Thursday, September 02, 2010

A loss of innocence, but not deflowered

Blogger, in its unceasing quest to please its public, has some innovations.  There is a system to weed out spam comments, which leaves, clogging up my comments box, the Taiwanese person whose name consists of a series of question marks who offers me links to among other things 'Taiwanese beautiful woman' and 'Taiwanese handsome fellow', and whose blogs (Luxgirl 1 & 2) I'm sure I've used my precious time already to follow back to in order to flag them as spam, yet this spam filter plops my comment to a blog I visit regularly in her spam bin just because it contains a link to a poetry site in German. 

Can anyone please clear this up for me? On the one hand it is said that comment spam links should not be followed because doing so puts one at risk from malware etc on the spam blogs, on the other Blogger and others request and advise that you flag those blogs as spam in order to help them to control them, which you can't do without following the spammer's links.  What should one do?  I know I've asked this before, but I've yet to receive an answer. I suppose I should go to 'known issues' or something. 

The other thing they've done is to introduce built-in stats.  I've always prided myself on not having any kind of statcounter, sitemeter, feedjit thing or anything.  This is not because of any false humility or high-mindedness that claims that I care not one whit for my standing in the eyes of the world as measured by page views, but because I knew if I had one I'd become obsessed with it and always be checking my stats and wondering why so-an-so didn't come any more and what was I doing wrong and feeling ill-used by a fickle and uncaring public. Now Blogger have put it in front of me like a bottle of vodka before an incipient alcoholic.  I know, I don't have to look at it, but while my resolve could be held when it meant not making the effort to find and download the stat counter, if it is there anyway, I am simply too weak to resist.

So, that's where I've been, poring over dips and spikes and maps and pie charts, and who came from where, then of course I get to wondering and worrying, are my stats normal, are they big or small, what is the average and what should I expect, and is size important or is it what you do with it that counts, and why is my brother's guest post last year on cats still getting more hits than anything I've done, and how on earth did anyone arrive on Box Elder by googling something like 'middle toe shorter than the one on the other side' (I entered it myself and ploughed through at least ten search pages and still couldn't find any possible link)?

I'm sure all the rest of you who have always had stat things in place, and for whom they occupy a healthy but not disproportionate place in your blogging experience, wonder what on earth I'm getting in such a state about, but I suppose it's like being exposed to an infection when you've never had a chance to build up your immunities.    

I even found myself reading articles and surveys on blogging, and now I feel all rather sullied.  However I did find this old but still rather amusing glossary of blogging terms while I was about it.  I learned that what I'm doing now is meta-blogging (I'm still rather hazy about the concept of 'meta' in general ), ie blogging on about blogging, which I affect to despise but still find myself doing rather a lot of, while an obnoxious person who is a nuisance in comment boxes might be called a blogroach (which is better than the frequently misused troll which has a more specific application), that Francophone blogs are sometimes known as frogblogs and, rather more wittily, Dutch-language ones are clogblogs, and that the affliction from which I have been suffering since being deprived of my statistical innocence is hitnosis.  So I suppose I am wiser if a little sadder.

I daresay I'll get over it eventually, and find the time to post properly and relatively unselfconsciously once more.  Meanwhile, as this is really a photo-blog when all's said and done (according to a nice anglophone site about Brittany with a blog index which has been sending people over to me unbeknownst to me until it came up as a referring site in my new stats thing, and who am I to argue...) here are some photos of pretty flowers, which will continue to feature here. 


christopher said...

I just love you. :D

Lucy said...

Love you too Big C!

marja-leena said...

Yours is not just a photo blog, though your photos are gorgeous. You also write very well, making everything an entertaining read. Stats can be interesting but boring after a while - it's obvious you have a large and adoring readership. Don't we blog mostly for ourselves and those commenters? The spammers can go rot.

Rouchswalwe said...

