Friday, November 19, 2010

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

            So, I started this little blog in September in hopes it would keep me writing regularly—and it has. And I’ve been really encouraged by the positive feedback I’ve gotten from my friends and once and a while from people I’ve never met. One of the nifty features of Google’s Blogspot is the statistics page. You can track how often your blog is being read and by whom. Don’t get creeped out—it doesn’t say Fred Smith from Walla Walla read this page six times yesterday. But it does tell you what countries your readers are in, what operating systems they use, and how they found your blog—whether they did a key word search, followed a link from another blog, a social networking site, etc.
            I must admit, I’ve gotten hooked on checking my own stats. As you might guess, most of my readers are here in the US. Can you guess which country is second? Romania. Isn’t that crazy? People in Romania (and Singapore and Australia and Russia and South Africa!) are reading my blog. I know it shouldn’t matter, right? Writing this blog is all about personal growth and working on my writing. But as Rachel from Glee once said, “I’m like Tinkerbelle. I need applause to live!” Okay, so I don’t need it to live, but it’s nice to have—like cashmere or a really nice steak.
            So Wednesday night I posted a piece on being prepared. I thought it was pretty funny—maybe not my best post ever, but funny nevertheless. So I went to check my stats yesterday morning and I got this message:

There was an error while fetching stats. Please reload page.

            Bummer, right? But no big deal. I went about my business. It was the first day off I had in a few so I had a pretty long “to do” list. When I took a little break for lunch I sat down with my laptop, checked e-mail, Facebook, paid a few bills, and thought I’d take a quick look at my stats. Once again, I got:

There was an error while fetching stats. Please reload page.

            Sigh. No stat fix for me. The day went on. I ran errands, cooked meals, hung out with my kids, went to parent teacher conferences. Every once in a while I checked in and got the same message.
I can live without knowing the stats. I have lots to do. There is laundry to fold, blinds to hang, training for my Thanksgiving race to be done, the dishwasher needs to be emptied, Christmas shopping, on and on and boringly on… You know what the problem is with all that stuff? They aren’t checking my stats, which is what I really want to do. Ever have a really strong craving for something? Sushi, chocolate, pizza, Mexican food, whatever. But you can’t get it right now so you settle for something else. The craving doesn’t go away. Now you’ve eaten your way through half a bag of rice cakes and you still want a Snickers bar.
I’ve wasted enough time for today (and yesterday!) so I’d better crank up the tunes and get to work. By the way, if you’re reading this from some far off land leave a comment so I knew you were here.