Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Kvetching Post

Blog Envy

Blogger A and a few of his/her blogger buddies happily announce that they've had 100,000 visitors to their blogs. Blogger B, whose blog is almost exactly the same age as that of Blogger A, has not even hit the 40,000-visitor mark yet.

Blogger C publishes a post, and gets over 140 comments within less than 24 hours. Blogger B has probably never received even as many as 50 comments to any post.

Why is Blog B not among the more popular?

  1. Blogger B, never having gone to a yeshiva, is an am haaretz (Jewishly illiterate person) who's never even studied Chumash Rashi, much less Mishnah and/or Gemarah, and, as a result, is unable to write, or hold his/her own in, a scholarly discussion.

  1. Blogger B, being extremely gullible by nature, decided years ago that his/her only ethical stance regarding politics was to avoid it as much as possible. There goes the J-blogosphere's second most popular topic.

  1. Blogger B's only child was already in his twenties and in college when his mother began to blog, so she has no more cute and/or crazy kid stories to tell.

  1. Blogger B tends to write serious posts. When she does try to be amusing, her posts tend to be laced with puns and other types of playful language that are more likely to elicit grins and rolled eyes than falling-off-the-chair guffaws. Nobody feels compelled to drop by lest they miss the latest performance at the Crazy Koferet's Comedy Club.

  1. Last but not least, Blogger B has been struck by the bane of bloggers—recycled posts. She's already discussed, probably ad nauseum, kol isha, the wearing of a tallit and tefillin by women, head-coverings, learning to davven (pray), increasing her observance level, and/or her sense of not really fitting in either the Conservative or Orthodox camp, and is, quite possibly, driving her readers away by boring them to tears, at this point. Reruns don’t generally draw large audiences.

  1. No only can Blogger B not publish posts or response to comments from the office, she also can’t comment on other people’s blogs using her Blogger name and link. Without that link, no one can click through to her blog from her comment, so she’s losing a lot of traffic.

And speaking of not being able to blog from the office, there’s another problem I’ve been having, in addition to light traffic.

Sleepless in the City

It finally dawned on me that it’s not my imagination that I seem to have less time and be more tired since my employment status went from temp. to full-time permanent. When I was still temping, I worked on whatever computer was available, so, between assignments, I could publish posts, response to comments, and comment on other people’s blogs under my Blogger name without worrying about my blogging “history” being “trackable.” Now that I have my own computer at the office, I can no longer take that chance. So now, whenever I want to publish a post, respond to a comment, or post a comment on someone else's blog using my Blogger name, I have to wait until I get home. The result is that not only do I have less time in the evening to do other things, I’m literally losing sleep over blogging—I get several hours less sleep per week than I did when I was temping. As a blogger buddy of mine wrote recently, "I hate when work/family gets in the way of blogging."


Blogger Jack Steiner said...


Here is a thought. Why not work on a post during your break. You don't have to turn it live, just email it to yourself and when you get home you can set it free.

Wed Nov 15, 12:59:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Jack, I do that all the time--most of my posts are written at work and e-mailed home. But I'm always amazed by the amount of time that it takes me to actually publish a post, especially if there are multiple hyperlinks in it. Between the spell-check (wish I'd discovered that feature sooner--I occasionally find typos in older posts) and the multiple rounds of editing, publishing a post usually takes me much longer than I expected. I've pretty much given up using italics for Hebrew and Yiddish words, just to save time.

Wed Nov 15, 07:12:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not a competition. This is your personal diary, which you are good enough to share with us. Anyone who likes it, and/or likes you, will be here for the long haul. So forget about "Blogger A" and just keep being you.

Wed Nov 15, 09:23:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogger B need more Cave man pictures!!!

Wed Nov 15, 10:25:00 AM 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

I am also envious when bloggers brag about getting their 100,000th visitor. Gulp. But then I console myself that most of the really popular blogs are that way because they bash other people on a regular basis. (The only exception that I can think of is Ezzie.) I don't want to be that way, especially for the fleeting pleasure of imagining myself popular.

Wed Nov 15, 11:03:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Hey, I bash people! (Wait, that was someone being nice...)

Thanks, WBM :)

What Elie said. It's not a competition at all. What I think are my best posts never get much attention - it's the political or "Jewish Issues" posts which do, and only when discussing problems, not (possible) solutions. That's blogging. People are attracted to train wrecks.

Also, what WBM said. There are some bloggers who fancy themselves as very important because they get a lot of hits, or at least important bloggers. That doesn't actually make them important or mean that they're accomplishing anything. Some really do accomplish a lot or bring some important information/ideas/discussion to the table (say, Hirhurim). But often, those of us who are reading blogs learn far more from the smaller blogs, where there's less bickering, the comments sections are true discussions, and where sometimes, the post doesn't need a comment at all.

Wed Nov 15, 11:17:00 AM 2006  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

The mega blogs get 100,000 visits a day, so really it's nothing to brag about.

Wed Nov 15, 01:29:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Elie, I have to keep reminding myself of that. I do enjoy sharing my thoughts, but I must admit that I'm egocentric enough to enjoy them even more when I know that someone else is reading them. I'd much rather talk with someone else than talk to myself.

