Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Small potatoes

It didn’t take me long to figure out that I’m probably never going to be a big-time blogger. I’ll probably never have thousands of followers or get paid buku bucks for my mad writing skills. I’ll probably never have thousands of comments on every post or other bloggers falling all over themselves to get a piece of me.

But that’s okay. Really. It is. I don’t have the time or gumption to do what it apparently takes to reach such an elite status.

I’m not blowing up Twitter.

Twitter is awesome. It’s also the world’s biggest time-suck. I get on once or twice a day. Every now and then I might tweet something besides a link to my daily blog post, but not often. Every now and then, I’ll retweet something that just happens to appear in the ten most recent tweets, but not often. I just don’t have time to sit on Twitter all day.

I also don’t get into long conversations on Twitter. During one of my brief perusals, I’ll see three or four people having a long, hilarious (or sometimes serious) conversation, and I’ll wonder “How do they find the time for this?” A few times, I have replied to a tweet that I thought was particularly clever or interesting, and even fewer times that reply has launched into a conversation. But I think I can count on one hand the number of times that’s happened.

I just feel odd striking up conversations with complete strangers. Perhaps this is my lack of confidence shining through, but I worry that my reply would somehow obligate them to talk to me. They would be kind enough to do so out of guilt, like when someone you don’t really know plops down at your lunch table. You might chat for a few minutes, but you secretly hope they don’t sit there again tomorrow. I don’t want Twitter pity, so I usually play it safe and stick to people I know. Just like in my real life.

I’m not a great commenter.

I adore and follow many wonderful bloggers, and I read almost every post. Sometimes I have to get caught up after a week or two of neglect (because life happens), but I really do try to catch up. This is usually accomplished from my phone while I’m nursing Q-man, which is often my only moment of stillness during the day.

I want to comment on every post I read, but sometimes it’s hard to leave comments from my phone. What I want to say is often too long to type with one thumb and the interface of some blogs’ mobile sites are a bit cumbersome.

So I’ll think “As soon as I get back to my laptop, I’m going to comment on these posts.” But by the time I get back to my laptop, my head is full of to-do’s and I’m on to the next thing. And so my favorite bloggers never even know I was there.

I don’t know how to use my stats.

I know only the basics that are displayed right in front of me. For example, I know how many followers I have on Twitter and GFC, and I know how many people like my Facebook page, but only because that information is right there when I log in. I have no idea how many people subscribe via email and RSS because that requires more than a quick glance to the right.

Since Blogger changed its interface, I can now easily see how many page views each post has, which I never investigated before. So now I know each post gets a couple hundred views, and that’s pretty cool. (Except for this one that has over 27,000 views. Upon further investigation, I realized that a bunch of people in the UK were Googling “Sloth” and “Goonies” and my post came up in their results. Kinda funny.)

Even if I did a better job of tracking all my stats, examining trends and discovering the highest traffic sources, I wouldn’t really know how to use that information to get more people over here.

I’m not a stalker.

Finally, I don’t fall all over big-time bloggers hoping they’ll throw me a bone. If a post has over 100 comments, I assume there’s no way the blogger has time to read them all and I usually don’t bother leaving one. I don’t have time to stalk blogosphere celebrities, although I’m sure they’re lovely people.

My readers and followers are few, but I like to think of you all as a small, but elite group with sophisticated blog taste. (Humor me, will you?) Maybe someday when Quinn is older and more self-sufficient, I’ll be able to put effort into attracting more followers. But until then, I’m fine with just being small potatoes.