Saturday, October 29, 2005

This is your blog on Pharyngula + Kottke

(Warning: Navel-gazing metablogging ahead. Skip if you value your time.)

This is your blog on Pharyngula + Kottke:

[stats chart, 29 Oct 2005]

For comparison, as previously noted, this is your blog on Pharyngula + Atrios:

[stats chart, 24 April 2004]

Examining the content of the two posts in question, I conclude that being colorfully obnoxious is the easiest way to get burst traffic.

Truthfully, I'm rather ambivalent about both the attention, and the reason for it. As I've written many times here, this blog's a way for me to vent my thoughts and to let a few friends know what I'm thinking about, and it works pretty well. More attention would effect a Heisenbergian perturbation that I'm not sure I want. Plus, I resolved a while back to strive for less petulance and more generosity of spirit here. I guess I have a little too much spleen to live up to that resolution all the time; I don't beat myself up about this, but it's a bit chastening to have spotlights (even the modest, fleeting spotlights of blogs) shining on the exact moments I fall off the wagon.

Anyway, I'm not sure what the point of all this was. Metablog mode off.

p.s. As for why I write things even though I know they may be obnoxious, consult Oliver Wendell Holmes's satirical Autocrat of the Breakfast Table:

All uttered thought, my friend, the Professor, says, is of the nature of an excretion. Its materials have been taken in, and have acted upon the system, and been reacted on by it; it has circulated and done its office in one mind before it is given out for the benefit of others. It may be milk or venom to other minds; but, in either case, it is something which the producer has had the use of and can part with. A man instinctively tries to get rid of his thought in conversation or in print so soon as it is matured; but it is hard to get at it as it lies imbedded, a mere potentiality, the germ of a germ, in his intellect.

Metablog mode off. (For real this time.)


  1. I wouldn't feel too bad about venting getting all the attention. Many comedians, for example, get paid full time to do just that. Your rant brought the blog to my attention and I have enjoyed going through the archived posts. Also, I don't think you need to apologize for taking the IDiots to task.

  2. Well, now, just for some perspective, though...your spike just looks like my regular traffic, and I'm not always colorfully obnoxious. This is how site traffic grows, not in simple, steady streams, but in abrupt bursts that each time leave behind a few new readers. Don't feel like your principles have been violated because your least favorite posts get a lot of attention.

    On Pharyngula, I've got some sidebar links on the left where I highlight my favorite posts. They are not the ones that generated the most traffic or got the most comments.

  3. I have noticed that some of my least favorite entries get the most traffic and comments. It's ironic.

    Dude - great blog. I'm adding you to my daily reads links, and no, I don't mean my blogroll. I mean the 4 or 5 blogs that I read a day.

    Check my blog out; I think we've got a lot in common.