Thursday, August 14, 2008

10 grand with a bullet

I thought I would take a little pause in my Melaque grading to discuss a topic that comes up now and then on almost every blog.

If you notice, just to the right of this post, I have a new (temporary) counter. I moved the icon from its cozy little home at the bottom of my lists. The other day, I noticed that I was about to have hit number 10,000 on my site since I started counting in April.

The hit that tripped the counter could not have been more emblematic of blog surfers if I had picked it myself. Someone in California googled "lanyard for my mom" and up popped my post on Billy Collins's poem "The Lanyard." Apparently, my blog did not contain what the googlenaut sought because the surface of my little pond was left unexplored.

I find that encounter interesting because this is not a poetry site, but I get a lot of visitors seeking poetry. And, like all other bloggers, I lament the fact that the visitor came, but I did not have an opportunity to share cocoa and cookies, let alone a fine meal with conversation.

My friends are a bit amused (some bemused) at my sudden fascination with blogging. I like the community. I simply like the tactile sense of writing. But most of all I like making contact with new people.

In the last two days, I have had hits from Britain, Italy, Australia, Italy, Russia, and Germany (in addition to the majority of hits from Canada, the States, and Mexico). I just wish that each visitor would leave a small note to let us know a little bit about their own stories.

In truth, though, I know that I will sit here watching the numbers turn (though I will now revert to my more subtle meter nestled like a worm in an acorn), waiting silently for messages that will not arrive. Whoever thought that I would end up as an electronic Emily Dickinson -- without the poet talent?


Babs said...

Who knew? That you could tell where someone is from and what they look at - guess you can tell everytime I "lurk" but, heck I always surprise there!
I HAVE heard from bloggers who haven't left comments in the past though since I wrote about my measly 4000..........

Steve Cotton said...

Babs -- We shall se if it works. So far, you are #1. But you already knew that.

Calypso said...

Steve via my two domains I sometimes get 10,000 visitors (not hits) a week with over 250k visitors since 2005 - some from the strangest places.

Now while I might be surprised at these numbers and ask why - when the Gov. of NY's 'girlfriend' setup a Blog (or perhaps already had one)she got over a million hits in the first day of that controversy. This kind of puts it in perspective.

One of my Blog entries ended up in USA Today (electronic version) one day. Some people in Mexico copy my entire Blog entries and put them in their Blogs (almost daily) what is that all about?

Sometime ago I pretty much stopped paying attention to hits and visitors - it seemed to change my writing a bit - I wanted to stay authentic to my purpose(s).

My bandwidth gets crazy and I try to keep people from linking off my photos - I don't care if they use them - I copyright nothing - but I ask that they take the photo and use it on their own bandwidth (server) because a lot of links to photos on my server runs useless massive bandwidth - there are ways to prevent piggybacking via links now.

I also opted to not use advertising as I did that for a short while and that can really 'massage' your writing in you are pandering to successful advertising. Just a personal choice - I don't hold it against anyone that does.

I have also beseeched people to comment in - to no avail. In fact the more you request the less likely this seems to occur.

Billie and I use to wonder who and why people read our Blogs - now I have gone back to my roots - I write for my own pleasure and the rest takes care of itself.

Keep it simple, keep it real and the rest will happen - or not ;-)If it becomes a job - don't do it ;-)

Anonymous said...

I've commented on your prior post already, but maybe I should introduce myself properly. I am new to blogging and I've been introduced to it because my friend just moved down to Mexico (hint: with her beagle!!). Somehow reading her blog led me to yours....strange how things happened, right?!?! I really enjoy your posts and esp. your stories about the good old Professor.

Steve Cotton said...

BoBo's Mom -- I thought BoBo's photograph looked familiar. I saw his photograph with a certain beagle at a yard sale -- if I remember correctly. And thank you for being an encourager for those of us who have moved -- and will be moving. Sometimes, things do not go as we had planned. Friends are very important.

