Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Little lies, big lies, and then there are statistics

I'm a fool for statistics.  I'm probably the only person at Virginia Tech whose favorite class in grad school was statistics.  Of course, I never completed grad school.  I have a habit of quitting things when they are about 80% complete.  For some reason, once I know a goal is actually in reach, it loses interest for me and I look for another challenge. I think that this is because...

BAGMAN:  "Tsk tsk.  Digressing again, old son!"

BUTLER:  "Yes, please stick to the originial blog you were going to write."

Okay...well...what was I going to write?

BUTLER:  "The stat counter."
Oh yes.  The other day I put a stat counter on my blog.  Just to see if I could.  And to see what it did.  And then I got an email from a stranger and...

BAGMAN: "Is this going to be another digression?"
No.  This is related.  It was from someone who was asking if they could place a link on my blog to their business.  Something about a registry cleaner.  They didn't mention payment but I wondered if it had something to do with the strange tab on blogspot that says "Monetize."  

Am I that popular?  Could I make money with this thing?   And suddenly alarm bells rang in my head. 

BUTLER:  "That was Bagman warning you."

Yes.  I felt the warning.  In the past, whenever I have tried to combine things I like to do with making money, it killed the fun.  I struggled with answering the request but, in the end, turned it down.  I don't want to prostitute Bagman and Butler.

BAGMAN: "Hey...I don't mind prostituting!"

Then I looked at the stat counter and saw that many more people than I thought were looking at my blog but there were very few people coming back and looking at it again.  What was I doing wrong?  How could I change it so that it captured a wider interest?

And then I remember once writing something a little more outrageous than usual and Tabor made the comment that she thought I was just trying to get more followers.  I was crushed!  Maybe because she was right.  But after I got my ego out of the way, I realized that I can't keep up with the followers I have...I really didn't need more.  I could feel the fun beginning to seep out of it.  So I went back to just being me (or us).  And Bagman, of course, fell in love with Tabor.  

So I should probably delete the stat counter.   But it makes such nice bar graphs.  And Butler loves bar graphs. 

BAGMAN:  "Does this blog have a point besides revealing my secret attraction to Tabor?"

BUTLER:  "Shut up, Baggie.  You're secretly attracted to everybody!" 


  1. You are more than fine. None of us really need numbers, to tell us how wonderful we are.
    A blog is just a tiny snapshot of the person that you are, and the other person that you are!
    It is but a slice out of your day/week/year/life. We are all SO much more than our blog. Having said that, I like yours. :D

  2. Your post always makes me smile. Sometimes what I think or expect turned out different from your conclusion. It is what they call sense of humor. keep it up.

  3. I put 2 stat counters on mine, I wanted to see if family members were reading my blog. I didn't want to say anything that would upset them as this blog was not meant for them to read.

    I can't remember the last time I checked the darn thing. It was neat to see what different Google searches brought readers to my blog.

  4. Ya gotta have bar graphs.
    Making money off a blog, though, takes an incredible amount of traffic, because you make money when they click on an ad, not just when they look at it. fuggedaboudit
    I like your statistics interest. Did you know that 8.2% of lies are true?
    Actually I just made that up. Does it count as a lie if it's nonsense?
    OK I will stop now and go to lunch.

  5. Further to NanU's point, 16.3% of lies are actually mistaken assumptions, not attempts to deceive.

    I just made that up to. Making up stats is a lot of fun.

    By the way, I love Tabor too. She has a great blog, and I'm not making that up.

  6. Your blog is great as it is .... however, I am not averse to the occasional outrageous post. I do that myself not to attract new readers but to shake up and add a little spice to my offerings for my current readers. It does produce more comments....but from people who are already following.

    Anyway, don't mess with your winning formula!

  7. Oh my goodness, am I blushing!

  8. Well B&B when I studied statistics the main thing I learned is, you can make them mean anything you want them to mean. They mean nothing to me now. I loved your post. I know you like the women we all like you to. It is fun to know someone through cyberspace and just see them as you think they might be. I read a lot of blogs I don't comment on.

  9. B&B...I too love my stat counter! I had forgotten of being approached to advertise on my blog...but it felt soooo wrong (was Bagman on my shoulder that day?)
    It is amusing how people happen upon my blog, what they 'google' and then wind up at AM's little parcel in the blogosphere. Most recently I have had a ton of hits from a muzzle loading forum, which is a site closed to the public. Hmmm...but somehow my words made it through their 'logon' and oodles of people have stopped by to read my blog. A tad of cwaziness!
    Oh, but I digress... love you guys!

  10. Hummm - Tabor doesn't follow my blog - is there something wrong with it?
    I have stat counter and feedjit on my side panel. I like to go to "watch in live time" of feedjit because it tells me where the reader comes from - will say arrived via MrLinky....
    the stat counter was at 1100 or so when I broke away from 'notamissionary' one year ago - today it says 14640 - the problem is it counts me also - when I come on to post, if I edit, when I go to feedjit live all are counted.... so maybe 25% of the hits are me working on my own blog... not a good counter. But is it so bad if I take todays number 14640 - 1100 x 75% I get an estimated 10155 hits for the past year - just short of 900 a month.... I am happy with that. (I think this is an inflated number) 300 a month is more like it. If someone enlarges a photos or two or three or uses my list of blogs on the side panel to move around the blog world, I can count up 20 hits from one person.... don't live by your counter to feel worthy.

  11. I'm not sure I want to know. Maybe I am shouting out nothing.

  12. I think stats is a dirty word - and who cares how many people visit? The only thing that matters is what they say behind the scenes where the real conversations take place! Guess I'm and email freak...

  13. um, Bagman's attractions are really no secret ;-)

  14. You're using the counter I downloaded last week. Like Peruby I wanted to see if any of my family were viewing my blog, other than those who comment regularly on Facebook. Don't know whether I should feel good or bad that my nieces and nephews leave comments but only one s-in-law does. But I am not going to compare my stats with your stats!! Baggie would make that sound a bit obscene, I think.

  15. I use to be concerned about the numbers, but not any more. Now I just have fun and chat with people that leave comments. You make such awesome friends that way.

  16. I have thought about deleting my stat counter. My problem is that I have tons of people visit every day. They leave no posts but I can tell by the IP addresses that the same people keep returning day after day. They have actually altered the way I keep my blog, which I may be shutting down on Jan 16, just is case you wonder where I have gone.

    Now how does one get in the fix of directing their blog to an audience they don't even know?

    Sounds like a problem for Bagman and Butler to ponder.