I turned off all forms of analytics on my blog a long time ago. While knowing the traffic was interesting, it was too easy to dig in and start assessing things. Why is this post getting so much attention, why hasn’t anyone linked to that post. Every time I mention X I get linked from Y. Etc, and then suddenly it’s a game rather than a place I can just spill my thoughts. I always thought of a blog as a place where I can write what I want, how I want, on my own terms. Once I start thinking about what topics “my audience” wants me to write about then I’m no longer calling the shots, I’m catering to someone else. And worse, to someone else I don’t even know.
As my blog isn’t ad driven, I’m not really worried about traffic at all. If I talk about things that are interesting to other people then great, if I don’t then no worries. The point is I have a place to talk about things I want to talk about. Because ideally, if you are reading my blog it’s because you are interested in some of the same topics I am, or at least interested in what I’m interested in. If you are out searching for specific topics only, there are plenty of not-my-blog sources for you to indulge in.
I’ve always liked this about blogs. That by reading someone’s blog you could get to know them to some extent, know a bit about what interests them and what makes them tick. I don’t think you get this with twitter, facebook, instagram or anything like that as those are geared from the beginning to be about publishing to an audience. People frequently share tips about what and how to approach them to gain followers. They aren’t as personal. A blog, a web log if you will, seems to be to be a little more of a direct link to the authors head. That’s what’s always appealed to me about them anyway.
So while I’m back here kicking the dust off things and trying to find my voice again, I’m happy to see folks already responding (both here and elsewhere) but the promise I want to make to everyone is that I’m not going to be strategic in what I write about here. I never have been and I won’t start now. This will be an ongoing glimpse at what is on my head at the time. Different topics will bounce around, sometimes posts will be longer, as with a couple of topics I’m already working on – sometimes shorter, like on days when I’m traveling or offline most of the day. Though I will make the effort to put up something new every day, if I’m going to do this right I think that’s important.