Wednesday, February 12, 2014

This is our story

A little after ten past eight on Monday morning this blog had its millionth page view since we started in November 2006. Well according to Blogger it did, anyway.

Totally absurd.
Every now and again somebody will ask me how many people read the blog. "I don't know" is both the short as well as the honest answer to that.

There are public stats available - anybody interested will find them just below the list of blog contributors in the left hand side bar - and there are Blogger generates a whole raft of statistics too. Trouble is, though, they rarely if ever match up. And the numbers that Blogger aren’t usually internally consistent for that matter.

Still, on the whole the Blogger figures and the public stats do tend to flow more or less in the same direction and they do by and large reflect jumps that we would expect (e.g. Let's Make a Deal last September or ).  Good at capturing the general trend, then, but an instrument of precision they are most definitely not.

I can't tell you how narked I am that I missed the exact moment

So if Blogger says we’ve had 1,000,000 page views it doesn’t really mean anything at all. It's entirely arbitrary with no more significance than, say, getting over 180 on the ECF grading list for the first time ever because by chance you played precisely enough games to enable a bad result you had back in January 2013 to drop out of the calculations.  Blogger’s 1,000,000 doesn’t mean you’re popular any more than the ECF’s 180 means you’re a good chesser.

And yet that million means a lot to me all the same.

Don't get me wrong, I’m fully aware that six zeros is tiny by internet standards. Perspective: a 47-second clip of dog running through Richmond Park has been watched by ten times that figure.

And yet it means a lot to me all the same.

Six billion page views a month back in 2011 apparently
(PlentyofBloggers dating website yet to trouble the scorers)

You see, what we write about is what's important to us. How we choose to write about it is how we see the world, This blog, in a very real sense, is our story.

Having somebody read it isn’t why we do it, but - and I’ll speak for myself here - I’m continually surprised and delighted when somebody, anybody at all, actually does. So whether it’s one person hitting refresh over and over again (hello mum), or a zillion of you dropping by once and never coming back it’s all the same to me. And my message in return, would be just the same too.

Thanks for dropping by.


John Cox said...

Well, congratulations.

Niall said...

Sending traffic to the Running Dog in the hope that he'll return the favour?

Niall said...

Humans are strangely motivated by numbers. How many chessers would keep going through the hard times if they didn't have specific goals (breaking 1500, 2000, or whatever)?
I've even heard of a case (might be nonsense though) of a guy stopping playing after a long slide in his rating in order to stop going under 2000.

Still, 1000000 views, eh? In this case, take it as a sign that you're doing something right. The important thing is that you're enjoying doing it, and not just chasing the numbers, although considering the number of posts on Ray or art in Hereford I doubt that's the case!

Jonathan B said...

Thanks John.

Yes, Nial. Numbers do help. Makes everything so concrete. They don’t necessarily mean anything at all and yet even when they don’t they do.

So I’m learning piano at the moment and I’m keeping a record of the number of minutes that I practice each day. Of course, 10 mins per se means nothing at all, but knowing I’m keeping count helps build my motivation to actually practice - and have some sense that I’m making progress even when it feels like I’m not.

Martin Smith said...

...and, Niall, there's yet more chess art in Hereford coming your way soon.

ejh said...

Thing about art is, it'll be remembered long after the Penguin is forgotten.

Adam FF said...

Nice one guys!

Jonathan B said...

Thanks Adam.