Thursday, January 03, 2008

Perfect posts, perplexity, and a resolution

Well, colour me tickled pink: Dawn at Belle of the Blog nominated my Christmas Goodies post for a Perfect Post award. You can read the rest of the perfect posts here. Thanks, Dawn! Can I tell you I've always wanted to win a Perfect Post? And now I have! Happy New Year!

A Perfect Post – December 2007

Dawn is new to the 'breach. A lot of people are new to the breach actually -- as some of you noticed, out of the gazillions of blogs on Blogger, this one got a 'Blog of Note' designation in early November. It had an impact on my traffic:

[fancy photoshopped sitemeter graphic will go here once frickin-frackin Blogger lets me upload]

It's funny. One minute we were thirty or so people, more commenters than lurkers and the occasional confused Google searcher. The next minute, there were 3000 people, then about 1000 people, then ... then about 60-100 people a day, every day, even when I was only posting once a week. I'm on an awful lot of blogrolls, suddenly. I get a lot more Google search hits. I get a lot more email from people who want me to help them maximise their blogs, or launder their money. Some jackass ripped off my content to get some of my traffic onto his own crapass blog [obviously, I'm not giving him a link.].

I was a little freaked out.

Does that sound disingenuous? A lot of people work really hard to increase their traffic, either to build an audience or to make a little more money from their ads or both or whatever. Not me -- I was pretty comfortable with my posse of people, and because I pretty much knew everyone, I share stuff that I would among my intimates -- actually, more, because this space has been so supportive and honest and I had become part of such a strong community.

Anyhow, I've been thinking about what it means to have the Blogger spotlight shine on me. It was a kind of publicity I have never courted, didn't expect, and accepted ambivalently. In the days of the 3000 hits, I got some weird and irrelevant comments, and it felt like a busload of strangers was in the bathroom with me, handing me novelty toilet paper and commenting on my technique. I've had to (as we all do, sooner or later) rethink my own ideas about publishing photos of Munchkin, and how anonymous I wanted to make myself in terms of geographical hints, how much of my life I should share in this now much-more-public space. It's made me a little more self-conscious of how I write. I worried I might lose my regular readers in the vast fog of Blogger traffic.

Honestly, though? I've never been good with new people, mostly because I'm awkward and shy--remember how much BlogHer freaked me out? But most of my returning new readers are really nice people: Cloud, thank you for that link to Ask Moxie the other day. It was really useful. Raz, your compliment on my Christmas post made my whole week. New Girl? You're living my life, one year back, and I'm so glad if anything I write here helps you get through the screeching. Lurkers stepped into the light to support me in the Great and Continuing Condo Development Debacle of 2007-2008. And of course, the peeps who've been accumulating here, who I've been getting to know did not disappear, but continued to be awesome.

Things have calmed down now, mostly. My traffic is levelling off in the 50-100 hits range, low enough that I can track who's coming and from where, if I want to.

So my New Year's resolution, blog-wise, is this: start returning some of those visits that resulted in comments from fresh faces, new people, stumblers-upon-Mimi. It'll be nice to get to know you.


Jenifer said...

Of course we would never disappear, although I can imagine how unnerving it must have been to suddenly realize there were thousands of people visiting.

Beck said...

Um, I know what you mean? Completely, I know what you mean.

Debbie said...

I am one of those visitors who resulted from the 'Blogs of Note' link, and honestly, yours is one of 2 that I keep coming back too. I can't explain it, but there's something about your blog that draws me in, and I love your writing. You have a wonderful way with words that keeps me checking back often to read new posts.

So, thank you for what you do!

Debbie said...

Apparently I've been having trouble speeling today. Sorry.

Dawn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NotSoSage said...

Whoa...I've missed a lot, apparently.

But - more importantly - there's a technique involved in using novelty toilet paper. Good god.

I'll be back around again soon. xox

Cloud said...

