Saturday, March 26, 2016

Life's little mysteries

I've always kind of wondered what the point was of tracking the number of "followers" a blog has. Unless a person is blogging for money, i.e., someone is actually paying you to share your most profound thoughts and deathless prose, why would anyone care? Does it make any difference in the overall scheme of things, the course of a person's life, if they have a handful of people who actually read their blog, hundreds, thousands, or none at all?

I am musing on this topic because I happened to notice when I first logged in to the blog this morning that once again the number for my followers had fluctuated. I am moderately intrigued by the way that number goes up or down for no apparent reason. Did I pan someone's favorite author enough to tick them off? Did a casual follower suddenly realize that, holy wah, that woman is so far left on the political spectrum she makes Bernie Sanders look like a Goldwater Republican? Or did someone stumble across a blog post I did on a visit to a National Park and erroneously assume that everything I wrote was going to be part of a travelogue? The numbers dipping up or down seem unrelated to the frequency or subjects of blog posts and also don't seem to correlate with the occasional comment from someone who suggests that if I follow him or her, that person will follow me. Reciprocity in action. Or mutual ritualistic counting coup, depending, I suppose, on one's cultural frame of reference. It's another of life's little mysteries.
Skunk egg, Pizza House, West, Texas

Maybe if I'd monetized my blog or had started it because I had fantasies of it leading to bigger and somehow better things the concept of "followers" would mean more. As it is, the blog's  primary function has always been as a place to metaphorically doodle, to jot down thoughts that don't fit in letters and that I might stick in a journal, assuming I kept one. The fact it's allowed me to connect with some interesting, funny, and nice people both online and out there in the real world was a happy accident. After all, if I hadn't started blogging, the S.O. and I would probably never have encountered skunk eggs. I'm not sure just what the secret ingredients in that thing are, but for sure that is food you don't find on the average Upper Peninsula menu.


  1. You have more followers than I; but to be truthful most bloggers, including myself, just need to write - and it is a bonus if one or two people bother to read what we write. I have been writing journals and keeping notes all my life - I don't know why - I just have to do it. I have a daily journal and photos I have maintained since 1980 when my wife and I married: nothing political or of historic value, but I can tell you how many times we had sex in November of 1989 or March of 2003 - and probably what we ate for supper.
    I am your constant reader
    the Ol'Buzzard

  2. ou write a great blog. Bits of everything interesting to me. Numbers are interesting to me but more about what do they read and where are they from. My Russian readership is picking up since I started blogging about Ukraine, Putin, Syria etc. Not many but a few and I expect at least some of them are not my friends and that I may have trouble getting a visa next time I apply. Not enough readership to attract real official attention. Would love to have 3000 hits per day instead of 50. Just for bragging rights.


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