The perfect storm

259 days ago, I wrote a rather charmingly naive blog about becoming hooked on my blog stats.  You can link over and read it, or I can summarize it below.

I was excited because I’d just passed 1500 hits in a titch over a month.

I was excited because twice–TWICE! –I’d achieved over 100 hits in a single day.

So let’s fast forward to now, where I’ll endeavour to write another blog that 259 days from now on Oct 27th I’ll likely consider charmingly naive as well.

So let’s go back to the last day of 2011 for just a second.  Back in June, I’d been excited over those 1500 total hits to this blog.  On the last day of the year, watching with morbid fascination, I was terribly excited to watch that count tick over from 9999 to 10000 hits.

Didn’t think it would get much cooler than that.

But January turned out to be a good month for me getting new readers on and I started averaging a fairly consistent 100 hits per day.  My record high day was an absolutely ridiculous, never to be duplicated 366 hits.  In a single day!  Wowzers, right?

And then a very strange combination of events happened almost two weeks ago.  Whitney Houston died.  And I blogged about it.

I won’t go into it much here, you can read all about it here, but let’s just say I wasn’t happy that another celebrity checked out with a chemistry kit in their veins and confused loved ones wondering why.

The next morning, I checked my blog for comments and hits and I was surprised to find, instead of the usual 20-30ish hits this early, I was already well over a hundred.  By the time I started work, it had creeped up a bit more.

I remember having a conversation with Pat (who’s blog deserves far more hits than mine does) around mid-morning and I told her then that I thought this blog had the potential to take me past that 366 high note.  “Might even crack 400 hits,” I said.

By noon, it was coming up to 500.  It was then that Pat gave me some wise advice about my blog on the evils of addiction.  She said, “stop checking it.  You’re addicted.” She told me not to check until a specific time.  I think it was 2 p.m.

To be honest, she scared the hell out of me.  And I stopped looking.

Somewhere toward the end of the work day, I was at around 1100 hits for the day.  I had one last conversation with Pat.  I said I could see it topping out at 1300.  Pat said she guessed more like 1500-1800.  We bet a coffee and a donut on it, I was so sure I was right.  And then I stopped looking at it.

The next morning, I came down and checked.  It’s not often I use this term, but it’s truly the only one that accurately describes my reaction.  I was well and truly gobsmacked.  The final tally for the day turned out to be well beyond either Pat’s guess or my own.  I hit 2939 hits.

Now, I know there’s quite a few of you out there that probably yawn at numbers like that and see them with some frequency, but remember, this was just shy of 3000 hits on a blog that sees that in an average month.  That next day?  2034 hits.  5000 hits in two days.

From a blog I figured a maximum of 100 people would read, some would commend me for having the balls to write it, others to slam me for.  Maybe, I don’t know, five or six commenters.

Let’s just cut to the chase now, shall we?  The post has now been up a total of 11 days and has garnered 8247 hits.  In fact, the only other thing that comes close to it is the total lifetime hits of my home page, which has exactly 49 more hits.  And I’ve had a home page a helluva lot longer than the Whitney post.  My total lifetime hits is well on its way to 25K.  And still, I’m left shaking my head.

One last thing.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, another post of mine from Jan 13 called Life is beautiful has found new legs and is getting a lot of views, just in the last couple of days.

Obviously, yes, I’m sure a lot of the 8200 hits to the Houston blog are not full readers, but for a blog that normally gets four to six comments, this one currently has 60.  My favourite is the one where I’m called a “fucking idoit”.  Actually, that’s a lie.  My favourites are from an ex-addict named Colin and a few others who have had to deal with addicts in their lives.  The “idoit” one is just plain good times.

So, now, as my hit numbers finally start to fall back to their normal pathetic counts, I’m left to wonder, what caused this perfect storm of viewers flocking to my little profanity-riddled, scatologically-obsessed blog?  Was it the tagging of “Whitney Houston”?  Or the one-two combo punches of “Whitney Houston” coupled with “drugs” or “addict”?

Is that why the Life is beautiful blog is picking up?  Is it the addiction-related tags again?  Is it the hopeful title?  I don’t think so, because it’s found more of an audience now than it did a month ago when it was published.

I don’t get it.  I’ve written some stuff on this blog that commenters have said is the funniest thing they’ve read.  Apparently I’ve been the cause of food being sprayed across the monitors of some computers.

On the other hand, I’ve also tried to be painfully honest and opened up about some deeply personal stuff that I’ve also been commended on.

And none of it has resonated anywhere near as much as me bitching about Whitney.  None of it has found the same audience.

I find that weird, to be honest.  Regardless, I’m just going to keep writing about the things I find funny, stupid and aggravating in this wacky world of ours.  It’s the only thing I can do.  You try and chase those hits, you’ll drive yourself crazy.

I joked to Pat that I should give up writing blogs about farts and shit and start name-dropping celebrities instead.  “Don’t do it,” she said.  And then she said something sobering.  “I’ve got one word for you: Snooki.”

And I decided, yeah, I’m happier writing about shit than the shit that these idoits (yes, misspelling on purpose) do.  Though I reserve the right to poke them in print whenever the hell I feel like it.


6 thoughts on “The perfect storm

  1. Congrats my friend! You have now made me feel like I need a lot more work on my own blog. 😉 just a few weeks ago I was super excited that I had hit 500 total hits and that same day had 41 hits on my most recent post.

    You inspired me to start and you inspire me to improve all the time and now I have all the inspiration I need. Keep it up!

  2. The perfect storm about Whitney Houston post: a) timing, b) celebrity, c) addiction e) controversial viewpoint.

    You were dissin’ while the media was blissin’. I was uncomfortable with your post that day, not because I’m a Houston fan, but because it seemed harsh, but truthful. I wasn’t ready for truthful yet. It must suck to be an addicted celebrity.

    Congratulations on the success of your blog Tobin. Celebrity status in our little blog-sphere.

    • “You were dissin’ while the media was blissin’.” Mary, I love that!

      And yeah, it likely was a harsh post, and I did expect it to make people uncomfortable. It’s not a comfortable topic, that’s for sure. At least it got some people talking, whether they agree or disagree.

  3. I think I need to copy and paste your tag words! Or maybe my ragtag little group of followers will grow on their own. I dunno…

    But hey – congrats….and those numbers give me something to aspire to !

  4. That is pretty cool. I know you must have had an ENORMOUS hit on that Whitney blog because I asked to be notified when a new comment came in. Yikes! My inbox was full of “Houston, we have a problem!” I didn’t mind because the comments were truly eye-opening and I thought through your honest writing you generated thoughtful (and sometimes rude) comments worth reading. Good job, Tobin!

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