You may be awkward and shy in real life (which I'll have to take your word on), but you're charming and entertaining in your blog! You have a great way of telling stories. I keep coming back because your stories brighten my day, and because I can relate to your parenting style, so it feels a bit like looking into my future. Thanks for this blog!

HumboldtsClio said...

I also came in through blogs of note. I kept reading because I thought you offered a lot of valuable insight to life. Plus you're a professor, and I'm always interested in life on the other side of grad school.

I was also a lurker. I apologize for not commenting, but I honestly thought you'd think it was weird for me to do so.

ewe are here said...

Congrats on the perfect post award.

And, oooh, I never realized you were an official blog of note! Well done!

Patti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patti said...

I would feel the same way, while recognizing my own hypocrisy, since I got here through Blogs of Note too.

And yet, I keep coming back because...I love your writing and your stories!

I will probably return to simply "lurking" and pray that I never make it to the "Blogs of Note" list. A few thousand new visitors would freak me out too.

Patti said...

LOL - you caught me! Nice to meet you too, Mimi. Thanks for your comment on my blog.

Mrs. G. said...

What a nice and neighborly resolution. Hope to see you around.

Anonymous said...

A whole mention of my very own? Ah, you're too kind.

Seriously, though, it was what I really thought. I try to be horribly honest, and if helps then hurrah!

Actually I must admit reading the first part of your post I felt guilty, because *puts up hand* I am one of of those newbies. And for that I apologise. But I hope that I can last a bit longer than those fickle hitters on the first few days!

Happy New Year, and I hope that you don't mind some of the newbies too much!

Omaha Mama said...

Mimi, you've had many perfect posts - I'm just no good at nominating anyone for anything. I heart your blog!

I've gotten creeped out here and there too, with blogging. It's like I want it to stay my own little group. But then realize it's fun to expand too. I guess I struggle with new people too. You articulated that well. But I hope you'll keep writing about it all, because it's so fun to read!

Tia said...

I'm another of the blogs of note visitors; thought I'd step out of lurkdom to wish you a peaceful 2008.


Kait said...

I, too, am a "Blogs of Note" visitor... Like Debbie above, I keep returning to your blog for some reason that I can't fully pinpoint. Reading your posts is refreshing and your writing style always cheers me up -- so thanks! Sorry for lurking. :)

Kyla said...

I think designer toilet paper is a bit too scratchy. ;)

I would have freaked, too, initially. How weird to have ALL those new people looking into your brain. I know we write online and all, but the chances of having that many people parade through your thoughts is rather slim normally, even in blogging terms.

Lovely resolution, for sure.

Kidlicious said...

I also appeared after your blog of note appearance. I keep coming back because I love your writing. My blog is just a little journal of my life with my kids with a few links to some of my favorite things. I don't intend to get a lot of readers - I'm sure my content would be quite boring to most people and, I'm not a writer.

But, I did add a link to your blog so that I have a quick reference to my favorites. Is that okay? I guess I never asked and now I'm feeling guilty. I'm not up on the blog etiquette, I'm afraid.

Happy New Year and I'll be coming back often.

slouching mom said...

I'd feel the same as you, I think.

Congrats. on the PP. Well deserved.

motherbumper said...

Ohhhhh a shiny Perfect Post award, nice way to start 2008. Happy New Year :)

The Queen said...

Very kind of you to share your insight on the human side of blogging...intense feelings,emotions and instant semi-fame.

Anonymous said...

Hello, my friend! Some on-line wine merchant stole some of my content, as well. Hence that tough sounding, legal-like jargon about copyright on my blog. When the little bugger went belly up, I LAUGHED!

I also agree with your ambivalence about this assumption that all bloggers are trying to increase traffic to their sites, be it for commerce or glory. Sometimes it feels like an invasion. Plus I'm rather insecure about the reciprocity of commenting. Oooh. I'm so fragile.

I respect your decision to keep your face and Munchkin's face private, even though I was hoping to find some photos of you. I'm trying out that rockstar shag 'do. But depending on my product usage I either look like Barberella or Rod Stewart.