out of and realize that the reason we started a blog wasn’t to win a Shorty award or turn our blog into a NY Times bestseller. We hold onto the dream of one day being Freshly Pressed but for the most part go back to our roots and write because we have things to say, not because we want to pump up our stat bar.
That was me, a happy maturing blogger that had gotten over my stats obsession and had shifted focus to writing what I wanted to write and enjoying the community of readers and fellow writers out that make the blogging process so rewarding.
There timing was impeccable. Just as I had situated myself on the high road and stopped measuring my self -worth with my blog stats, WordPress showed me a page full of awesome little flag icons that tell me all of the places in the world my blog has popped up on a screen. Just like that, I am sucked right back in. I don’t have a huge map in my office that I put thumbtacks in every time I see a new country or anything, but based on the stats page this blog has been either viewed or accidentally stumbled upon in 57 different countries since the new feature started. It probably seems silly to most people but if I see that 4 or more people in Paraguay clicked on my blog I decide it wasn’t an accident and I think it is pretty sweet.
This may be the closest I ever get to a glamorous life of international travel and I am OK with that. So if you are reading this today or randomly landed here after Googling “ideas to disguise a TV remote” (true story) Where ya from?
What Happened to “Here’s your Receipt, Have a Nice Day.”
Have you bought anything lately? I am not sure exactly when it happened but it now seems like every transaction concludes with me getting a to do list. I just gave you money. When did that become not enough? Here is the thing, I don’t want to be entered in your sweepstakes. I don’t have time to go home and spend two hours filling our surveys for every store I walked into at the mall today. I am not going to go to this website and make sure I rate your service excellent just because you told me to. I have stuff to do like spend 30 minutes thinking up back stories to who is reading my blog in Morocco.
Is it too much to ask to go back to the way things were? Are people doing this? Are people actually winning a $1000 gift certificate to Lens Crafters? If I call the cable company because my favorite show Happy Endings isn’t coming in clear do I get to talk to a real person faster if I agree to the short 5 minute survey at the conclusion of this call? I get it, in today’s world of business buzzwords, every single breath we take needs to be measured and the results quantified. Somehow, some out of touch with reality power point slide has trickled all the way down to me standing in Sears pretending to listen to your spiel waiting for you to let me go so we can finally do something fun and get free samples in the food court. If my opinion is really that valuable to you can’t you just install one of those Facebook “like” buttons next to your cash register? I would happily take a second of my time to high-five a blue glowing thumbs up button if I knew I wouldn’t have to take home a four foot long receipt with different sections circled and your name scrawled across the bottom in a plea for me to rate you excellent.
If you work in retail you probably hate this more that I do and I truly empathize with you. Getting a sales pitch, a guilt trip, a chore list, and a pocket full of paper when all I wanted to do was buy socks is totally weak.
April 2nd, 2012 at 2:53 pm
I’m very glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.
March 28th, 2012 at 12:30 pm
As always both points wonderfully made. All this ‘data mining’ stores do now is driving me nuts.
March 26th, 2012 at 9:01 pm
After going through a few of the posts with your website now, I really much like your method of blogging. I favourited it to my list and will also be checking back soon. Feel free to check my website and told me how you feel.
March 25th, 2012 at 10:16 pm
Reblogged this on naufaldiandi.
March 23rd, 2012 at 9:41 am
Bravo! And furthermore, why do I have to give them my phone number and email address just to buy a shirt? Don’t even get me started on those grocery store and drugstore discount cards.
March 24th, 2012 at 12:32 am
Totally agree, if you ever try to buy without one of those cards, cereal is like $13!!
March 21st, 2012 at 8:28 pm
How true your explanation of why we blog versus how we get sucked in to the stats. Monitoring the number or locations of my readers was not part of my original plan, but now that these maps exist I have checked them out. It is pretty cool to think that people all the way around the world have read my words, though. As for all that survey stuff, I totally agree. Your idea about the button at the register sounds great. How do we get one?
March 21st, 2012 at 9:57 pm
Yeah a button like that would be so much better.
March 21st, 2012 at 8:21 pm
You basically mapped out my blog history there, but I’m decidedly not going to get sucked into that map thing. Of course, I’ll have to go check it now because you reminded me about it, but that doesn’t count.
I do work in retail, and it does get to be a bit much. Where I work, the store does at least offer you something back for using the card. I won’t get store scan cards from anywhere that doesn’t pay me back somehow. If you want to track my spending and demographic me this way and that, then at least I should get something out of it too. As for the surveys, people do win the $1,000 from my company. The bad thing for us as employees is that the store is judged not just on the results, but on whether or not people call in. We just can’t win.
March 21st, 2012 at 9:56 pm
I am glad that people do win but hate that a store would measure success on people calling in.
March 21st, 2012 at 9:58 pm
You think you hate it… 🙂
March 21st, 2012 at 6:17 pm
In appreciation of your blogging efforts and with all due respect, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award.
March 21st, 2012 at 9:55 pm
Thanks so much!
March 21st, 2012 at 4:34 pm
Well I got here cos I follow you! I must admit I do get very excited when I know someone has bothered to read something I have written! So there is a map now! How cool…. That’s me drawn in then….
March 21st, 2012 at 9:55 pm
It is cool to know where the readers are.
March 21st, 2012 at 2:14 pm
You have a very healthy attitude towards blogging – and life in general – my friend!
Good for you!
March 21st, 2012 at 9:54 pm
March 21st, 2012 at 1:44 pm
i’ll take your “squatchy” and raise you a “cameltoe.” about twice a day someone comes to my site as a result of searching that term
March 21st, 2012 at 2:20 pm
I could go all in with my personal favorite “pictures of women wearing white socks” but I don’t think it can beat cameltoe. You crack me up.