Another of my blog posts about blogging, but I thought this blog prompt from Britmums was interesting and worth exploring.
Stats, Rankings and Accolades- Important? Worthless? Dangerous? Unhealthy? Inspirational? What do they mean to you and should the parent blogging world even bother?
I have never been a huge fan of statistics. I failed it several times at university level and am strongly of the opinion you can manipulate numbers to reflect your own bias. With the advent of computers and automation, statistics have become so much easier to collect and collate. On my own blog I can see how many views I get a day or week, month or year. I can see where people are reading, even what browser they are using.
I confess I have joined Wikio and Tots100 rankings. And I chose to enter the MAD blog awards. Yet here I am saying that I don't care about statistics. Double standard, much?
I think at first, when I started blogging, I just blogged for me, to put my thoughts somewhere. I didn't even know, for the first 8 months or so, that you could even see statistics on your blog! I had no idea you could see all this stuff. I also had no idea about joining rankings and things. I actually thought they were pretty irrelevant as I am not your "normal" mummy blogger. In fact I am not your "normal" anything. And that's ok.
It was at Cybermummy that I learnt a lot more about the blogging world and started to join stuff. I started paying a little more attention to my statistics. I think statistics are a tool, and they are a great one, providing you don't let them drive you crazy. I am not really competitive, there are some fantastic bloggers out there, far better than me. People who know how to take a photo, know how to design a page, and much better writers than me. And that's fine. I don't strive to be the best. I strive to be the best me I can be.
I find having access to information like statistics useful in so much as blogging is lonely. I like to know how I am doing, what posts people are reading, what they are commenting on. It has amazed me that the miserable ones get far more comments and views than my happy ones!
Does that mean I would blog miserably every day just to get readership? No of course not. But it does mean that I don't shy away from the tougher posts because I know they help people. Forgetting the statistics, the most worthwhile moments are people commenting (either here or on my facebook page) things like "I didn't know it was ok to feel like that" or "I thought I was totally alone in this, I feel that way too". It's helpful for me as well, to deal with my own thoughts and feelings.
So in short, I think its ok to have all these things, and its a bit of fun. I haven't mentioned the award side, but when I was announced as a finalist for the MAD blog awards I was over the moon. I didn't even mind so much that I didn't win. It was indeed the taking part that mattered.
So, reader, in short, statistics are fine, rankings are fine, awards are great, especially with copious amounts of wine and good blogger friends around you at the ceremony. But they are not the be all and end all. At the end of the blogging day, its what you are putting out there, and how your readership reacts that matters. Better to touch one person in a meaningful way, than 1 000 views and no feedback.