I once worked for a guy who said there are ” Lies, damned lies and statistics” and this piece is all about numbers and the way this particular game is played.
I have access to a section of the blog mechanism that you all don’t and it’s called the dashboard. I can see how many views I’ve had on a certain day and that’s kind of nice. What is not so nice is that when I am writing a post on the draft page there is an active section at the bottom of the page that keeps real and I mean instantly real time stats on related blogs.
For example, when I was writing about the Philadelphia Marathon there were 8 small windows below the page with links to other WordPress Philadelphia Marathon blog entries. When I mentioned Graham Nash and The Hollies the windows quickly updated along with links to Amazon so I could buy music by The Hollies. Wait, it gets worse.
If I want to make money from my blog I can agree to have ” high quality products” advertised on Reading, Writing, Running and Rhythm. Please let me know if you see any advertisements but I would avoid using the comment section since that drags you unwittingly onto my dashboard and who knows where else in the WordPress empire. Just send me an email and in fact that would be my preferred way of communicating with you re the blog.
As far as personal stats go I sent my email last week announcing the blog to eight people. I’ve known most of you as friends and colleagues with one of our friendships going back to 1971 when I first stumbled into Lancaster from New Haven, Connecticut in what has to be the happiest accident I’ve ever had.
I think I’ve known one of you only about 20 years so that makes you the new kid. We’ve all been through some hard times and some of the best times I’ve ever had and we’re still here. I feel a song coming. More on that later.
My point here is that this enterprise is not as benign as it might seem although the WordPress people would probably say that it’s just the way they do business. Maybe so but I didn’t sign up for data mining my friends (maybe I did, I didn’t read ALL the fine print) and if this blog gains readers beyond the original gang of 8 it will be because either I have added someone new, you have added someone new or someone new stumbled upon R, W, R & R and that would be cool.
So, as I head for home in this last paragraph or two I see ” related content” windows below for WordPress, Philadelphia Marathon, The Hollies, Graham Nash, New Haven, CT, the blog, Amazon, statistics and data mining and 10 links to other blogs.
I think it’s kind of what the NSA was doing so I had better not mention the name of the guy who blew the whistle and fled to Russia in NOT the best career move ever and who has the same last name as the character in ” Catch-22″ who was killed by anti-aircraft fire on a bombing run over Avignon, France. I’ll let you know if he turns up on my dashboard.
That’s enough of all that and with that…