I’m glad this isn’t my EKG

Stats grid5.15.09

I’m glad this isn’t my EKG. My doctor would be telling me I take myself too seriously. I take this blog too seriously. Lots of people are having way more fun blogging than I am. This graph proves that I take blogging too seriously. Starting on the left you’ll see that MosaicMoods was going along its merry little way, with some small ups and downs when there were new posts and/or nothing new to see here.

Then came THE BIG DAY. Someone stumbled me. I don’t know for sure which post they stumbled but my hits went up 4 times what they normally are. My stats showed the majority of the hits came from one StumbleUpon referral. I’ve been Stumbled before and got one or two hits off of it. But this was exciting! I had posted Unconditional art the day before this spike occurred and it is now the second most read post on my blog. In it, I basically said that “once you reach a certain level with your art, I think it’s useless to ask for or react to criticism.” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the post was about a comment I left on Alyson B. Stanfield’s Art Biz Blog and the next day my stats spiked. This was and still is my biggest day yet.

The next day my blog tanked. Well, actually, it went back down to its normal level, but see how my expectations had grown? Where before I was reasonably happy just to see the chart not flatline, now I wanted it to stay up in the big numbers. I got another little spike two days later on “Unconditional art” and then that post flatlined. But…another, earlier post – some tiny little observation I made about why I love Susan Boyle – took off, reached another zenith and hasn’t stopped fueling my stats since. “I Love Susan Boyle” is my number one, top-read post. And it’s only two paragraphs long, but it was heartfelt.

My Mother’s Day post was traumatic. I have a hard time writing about my mother. I love/hate it. It’s like opening an old box of photos, which is exactly what I had to do to find this photograph. Not fun, but worth it. After that I couldn’t post. “One enchanted evening” didn’t get very many readers (9) and I guess I was feeling sad that “I love Susan Boyle” has 505 515 521 857 944 1,258 1387 1445 1563 2167! and I’ve never even met her. But I see how riding the coattails of a popular person can bring readers to your site. I just hope they stay and check out some other posts and have a look at my art. I even wish they would buy something. (Edit: Thank you to all the readers I have so far, and thank you for the wonderful comments you’ve left about my art and my moody posts. Oh, and thank you to whoever Stumbled me.)

Looking at the far right of the graph, you’ll see I’m about to hit rock bottom, so I thought I’d better write something, and quick. I fear losing the few readers I have gained. I fear going broke. But what I fear more is not mattering. All this talk about the internet making our society more narcissistic is rubbish. I believe that people are not overly confident but insecure. And narcissism is created long before one’s fingers are old enough to hit the keyboard anyway. For most people, it’s “I write/paint/knit/dance/sing/coach/play the tuba, therefore I exist.” Simple as that.

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12 thoughts on “I’m glad this isn’t my EKG

  1. Funny how expectations are so prone to go up and never come down.
    However, always keep in mind why you started the blog before you become consumed by celebrity posting. I loved your Drink Me post but to be honest have not seen what you said about Susan Boyle. Maybe traffic is your ultimate goal – then more people have the chance to discover your art… That would be good. I don’t know. I struggle with it myself. hmmmm. Maybe I’ll go write something about that wonderful Susan….

  2. Thanks Fred. I’m glad you enjoyed Drink Me. No, I’ll never forget why I started blogging. I need the outlet. But it is a struggle to try to combine self-expression with business.

    Mega-traffic isn’t my goal. Finding an audience, I guess you’d call it, for my essays and for my art is my goal. If it is a small audience that’s fine. It’s just that I am bombarded by info on the web that traffic drives sales. Yet my site isn’t really set up as a sales site.

    The thing about Susan is that she succeeded. Damn it, she practiced her craft and never gave up hope that one day she’d be in the spotlight and everyone would hear her sing! And they did. And it still makes me cry every time I watch it because of her moxie. Because of her voice. Because when she sings,

    “I had a dream my life would be so different from this hell I’m living. So different now from what it seemed. Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.”

    I remember what it feels like to have your dreams crushed by life’s circumstances. Sorry for the length. This has become another post!

  3. Your chances do go up with higher traffic, more exposure, a bit of luck. And Susan is a great story, no question — a reminder that the only way to even have a chance is to keep plugging away at it every day. Who knows what form success will take or what the best road will be? Lost dreams is a sorry business, but I’ve taken consolidation in the feeling that moving forward isn’t about old dreams but in new ones, or altered ones, (or in some cases really, really weird ones – but that’s usually the dinner talking). The best traffic is that which comes because you are being true to yourself and meaningful to others. And that definitely means ups and downs over time. Your Susan story does that – I’d just hate for that to drive you into musings about Paris Hilton next. :)

  4. Ha ha, no worries there Fred (about Paris) but you may hear about the new Dr. Who when it comes about. And I agree the best readers are those who can relate to and/or enjoy my ramblings. Thanks for the encouragement.

  5. Like you, Diana, I am conflicted about blog traffic. I posted a right-wing blog comment thread about “voting from the rooftops” (with a picture of a sniper) a few months ago on my blog. I got almost 3,000 hits in 48 hours. Loads and loads of hate email and hateful comments.

    I had to start moderating comments because of it and still have a few “crazies” who continue to harass me online, on my blog, and when our paths cross in comment threads on other blogs.

    You have the right attitude; a good blogging friend of mine who has had over 1,250,000 hits in less than a year holds the same philosophy.

    Attention is nice, but it’s connecting with your audience that truly matters. Sometimes, Diana, you don’t realize that you’ve written it so well there’s nothing left to say.

    No flat-lining, please. :)

    And when I get a job, I am so buying some of your art… count on it.

  6. @skyewriter I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been “hit” with hate mail, etc. I guess it goes with the territory of blogging. But it still sucks.

    I also thinks it sucks that just mentioning someone’s name gets you more hits than you can get by yourself (but no responses from 99.9% of those hits). I felt like someone shouted, “Hey, look over there!” Then when everyone got here they said “Nah, nothing to see here folks.” I got one reply from 553 hits on Susan Boyle as of today! She is still bringing in viewers. But it was just a virus. Has nothing to do with my blog.

  7. I think I have stumbled you before! And, I check my Google analytics sometimes. My #1 post is entitled ‘Colour a Submarine’ where I posted a Yellow Submarine colouring page that a drew for kids to print and use! :)

    Anyways, I heard you got into a mosaic show! That is awesome. If you’re on Facebook, check my page for an event in Camarillo, CA! If you have a chance, check out my beaded Time Traveler Trilogy! :D

    Hope all is well. :D

  8. Hi LB,

    1. I can’t find the Camarillo event on FB… But I see you have been keeping busy!

    2. A yellow submarine is going to attract attention!

    3. No mosaic show for me. Didn’t enter in time.

    Yes, all is well, thanks.

  9. Oh no, sorry! I hate deadlines!

    And, if you look in my blog sidebar, you will find the link to my FB page. On that page, there are 2 events listed on the sidebar/ tabs. One is called Focus on Fiber II – it is at the SCIART Center in Camarillo. Don’t know how far you are from there… Lata! :D

  10. Looks completely normal to me. :)

    Social media is a mixed blessing because of the ups and downs. I sometimes think it’s better to just have the low, steady traffic of regular readers and search engines.

  11. Hi MomGrind! I love your blog!

    I agree. I would rather have steady readership than hit and run events that raise my appetite for fame :)

    Your blog seems to have hit it off big. I think it’s because you are right on target for women today. And you are frank. I love that. Thanks.

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