WestBankMama, I have warned Blogger C that I'll delete his comments if he brings his usual sniping over here. He and many of his commenters don't always show one another the kind of mutual respect on which I insist. There's absolutely no good reason to cease being civil just because one disagrees. That said, he has a good blog, when he's not goading people.

Ezzie, I guess you're right about people being attracted to train wrecks. I imagine that many of the commenters who are "regulars" on Blog C enjoy the more contentious approach. I also agree that many of the posts that I write that I think important get no comments whatsoever, but I'm not as sanguine as you about the lack thereof. Comments do mean a lot to me. On the plus side, though, I've found that, often, (if you'll pardon my creative editing of your comment), "where there's less bickering, the comments sections are true discussions."

Mark/PT, that's easy for *you* to say (grumble, grumble). As for you, Cro Magnon Man, no Cave Man pictures! No, I work on something else. You wait. It take time to set up, and I can't figure out how to make it work faster. Come back in two hour. Meanwhile, I go over to Kerckhoff Coffee House and post condolences for Ralphie, whose job move to India.

Wed Nov 15, 09:16:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Ezzie said...

The mega blogs get 100,000 visits a day, so really it's nothing to brag about.


Just to clarify, I meant that I know I'll read posts here and other places and nod to myself and think, "Exactly!" But that doesn't leave me with much to comment. :) (See, if it's funny, and I laugh, I get to go LOL or something :P )

Wed Nov 15, 10:12:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Ezzie, I guess I'm guilty of the same. I "lurk" a lot more than I comment. If I don't feel that I have anything worthwhile to add, I don't add.

Wed Nov 15, 10:19:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Hey be careful with all the compliments for Ezzie. He is from Ohio and not really used to all these niceties. ;)

Wed Nov 15, 11:57:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Ezzie's alright, even if he is from Ohio. :)

Cro-Magnon Man, here what I work on. Sometime, I miss stone-age TV--if it not work, just smack on both sides with hands, and like miracle, picture come back. Now, I wait 2 hour for YouTube. Next time, I send you with club! :)

Thu Nov 16, 01:10:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Sheyna said...

I'm still waiting for my 5,000th visitor on the blog counter. Some bloggers have almost 33,000! ;-)

Okay, all joking aside, I grok. I get few comments (but from a loyal few), and after seeing that eighty-some-odd percent spent less than 5 seconds on my blog, I wonder if I'm talking to myself, too. But then I find out that people I never would have suspected read my blog do read it, and lots of people either don't feel comfortable "outing" themselves - even anonymously - by commenting or have the same reaction Ezzie does.

I guess I'm less bothered by few comments than I am by the 80+ percent leaving the blog before they've had a chance to read anything.

As for scholarly discussions, I firmly believe that how one behaves in the world is much more important than what one can quote in a debate. And I suspect that A LOT of the folks being quoted (Talmud anyone?) would say the same.

You're walkin' the walk, Shira. Whether or not you can read Rashi's script or cite exactly where it is that one is forbidden from straining while in the bathroom is irrelevant, IMO.

Thu Nov 16, 07:41:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Shayna, point taken--I can't complain that no one ever stops by. But you know the old saying: "The grass is always greener on the other person's blog." :) Gotta pay more attention to that line from the 4th chapter of Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), paragraph 1, in which Ben Zoma says, "Who is rich? One who is happy with his lot."

I'm not as good as reading the statistics as you are, apparently--aside from the number of readers, I haven't paid much attention to any other information on my blog meter. But I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would visit a blog for too short a time to actually read anything thereon. That must be really discouraging. Hang in there, though--you do have a few loyal readers, me among them.

As for the "Rashi script," I hope you're right, that my actions compensate somewhat for my limited Jewish education.

Thu Nov 16, 08:02:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Sheyna said...

I still like the "Who is rich? He who has productive orchards aplenty and money oozing out of his ears" or something similar. :-)

On stats (hang on while I exchange my kippah for a techie hat), if you visit your stat page and click on "By Details" under the "Recent Visitors" menu, then look all the way to the right under "Visit Length" you'll see how long (minutes:seconds) folks have stayed on your blog during that particular visit.

I just found my (long) visit on there. Dang, that's a lot of info...

Thu Nov 16, 08:45:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Wow, I had a visitor from the Netherlands?! Neat! Australia? Awesome! Minnesota? Can't imagine who that could be. :) Milwaukee? Good question--I know six bloggers from Milwaukee. 'Course, they all live in the same house. (Let's call 'em The Mrs. Balabusta/PsychoToddler Family Singers. :) ) I should check out my site meter more often.

Thu Nov 16, 11:34:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sheyna, if it helps, my counter also shows most hits are 5sec or less (statcounter.com) BUT in the 'fine print' of how they calculate visit lengths, they don't know how long people actually stay! Whether someone pops on and leaves in 3 sec or stays on the same page for 15 min - both are counted as 5sec stays. The longer stays are when people bounce from one page to another on your blog. HTH!

Fri Nov 17, 10:23:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Fri Nov 17, 11:45:00 AM 2006  

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