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Zero Day

February 10, 2013

Climbing EverestAccording to my 2012 annual (WordPress) blog report, “600 people reached the top of Mount Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mount Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.”  (I assume this interesting mathematical factoid was provided because “the busiest day of the year [on my blog] was August 7th with 1,685 views. The most popular post that day was How to Climb a Mountain”, but I can’t help wondering how they came up with this unique ‘connection’ between my most popular blog post and the number of people who’d climbed the world’s highest mountain! If they have some poor schlep(s) performing ‘individualized’ research and analysis for every blog on their site, the wo/manpower would be staggering – there are over 60 million WordPress blogs worldwide! But I digress …)

Goose EggOn average, I get somewhere between 25 and 40 Views per day (I like the fact that WordPress has now started tracking Visitors, too, but there were no stats on Visitors for 2012).  Generally there will be 4 or 5 Views registered when I check my Stats first thing in the morning (sometime between finishing my second cup of tea and the morning newspaper and getting dressed to begin the day’s activities).  So I was super surprised (stunned, actually) when I brought up my Stats page one day last week and saw a big fat goose-egg under ‘Views’. Zero. Zip. Nada. Null.  Not a single View since midnight the night before (or the morning of, depending on your point of view). What could possibly have happened?

Google LogoMy first thought was that WordPress was experiencing technical difficulties. Yet – I had logged in successfully, I could view my Stats from previous days, weeks, months, and I could read both the Blogs I Follow and that day’s Freshly Pressed posts. So I had to surmise that it probably wasn’t a WordPress problem.  Next I wondered if Google had perhaps ‘turned off’ links to blog posts from its general searches (this has been suggested in the past – ‘tweaking’ search algorithms to allow people to either include or exclude blog posts in order to ‘improve’ the veracity of search results).  I switched to the Google search page and entered one of search strings that brings people regularly to my blog (“how much sand is there in the world”).  My post was the third item returned. Hmm – not a Google search problem, either.

StatsUnwilling to accept that absolutely no one had visited my blog in the past eight or so hours, I kept pressing the F5 (refresh) key on my keyboard and watching for the ‘0’ to change to AT LEAST a ‘1’. It didn’t.  I logged out and in again. Still nothing.  Feeling somewhat frustrated by the fact that “a watched Stats counter never changes”, I decided the only thing I could do was ‘fix’ it myself (I also wanted some reassurance that the counter was actually working). I entered “the other side of 55” as a search string in Google and when the link to my blog appeared (at the top of the list, thank you very much), I clicked on it.  The ‘Views’ counter immediately registered a hit (I had two browser windows open so I could instantly check what effect my ‘experiment’ was having on my Stats page).  Elated, I clicked on a couple of my most recent posts and – VOILA – the ‘Views’ kept rising.  When it reached 5 – and I was satisfied that everything was in good working order – I stopped clicking around, logged out, and went to get dressed.  The next time I checked (about an hour later), I was up to 4 Visitors and 10 Views (by the end of that particular day, I had reached 17 Visitors and 31 Views).

CommunityIt’s quite interesting how ‘attached’ bloggers become to their Stats pages. I spoke with several fellow bloggers and they’ve all had similar reactions to both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ View counts.  We want people to visit our blogs. We want them to read what we have to say. We want to make new connections. We want to share our stories. We want to expand our communities – which is what blogging is really all about.

When I began writing about life on “The Other Side of 55”, I was happy knowing that even one or two people had come to read what I had to say. Now, with 135 posts, almost 25,000 total views (my ‘best ever’ day was in April 2011 when “Choose Your Own Adventure” was Freshly Pressed; that was almost matched in August 2012 when “How to Climb a Mountain” [see above] was chosen for the same honour), and a continually growing list of followers, I like to think I’m connecting with people every single day.  And now I know that even if I get another ‘zero’ day, all I have to go is ‘kick start’ the process myself and – miraculously – other people will find me waiting for them here on … the other side of 55.

This Way to: The Other Side of 55

This Way to The Other Side of 55

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8 Comments
  1. February 16, 2013 4:01 pm

    I’ve tried to make heads or tails out of my readership patterns and am baffled. Some days I get over 100 hits and others only 15! I think you have to look at the days of the week and what else is going on in the world i.e. holidays, big news events, etc. but honestly, I just write when I feel like it and the topics vary depending on my mood. With any luck, at least one person will respond in kind 🙂

    • February 16, 2013 6:46 pm

      The satisfaction has to be in the writing, not in the stats!

      Margo

  2. February 15, 2013 10:11 am

    I count myself as one of the few fortunate ones because I have never been Freshly Pressed and I am confident I never will be. It keeps my expectations very low!

    • February 15, 2013 10:21 am

      I’m willing to bet that because you’ve said this (and penned a post about not being FP’d), you will ‘hit the jackpot’ within three months. That’s the way these things work (recommended reading: Martha Beck’s ‘Finding Your Way in a Wild New World’ – she’ll make you believe in the impossible.

  3. February 11, 2013 6:03 pm

    Are you sure your own views are recorded? WordPress surely knows it’s you and doesn’t count them???

    • February 11, 2013 6:24 pm

      I was logged in (to WordPress) with Chrome; I launched IE to conduct the search (so WordPress had no way of knowing it was ‘me’ because that browser instance was not connected to my log in). It’s a good way to test hits/views, etc. (NOTE: it did record only ‘1’ Visitor and ‘5’ Views because it DID recognize and record my IP address – each unique IP = 1 ‘Visitor’; each click = 1 ‘View’).

  4. February 11, 2013 8:39 am

    There is the occasional day when every other blog I try to read comes up web page unattainable, annoying.

    • February 11, 2013 9:09 am

      I suppose we can’t really complain when it’s all free! Still, it scan be frustrating.

      Margo

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