My blog is blowing up. I mean it, it is exploding with views, and I have absolutely no idea why.
This is, sadly, a very beloved, but a neglected blog. I started it, I think, in 2007. I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t really sure what a blog was. I just knew it might be cool to write one, have millions of readers, retire early, and while away my time on my private island. No, seriously. I thought it would be fun to write about things that interested me, and see if anyone was interested in reading them.
The first year was pretty dismal. I don’t think I had a single follower. Probably because I had no idea how to tag, share, or drum up any interest. Then I started following other bloggers on WordPress, and by the second year I was busy and happy with the forum.
On the scale of bloggers though, I was small fry. At my very best, I had 100 views on days that I posted. I got about 25-30 on the off days. Most of my traffic was due to my friendship with uber bloggers-people who naturally drummed up a lot of interest in their writing. I often wondered why that worked for them, and how come I wasn’t hitting the mark. I took it personally when my favorites: The Wonders of Mens Underwear, 4th of July on the Esplanade, and Happy New Year! L Street Brownie Style got only the usual amount of views. I felt slighted that the Boston Globe ignored End of the Season, End of an Era and Thanks for some of the memories, Nomar. I had a couple of really great posts as a guest blogger on another site that got a lot of attention, but that was because it was I was writing for a major blogger, The Idiot.
Then I had a post make “Freshly Pressed”. If you are unfamiliar with WordPress, let me tell you, that is the golden ticket. I went from about 100 views for a new post to over 3,000. It was incredible, and so much fun. I loved the post, Awkward! Awkward! and having it make the “Freshly Pressed” podium was an incredible honor, and likely one of the best experiences as a blogger.
I was writing quite a bit after my fifteen minutes of glory, enjoying a larger following, and keeping up with other much more successful bloggers. Then I started to fade. My writing stalled, I felt fake and superficial on posts I tried to make amusing. I felt like I was overbearing and insufferable on topics I cared about. The whole idea and platform of blogging just left me.
But I didn’t want to abandon my blog. I love it. It is my voice, who I am over the years. It chronicles things I cared about, and although it is neglected, I can’t really abandon it altogether. It has the things I care most about here, here, and here. And especially here.
I blog about six times a year. On tired subjects: Christmas. Starbucks. Bees. Dogs and family. Bikes. Baseball. The little I have to say these days keeps coming around. I keep doing it because this blog matters to me. But I have stopped checking the number of daily views–it has been 0 to 5 for months. A few years ago, that would bother me. I’d think, “What does it take to get people to read what I write?”Now I’m happy if people want to read it, but it doesn’t bother me if they don’t.
Imagine my surprise when I got a strange ding on my computer with this notification: Your stats are booming! Of bees, baseball, bicycles…and other things is getting a lot of traffic. That was on Sunday. I got 76 views. Saturday I had two. Friday I had zero. Then Monday came, with a bunch of dings informing me I had booming stats and a total of 1,101 views. Weird! My last post was December 28th. About the Hamburgler. It got about 15 views, and it was definitely not my best.
I looked at what was feeding these views, and all I could find was that the majority of was from Facebook. It was strange. I have less than 300 friends, so how on earth is that happening? And almost every view is clicking on a post from 2014, The Whistler? I can’t understand it. A post about a legend in Central Massachusetts in the 1970s-1980s has now gotten up to, at this time today, 2,583 views.
There are very few comments or likes, so I think this post somehow ended up on a social media feed that gets clicked on, then clicks off. I am sure I’ll find out.
So there it is. Another fifteen minutes of glory, with hopefully, no fall out, nasty comments, trollers, or snark. Of all the things I’ve written, I think The Whistler was the last piece I ever thought would make an impact. It was a personal observation, a blast from my past, and although it was clear to me, when I read about this guy, that he made a big impact, I never thought what I had to say about him would cause any ripple.