John -- Nicely said. I try to not pay attention to the counter. It can be misleading. I have enjoyed blogging because it allows me to write on topics that matter to me -- my concern over drug policy, for instance. After all, I am not trying to sell newspapers. When I started this project, Andee encouraged me and gave me some advice. I then startred altering my writing. She lectured me to stop reacting to other people -- especially her. It was -- and is -- great advice. Thank you for reminding me. (But hits are a fun topic now and then -- and one that seems to intrigue most of us bloggers.)

Hollito said...

People from Germany visit your blog? How strange!
;-) ;-) ;-)

Calypso said...

Steve - consider this - since you started the referenced Blogs being listed by most recently updated I come to your site many times a day to see who has recently posted a new entry - I don't think this is an option with my Blog format, or if it is I haven't looked in to installing it. So I use yours. So count me for at least 5 visits on any given day ;-)

Some counters will display unique IP addresses - so if a chump like me keeps returning the same day it won't count my numerous visits.

Just to elaborate on a hazy process. If we were selling magazines off a rack we might better know how popular we are ;-)

I am a fan in any case ;-)

Steve Cotton said...

Hollito -- When I made my reference to Germany, I almost added your name. But the sentence was getting unwieldy -- and then I forgot. Glad that you commented. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.

John -- For popularity, I count only on my dog's opinion -- and that is a risky business with the wilful Professor Jiggs. And, you are correct. I know exactly how to increase my hit numbers. All I need to do is sprinkle in a few references to body parts, and I will be the king of Google.

GlorV1 said...

Well congratulations. I like that site meter and may possibly get one. You know, I think the reason I started blogging which was a while back was just to express myself.I quit,joined up again, and now I just make some time to post and sometimes share with others. Its nice that people visit, and its their choice if they want to comment, but I am having fun and that is what matters. That
$10,000 dollars there sure could come in handy, if it were real. Take care.

Steve Cotton said...

Gloria -- I am with you. I like writing just for the pleasure of it. And, yes, it would be great if I had the $10,000 bill. But then I would have to explain to the federal reserve system how I came to have their property.

Brenda Maas said...

Interesting to see where people come from and why (from their searches). You can always count on the "regulars" to keep reading.

Steve Cotton said...

Brenda -- And I suppose we write for the regulars -- as well as ourselves.

Babs said...

Oh Steve, you've made my Day! And "Calypso" I agree - I got a little overwhelmed when I first put in the meter and saw how many people were reading - now i just write for myself as a cathartic measure and I am amazed at how much I enjoy sharing my love of Mexico with people.....whoever they might be!

Deb Hall ~ Zocalo de Mexican Folk Art said...

Oh gawd. File me under SUCKER. Upon seeing 10 grand and then reading your first paragraph, I was all set for a thoughtful account about the weakening dollar against the peso in that informative, only as Steve can tell it, fireside chat kinda way. So, about the faceless and nameless 1o,0o0, FELICIDADES and I am one of "them": always glad to drop in (daily) and staying just long enough for an Absolute and tonic. Cheers.

Steve Cotton said...

Deb -- Apparently I was leaving a message for you on your fascinating site while you were leaving one for me. And that makes this post all that more meaningful.

Babs --I will keep my counter software running, but, like you and John, I will continue writing on whatever pops into my head. At times, it may even be on a topic not erlated directly to Mexico.

lazybeacher said...

I am from Dallas Texas and a struggling realtor. I dream of moving to Mexico forever. I stumbled upon you thru George and Tioga, and Blah, Blah Blah Ginger. I am always looking for bloggers who live and write about mexico. Your stories make my dull life more interesting. Thanks. I am not really that dull, just bored with the normal here. I am ready for another GREAT Adventure.

Isla Deb said...

What a coincidence. I clicked on your name from IslaGringo's blog and saw your post on counters. I just happened to add a counter to my blog tonight. It's funny how people get to know each other through these things. Went through your posts and really enjoyed them.

Steve Cotton said...

Deb -- Nice to see a new face. And I really liked the photographs of Isla on your page.

Lazybeacher -- The words struggling and realtor seem to go together these days. My mother is a realtor in Portland. Her market is still relatively strong. I have just a few more months to go and then I can write daily right from the Mexican front.