Monday, August 15, 2011

Really? Honest And For True?


We all desire to have feedback in our lives, whether its for work or for pleasure. We crave it at work, for without feedback, constructive or otherwise, how would we know that we were doing a good job, a mediocre job, or a bad job. Same applies for stuff that we do for pleasure.

Like blogging and/or writing.

Out of the two items listed, blogging to me, seems to be the toughest item to get any kind of feedback on. With writing, its a little bit easier, because you can see tangible results from what you write, be it increased traffic to the blog that you write, the e-zines that your stuff appears in or increased sales of your product.

Blogging on the other hand, its very hard to see any kind of tangible results beyond an uptick in traffic to your blog, and the only way you can see that is if you have some kind of widget that feeds your mania for stats (like I have with Sitemeter). Other than that, how do you know that you're actually doing a good job with your blog?

Fortunately, if you're a stats junkie like me, that "Stats" link that Blogger threw up on the dashboard is blessing in disguise. I don't pay attention to most of what it gives me for information, because frankly, it puts me to sleep. What I do pay attention to is the top ten list of most popular posts that it generates. Why? Well, to be honest with everyone, while I've had about 18K visitors to my blog, I really have no idea where the majority came from in order to arrive here from my blog, or even why they came here. But I am curious as to what they read when they do get here.

I'm so curious about what they read, that I put up a nifty little widget that shows the four most popular posts at any given time for the month. However, what I'm about to show everyone, is the ten most popular posts of all time (May 2009 thru today) of Cedar's Mountain, complete with link (save one) and a short explanation for each one.

10} Connecticut Barbie, post date 1/23/11, 35 page views:  This was basically an e-mail that I got some eight years ago from an ex-friend of mine. Barbie has always generated a lot of humor over the past five decades (even a song by the band Aqua) and this particular e-mail was typical of the regionalized flavor of it.

9} Thou Art A Hypocrite, post date 9/20/2010, 37 page views: This was one of the few national political posts that I wrote, and it had to deal with the hypocrisy of the Democratic party and the national media over the Tea Party movement that was sweeping the country back then.

8} Read What I See, post date 7/11/2011, 49 page views: This was basically a multi-book review of some of the books that I bought earlier this year with the gift cards that I received for my b'day.

7} I Can Conversate With You, post date 4/14/2009, 52 page views: This post was basically about how I experienced twice, a rare occurrence in the blog world, which was having a normal conversation with two of my fellow bloggers, one that took place here and one that took place at theirs. Interesting factoid about this post is that someone tried to spam it last week.

6} Life Is Tough, But It's Tougher When You're Stupid, post date 11/14/2010, 60 page views: More bad e-mail humor. You know, it doesn't really surprise me that two of my most popular posts were based on very old e-mails. Go figure.

5} Won't You Please Paint Me With The Widest Brush You Got?, post date 7/26/10, 61 page views: This post was in response to someone who called me a racist and that I suffered from white anger on Facebook because I happen to think that the Huffington Post wasn't a real news site.

4} Diatribe About The Hazards Of Being A Pedestrian, post date 4/24/2010, 71 page views: I walk a lot, and this was a rare Saturday post about me almost getting taken out by pickup truck that chose to make a right on red (which is very legal and very abused in Connecticut) while I had the right of way in the crosswalk.

3} All Points Bulletin, post date 2/14/2010, 455 page views: This post, in my opinion, is one of my absolute favorites. It features a song from Hee-Haw, and poignant lyrics from Bruce Hornsby, Al Stewart and Planet P, and what I feel is the best piece of flash fiction that I've ever written. For the life of me, I still have no idea on why this post has had so many views to stay consistently in my top five posts of all time.

2}Pictorial Post, post date 1/9/2011; 1,252 page views: For the life of me, I have absolutely no clue as to why this is here. All it is, is one of my famous short posts announcing a new post at my picture blog. Even the comments were turned off on the post. It also was my first and only attempt at writing a 55 word post for fellow blogger G-Man's perpetual meme.

And finally,

1} I Done Do'od It! My 200th Post, post date 1/2/2009; 1,305 page views: Again, I have no concrete proof (only circumstantial and conjecture) as to why this one shot up to number one, because up until this year, this post wasn't even in the top ten. I originally had three chat room friends contribute something to this post. However, after deciding to completely and permanently vacate the chat room scene, I chose to purge the original content and rewrite the post. I still have the original post printed and stashed, but for all intents and purposes, this post is no more.


  1. I remember #7 very well - that was neat. I just put one of those cluster map widgets at the bottom of my blog - I like seeing where traffic comes from. It's also curious to me how people find my blog - maybe they just click the "next" button like Jannie did when she found my blog.

  2. I have looked at the stat thing but not lately. I need to do so again and get a better idea of where I stand.

  3. I haven't really checked out the stats feature. You've got me curious now!

  4. I think number one shot up because you have the word Do'od it and it is close to doody.

  5. From my experiences with Google Analytics, I believe that blogging stats fall under the umbrella of the old saw: There are lies, there are damn lies, and then there are statistics.

  6. Lynn: Yeah, number 7 was pretty neat. Wish I could remember what the post in question was when Jannie and I had that pleasant conversation.

    I'm curious about what part of the Big Blue Marble that people come from to visit me as well, but I mostly use the Feedjit widget for that.

    I've found a small percentage of blogs like that as well. Can't remember how I found yours though, but I'm glad that I did.

    Charles: If anything, its a decent indicator of what sparks people's interest when they do visit. Judging from mine, it seems that ranting/talking about the mundane things in life are the most popular.

    ExtraO: Yup, it is. I really do enjoy finding out what tickles people's fancy, mostly because what I thought would be popular, isn't, and what I thought wasn't, is.

    Mama Z: It really is an interesting feature. Great for information overload if you're into that kind of thing.

    Bearman: It's possible. But I like to think that it's because of the link being left in so many chat rooms that people come to visit.

    S.R.: Oh absolutely. However, on a stranger note, I do get a lot of visitors clicking on the tag "September 2008" in my blog.

  7. How do I know I'm doing a good job? I never thought about it until people I have never even e-mailed or chatted with on the phone donated in memory of Mr. RK's mom. They said my blog had made them laugh when they had had some tough days. That made me feel great :)

  8. R: Excellent!

    That is the probably the best concrete evidence that I've heard of so far of a blogger having success.

  9. On the one hand, success is probably best measured by if you receive personal satisfaction from it...unless you become one of the fortuante few who gets a book deal out of your blog efforts.

    On the other hand are 5 fingers.

    Claims abound that pictures in posts = more traffic...which is why when I used to write on Bleacher Report I used to use them.

    But I quickly discovered the best way to get massive numbers of reads was to say something either outrageously controversial or unbelievably banal...and neither was something I was interested in, so...

  10. Darth: As a general rule, I don't use pictures much on this blog. I did use them a lot in 2009, but I found it was better to have fun with the English language than to use a picture.

    I still use pictures, but I have a seperate blog for them (which might be going on hiatus soon).

    As for the controversial or banal, being controversial to a small degree is why I've been moderating my comments for the past three years.

    Banal is not part of my vocabulary, so I leave that to the experts.

    And on the other other hand, you have five toes in which to write with, should the need of a new challenge arise.

  11. I find my most popular posts are the ones with the most suggestive titles! I was amazed how quickly the "crotch squirting" post shot up my top ten. :D

  12. Joe: "Crotch Squirting"?

    I can defintely see where that would get a lot of hits. :D

    Reminds me of the post that Jannie did a couple of years ago which featured the phrase "Granny Panties".

    For the longest time, that became one her top ten destination phrases.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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