Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pimpin' Ain't Easy

I placed a site meter on this blog years ago. And truth be told, I stalked the shit out of that thing. It has been said that there are times that too much information is a bad thing. I can attest this to be true. But I could not help myself and would constantly log onto the site meter, to obsess analyze the traffic and location of my readers. Yes, I was deluded enough to think I had readers; like I was Margaret Dowd. And thankfully, the site meter company legitimized my stalking by labeling the information as ‘statistics’. Yes, that’s right; I was merely an interested observer perusing factoids related to my blog. WRONG. I was a person obsessed and this obsession allowed me to become adept at identifying most of the IP addresses belonging to my friends and other somewhat close beings. Oh but the information did not stop there. I knew how long they were on my blog, how many times in one day, how many times they click on other links on my blog, how they were referred to my amazing blog, even what site they left mine for….INFORMATION OVERLOAD. I came to believe that this was a tool designed by narcissists…obsessive, bored narcissists.

Now, it would make sense to have this information if I was actually running some kind of legitimate business, say an escort service. (I sense some of you leaving). Think about it. The information I listed above would be invaluable to an escort service. Let’s say the majority of your ‘hits’ occur after 10:00 pm. Then it would stand to reason that you would post your best ‘offerings’ during that time. Or, based on ‘clicks’, one would be able to determine which ‘offerings’ visitors were particularly fond of. See, great information.

So, let’s go back to the site meter on a blog, my blog. Why would I need to know any of this? I wasn’t attempting to go national or run a business. It started out as a way to communicate my thoughts and interests. And, post pictures of my dogs. Of course we all want to be relevant and of course that can be validated by the amount of people (mostly strangers) reading our bullshit. Ta-Da! Relevant! Not to say, that for a while, when I was particularly consistent, I had my fair share of ‘readers’. But here’s the rub; you have to spend a great deal of time making other people feel relevant about their bullshit. I not only had to read many other blogs, I also had to comment. There isn’t a ‘like’ option for the lazy. You actually had to type something to let the blogger know that you did in fact read their blog. It was also appreciated if your comment made some reference to what the blogger actually wrote. I’m talking effort people! Yes, daily blowing smoke up some stranger’s ass by way of their blog. And the expectation is they would offer the same in turn. At one point, I was reading 30-40 blogs a day. That’s a hell of a lot of smoke blowing...and ass.

It got to be a problem.

So, one day I just stopped. Stopped writing, stopped reading, and stopped commenting; stopped. I wasn’t willing to keep up the effort for great stats. And I had this thing called a life…

So, here’s why I wrote this post. Let me preface this by saying that I do have friends that have legitimate blog/websites. They are mostly food writers, cooks and professionals that are actually making a living (or attempting to do so) through their blogs. This rant has nothing to do with them. As for the rest of you…. I have noticed that people are now using Facebook as a way to self promote their blogs by providing a link to their newest post. So now, you can guilt some of your actual friends into reading your blog and increasing your stats! Woo Hoo! Who’s the shit now?! I am especially irked because I am operating with the assumption (the unwritten social contract people!) that by reading your Facebook status updates, looking at your pictures, liking your posts and making the effort to leave a comment, that I had already done my part. Done. My. Part. (Oh yes, I still expect this kindness to be returned) But, now I am expected to read and do MORE? Where does it end? How much validation does one person need?

I am making a decision. I am adhering to my belief in the unwritten social contract and validating your existence via your Facebook, period. I am sorry, but if you want more people to read your blog, you’re gonna have to do the time just like the rest of us. No cutting to the front of the line. So, grab your laptop and a drink (you may need it). You will also need to set aside a few hours (DAILY), because you will be doing your FAIR SHARE of reading and commenting.

And that bitches, is how it’s done.