Damn statistics

by Steve

Students working on a statistics machineNo real post today, just a futile attempt to keep things ticking along. I would like to say that this was inspired by my desire to stay engaged with my readership, to strike out once again into the big, bad world (wide web). But no. My motivation is that damn site stats page WordPress offers us. If I post something then I’ll (hopefully) get a spike in my stats and a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

I deal with web stats as part of my job, and can justify to myself that finding out the habits of thousands of visitors is compelling. Where do they come from? Where do they go? When do they leave?

Yet, here for my blog, I have no such excuse, just vanity. As much as this might surprise you, dear reader, I am not troubled by thousands of visitors daily. My readership is small yet (naturally) perfectly formed.

Yesterday was a good day, but today nobody seems to be stopping by. This troubles me. However, it doesn’t trouble me as much as the fact that a graph of my visitors motivates me more than any artistic or creative yearning.

I just long to see those stats. I probably spend more time looking at the site stats page than actually writing blog posts. It is addictive. Now, is that because I want to make a human connection, I want to know there is someone ‘out there’ reading my work or is it just because I like pretty graphs and collecting things – even if what I am ‘collecting’ is pageviews?

Can you relate, fellow bloggers? Are you as shallow as me?

Image from the LSE Library, via Flickr