Is Anyone Listening?

Black HoleIn previous posts, I’ve asked for information about feeds and readers.

I’ve talked about stats before and how I try not to look at them too often.

However, after reading a post by Nalates Urriah today, I’m wondering how much longer I will be able to view my stats.

Everyone knows that stats are important when it comes to the internet.

As a blogger, you have stats that tell you many things – the number of followers, how many times a post was viewed, how many times someone visited your site, the country of origin for your readers, etc.

If people find your blog via a search engine, there is a place for you to see what search terms brought them to your blog.

Lately, when I look at that stat for my blog, it says ‘unknown search terms.’

WordPress tells you ‘some search engines don’t reveal search terms for privacy reasons.  That’s why we don’t always know which search terms were used by visitors who arrived at your site from a search engine.  When we don’t know the search terms, we show them as “Unknown search terms”.’

Since Google is now encrypting more and more searches, it’s that much harder for WP to tell me how people are finding my blog.

According to Nalates’ post, there is a possibility of finding out more information using Google’s Webmaster tools.

However, using these tools is confusing (at least to me), if you are not a techy person (which I am not).

So I rely on WP to provide my stats (because they employ very techy people).

I also came across another issue that concerns bloggers when it comes to feeds/readers.

I set up a Feedly account so that I could keep up with all the blogs I follow.

In doing research on different readers, I saw a question about views.

It seems that if you view a blog post in a reader, it does not count as a view for that blog – unless you actually click through to that website (to ‘like’ or perhaps post a comment).

That’s frustrating, since views and followers are essential for successful blogging.

Often blogging can feel like you are screaming into a giant black hole.

You wonder if anyone is listening.

8 thoughts on “Is Anyone Listening?

  1. First Time I’ve ever been called a Black Hole!!!! 🙂

    I follow you religiously. Your blog – I’m not like, one of those stalker peoople. 🙂

  2. I think you really have to ask yourself why are you blogging? Is it to get information out there? Is it to satisfy an urge to write? There are many reasons why people blog. Are lots of readers actually important to you? What kind of readers do you want to attract? Would you be happy with a few readers who are interested in what you say or do you want lots of readers and hits?

    I’m sure I’ve made a comment about blogging here before so excuse me if I repeat myself. I started a blog in 2007 and blogged over 700 posts, before basically running out of steam in 2012. I never published a post that had no comments, not even the early ones because I had been a medblog reader prior to starting blogging and had a blogger account so I could comment so I never felt I was talking into empty space.

    Every blogger worries about stats early on in and tracks them obsessively. Yes, many people do read using feeds and never actually visit your blog. That included me until the good feeders disappeared and I never took to Feedly so now just follow a few blogs which deliver to my email. At one point I was trying to follow over 250 blogs, some SL and some RL.

    “Everyone knows that stats are important when it comes to the internet.” But are they really?

  3. I read some of your posts, usually ones like this.

    The internet is overwhelming and noisy. It’s like everyone is screaming and no one is listening most of the time.

    Many of us don’t have paid blogs; we do it to keep a record and to share our SLives. Of my 310 followers, I think less than ten regularly read my blog. I enjoy whatever connection there is with those few. Stats mean almost nothing to me. What does thrill me is when I see I have readers from all over the globe!

    As for search terms, my naive, unfortunate blog title gets the most searches. My blog has nothing to do with “happy endings”. The less people pay attention to what I post, the more freedom I feel but I understand that most people would want a return on their emotional investment in something.

    I see your blog in the SL WP feed here and your LOTD pics on ASN. I also notice your pics in some Flickr feeds. I’m not a stalker but I do see you as having a “presence”.

    People just don’t comment or click “like” much anymore. I don’t think stats are accurate indicators of anything. I like reading posts that are relevant to me, when the writer has an authentic voice. Their rep doesn’t influence whether I read or not. Maybe I’m in a minority there.

    But life is too busy and we’re all pressed for time, likely taking shortcuts and skimming more and more. When I feel frustrated, drained or unappreciated I know it’s time to step back.

    1. “It’s like everyone is screaming and no one is listening most of the time. ” I think this is such an accurate statement – there is so much ‘noise’ on the internet, that people have tuned it out. I also agree that people don’t ‘like’ or comment as much as they used to. I tried to make it a goal earlier this year to ‘like’ more posts, but it ended up just feeling as if I was ‘liking’ something just so I could say I had, not because I actually liked it.
      It is a very busy world out there these days; I don’t have enough time for everything I’d like to do, and I’m lucky enough to be home most of the day. 🙂

  4. Stats have their place. People can get obsessed with them. Or used wisely.

    A reader is the only way to keep track of the huge number of sites I follow. If one allows the entire article to pour into the feed, you can see stats drop. WP has a setting that limits the feed content to a few beginning lines of the article. Which I suppose is partly why Hamlet says the first paragraph of a post is the most important.

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