Marja-Leena read my mind, sweet Lucy! Your stuff is good, good stuff. As for stats, I'm in the qualitative statistics camp, more interested in participant observation and discursive analysis. You and Box Elder are my cup of tea (or in my case, my mug of ale).

Kelly said...

I find my stupid sitemeter to be a real source of insanity. The first thing is when someone uses GReader or something like that it doesn't count as a hit I'm pretty sure. Then it really drives me nuts when someone is from an area I'm not expecting since I have so few hits. I kind of know where most of the people are and get silly when I see a new location.

As for spam, I've not received any spam yet. However, some days I would appreciate a little spam due to a shortage of comments. Personally I would take it that if you are getting comment spam you are probably getting significant traffic.

Lesley said...

I LOVE those colours.

And for what it's worth, I probably only show up on those stats when I actually click to comment because I usually read you in Google Reader.

(Psssssst, ????????????????? I don't need a bride, but I'd love a Thai curry)

Zhoen said...

Ooo, pretty flowers...

You have a photoblog, with a regular blog, blended nicely.

I've always looked at my stats with a little stat counter, and it *can* get addictive. It can also flag posts that are drawing inappropriate attention, which is why I took down one about bras from many years ago. I get about twenty regular readers, with occasional spikes to 100 or so, and lulls down to just the regulars.

I've had to squash a few blogroaches over the years, but cleaning up the crumbs does keep them down.

the polish chick said...

beautiful. i was just given a recommendation for your blog from someone with impeccable taste. i see she was right.

also, i agree with your comments on the stat counter, although i did not know blogger supplied one. i am running out right now to pick it up. i shall start obsessing immediately. thanks A LOT.

Lucy said...

Thanks all, and what a terrible fishing-for-compliments post this was! Or maybe that should be 'blegging', or even blog-slutting. (and that'll probably get me a few of the seedier kind of visitors too.)

In fairness the Brittany Today site also described my maunderings and meanderings as 'philosophical'. Living in the land where 'la philo' is a matter of national pride and even even trainee car mechanics at lycee must study a couple of hours of it a week, and coming from one where, as Bacon said, we are not greatly given to philosophy, I've never felt 'philosophical' was an epithet which I could quite claim. Still, in the popular sense that's OK.

Something that did show up as far as the stats went was how many hits I get via Google Images, so from that point of view I guess being a photo blog will augment one's figures, whereas blogs which are more writing-based are more likely to be read regularly on feeds, which I gather don't show up unless you have a Feedjit thing or similar. Currently I seem to be getting visits from reptile enthusiasts to some pics I took of a snake and a lizard from ages ago, and a particular obscure one of the Royal Opera House.

Anyway, I'm sure I will settle down and cease to fret about them really, and regulars and commenters and mutual blogging friends really are what matters.

Polish Chick - hello and welcome! The Stats tab is on the dashboard, next to settings etc.

Rosie said...


Jean said...

Oh dear, I'd managed not to even see the new Blogger stats tab. Now I know it's there, I can't unknow and will no doubt look. But I think most of my regular readers use a feed-reader so it's not very informative, and what there is confirms my supposition: not a great number, but not derisory, which is fine. I'm planning a relaunch with own domain name when I've finished the work on my new template and pages. So I guess it will be interesting to see what effect that has on stats.

These are utterly gorgeous photos. The Brittany blog thing does NOT say you are only a photo blog!

Nimble said...

The pictures gave me a shiver of pleasure. The chilly dewdrops and the flowers interacting by just touching. Wow.

I signed up for googlestats thinking that I could understand them but I failed to. That may have cured me of any interest.

20th Century Woman said...

The pictures are spectacular. I love the poppies.

Would you say your blog a frogblog? I don't know how to do much with a computer, and I don't have any stat counters since my daughter, who set up my blog for me, didn't include one and I don't know how to get a stat counter which is a good thing because if I did I would undoubtedly get hitnosis.

I love your blog.

HKatz said...

