The Ego of Blogging
(or where I wonder how often you can check your blog stats in one day)
Blogging really can feed your ego. In fact, in a lot of ways, blogging is really vanity publishing taken to the nth degree. The ego of blogging is a vicious hound that can bite you in the arse at anytime. Be warned. Heed the cautionary tale below and avoid bad, evil blogging ego.
So, it’s pretty familiar for webmasters to check their stats. Weekly, Daily, Hourly, Half-Hourly. Well, all webmasters except Clog Money – he just doesn’t care at all. I remember reading a day in the life of a prominent blogger (who I don’t think much of to be honest so I won’t name him), whose day went something like
Wake up, check blog stats using fancy schmancy laptop (include affiliate link to said fancy shmancy laptop)
Eat breakfast, check blog stats using computer in kitchen or a special wired up bowl of cornflakes, reading the stats in a matrix style display but with cornflakes scrolling around in the milk instead of a scrolling ASCII green screen* (include affiliate link to cornflakes, or milk I can’t remember)
Take shower, check blog stats in the shower using a fancy shmancy waterproof mobile device that he picked up at the latest blog expo (include affiliate link to said device)
Dry off, check blog stats on bathroom mirror which scrolled matrix style only using condensed water drops from the steam from his shower instead of green scrolling ASCII infiltrated green screen terminal (’cause like he is so technological that even his bathroom is hooked up to the interwebs)** ***
Stroll, scuttle or scamper to bedroom (with or without towel wrapped around waist), check stats in hallway using voice activated hallway computer (affiliate link up towel).
Get dressed, check blog stats using bedroom pc (affiliate link to linen, jeans, shirt, trainers, and deodorant).
Go to desk, check blog stats.
Pick up pen, check blog stats (affiliate link up pen).
Compulsively Refresh blog stats like a junkie on meth until lunch.
Take wife out to lunch at fancy restaurant, check blog stats over lunch using non-waterproof mobile phone (include affiliate link to said mobile phone), completely ignoring wife, and lunch, except to take photo and affiliate link up organic steak burger.
Drive home, checking blog stats using car’s on-board stat checking device (affiliate link to car, on-board device and gas station)
Fuck’s sake……At this point I got the message and stopped reading the post…..and by and large the blog, for several reasons…..none of which I will go into. I don’t think the dude really needed a computer at all….all he needed was a little device that showed him a graph every minute or two that had an upward trend in comparison to the graph he saw a minute or two earlier. This made me realise a few things – checking your blog’s statistics can be visciously addictive, and can severly hamper productivity. The other thing it made me realise is that running a blog is very much tied into our egos.
It is enormously self-satisfying to watch our page views climb through the day….analyse the hell out of how many uniques we had, how many RSS subscribers signed up, how many people left comments on our blog….ahhhh feels good…..people notice me……people think I am important…….I must be important……..I feel better about myself now….etc etc etc. As humans, we suffer what some traditions would call a “monkey mind”……we cannot focus on one thing for any substantial period of time. The internet is the perfect antidote for this because we can hit the refresh button and have a new screen jump at us, keeping us entertained, feeding our addiction to self, to ego, to the illusion of the importance of what is essentially impermanent.
Checking our stats just feeds our ego. We feel better about ourselves if people read our blog, we feel better about ourselves if we get lots of comments, we feel better about ourselves if other people blog about us. The ego of blogging is very powerful. But we have to keep reminding ourselves that this is not important. Okay lets take a step back. It is not that community is not important, and it isn’t that communicating with people is not important….it is that ego is not important. Doing something to feed your ego will ultimately never satisfy you, it will not fill whatever void is there, only mask it. You will want more and more and more and more and never be full. Though at some point in this cycle, you will probably be full of shit 🙂
Checking stats should serve one purpose in any marketing endevour – to tell you what is and isn’t working. To allow you to hone your page, your SEO, your writing, your website to better make it do what you want. If you are just into blogging for the social side – you just want friends, then forget the stats – comment on other people’s blog, send them an email, and make some friends. If you are online to make money, then checking your stats ever five minutes like a 5 year old with too many e-numbers in their diet will only take away time that could be spent on more important things. Check your stats, by all means, analyse them – but remember that stats are only usefull to plot a trend over time. One day’s worth of stats is useless, a month’s worth of stats can show you a trend, help you plan and better your site. One day is an anomaly. A spike could just be the digg effect, in which case, it probably isn’t all that usefull as data.
Now, where was I – oh yes ego. Um one thought on this, though you have no reason to take me seriously. A few people have been blogging about the law of attraction and thinking positive and all that – something I might expand on some other time, but subjugating negative thought will never work in the long run. You cannot attempt to squash what you fear into a little corner of you psyche and expect it never to rear its ugly head. The only way is to face down what is behind the negative, what is behind the fear, find the root, make peace with it, understand it as part of you, understand how it affects you and how you can flow from the extreme reactions to a point of equilibrium, fully conscious of what just happened to you.
*okay this isn’t really true – you can’t get the internet through a bowl of cornflakes. But you should be able to! Kellogs I want royalties on that idea!
**forgot to add (include affiliate link to said bathroom mirror)
***okay, you can’t get the internet through your bathroom mirror either. But you should be able to. Ikea – royalties please…. k? thnks! bye.