I love the contrast between the little worries about stats/blogroaches/pie charts - and just the stunning beauty of the photos. That's the most important thing. The beauty in the world :) You have a beautiful blog.

while an obnoxious person who is a nuisance in comment boxes might be called a blogroach
I've thought of them as 'internet critters'. Troll might be too evolved a term in some cases.

Fire Bird said...

god, this is all a bit unnerving. For me increasing 'traffic' is the thing I fear. I am not blogger listed or googlable and only really want my faithful readers, and selected friends thereof to find me... too many mubers and I'm going to start worrying again. 'Hitsteria'?

Fire Bird said...

oops, that should have said 'too many numbers'

Pam said...

I do have Sitemeter but only occasionally look at it these days. The curiosty wears off - or it did with me.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Nice flowers, thank you. A please floral start to father's Day in Australia.

Can't help you much with Blogger. I use the minimum needed to get a post up, no more.

Actually Innocence and deflowering sort of feature in my poem today. Kind of.

Crafty Green Poet said...

what wonderful flowers and even more so the seed pods. Blogger now has a stat counter? I hadn't even noticed!

Crafty Green Poet said...

and now I have found the stats, and oh that's really interesting, I could get hooked,

Dick said...

Loved the flowers. And, in the manner of a seasoned dope fiend witnessing an innocent's Fall, I'm delighted to be joined in thrall to the stats counter!

Linda S. Socha said...

The flower photos are lovely. I hope for more

Sheila said...

I love your post title! :-)

Well, Lucy, I had no idea about the stats thing and was thinking that maybe because I never converted my blog over to the newer format, I just didn't have this issue to deal with.

But curiosity won over, and I went to look at my "dashboard," and sure enough! A little "stats" link.

The cutest thing about it to me was seeing France in green, which I'm sure is just because you look at my blog. None of the rest of Europe is highlighted, so I now could feel neglected by my Italian and Croatian friends, at least for the past month. Haha.

Naw, I think when I started my blog this would have fascinated me. But offline life is just so much more interesting and time-consuming, I don't think it will be so hard to just let this go.

My ruptured disc is another good incentive not to spend extra time sitting and looking at a screen.

It would be interesting, though, to start writing about current events or something I don't usually write about, subjects that are more likely to get search hits, and then see if there's a spike in the traffic! Just for fun.

I don't think I'll be doing that, though.

Anyway, I wish you well as you grapple with this technological intrusion. If we both start suffering from it, we can start an online support group for people with such issues.

The flower photos are marvelous!

Therapist by day,

Clive Hicks-Jenkins said...

Good to see so many of your supporters quick to reassure you that what you offer on your blog is fascinating, illuminating and too subtle and diverse for categorising with any simplified... and therefore pointless... system of taxonomy.

For my website I use Google Analytics, which is a fairly comprehensive tool for understanding how the site is viewed. It helped me figure out that on my old website, the long scroll-down pages were not being viewed by anyone, and that was useful information when redesigning the present site. I rarely use the stats in the day to day running of it, but learn from them whenever I'm considering radical changes to the way the website is used.

For my blog, the stats service offered by Wordpress is less comprehensive than Google Analytics , but it's useful inasmuch that it helps me to understand how the site is used, and to target areas that might improve the experience for visitors. The trick with all these systems is not to let the car be the driver. I'm not wedded to constant checking... which I'm sure could be a problem for some insecure souls... nor do I adjust my posts to any popularity trend that may become evident through the stats.

You're already effectively doing whatever it takes to make this site a delightful stopover for those of us who come regularly. If you can use a stats service to tweak things and keep the experience enjoyable for visitors, then all well and good. But don't use them to change your approach in the quest for higher viewing figures. That way lies madness.

Unknown said...

I wish you can let me know whatare the names of those flowers you posted.

Lucy said...

Hello Pat, I tried to find you but your profile was unavailable. The flowers are a sedum and an evening primrose in the first two, and a double opium-type poppy with its seedheads in the rest. Thanks for visiting!