Several days ago I wrote an off-handed article out of boredom, and dedication to one of the original reasons for this blog–to write 5 posts a week over the course of a year, mixing original poetry and short fiction with commentary, essays, and whatever non-fiction I might come up with, in the understanding that it was expanding my writing mind; or to put it more simply: to mix stuff I hadn’t shared before with stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise written.
I’ve been happy with my modest number of followers and hits–I don’t really promote the blog beyond reading and occasionally commenting on other blogs I see. My “likes” and “visits” are genuine, not attempts to elicit the same from others. Last week, however, one of my posts suddenly began getting an unprecedented number of hits–when all was said and done yesterday, I’d experienced a 2000+ hit surge that fattened my stats by about 33% in one long weekend. Readers checked in, however briefly, from dozens of nations, which just blows my mind.
So, how cool is that? I’m not always wildly enthusiastic about all this technology, and I’ve been known to deride some who are as “technological fetishists.” I use computers until they’re near death, my phone is just a phone–nothing smart about it–and so forth. But I have to consider how amazing it is that a guy like me, fooling around in snowy corner of rural Pennsylvania, can throw something into the wind that is read by people all over the world–in dozens of nations, on every continent (well, McMurdo isn’t on the map, so I don’t know if I got Antarctica, but….) Is that some kind of message in a bottle, or what?
The downside to this sudden, brief, and unprecedented brush with popularity is that now that it’s over (I’m 400 hits behind yesterday’s total at the same time) I now have to adjust to being satisfied without all the adoring masses hanging on my every word. Ha! Hardly. I’ve never been popular to any degree, in any situation–unless being uniformly reviled and distrusted counts as a sort of popularity (people need to know you to dislike you, right?). I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a pariah, but the term “acquired taste” comes to mind. Never bothered me. Indeed, scorn and ridicule have served me well, instructing me on appreciating those few and rare (like diamonds, not steak) individuals generous (or foolhardy) enough to share their time, their affections, and their lives me with. I keep score in life, you know–not for any potential retribution, but in gratitude for those good souls. And, well, maybe just a little retribution.
It’s the same for blog hits, right? I loved getting a hit a minute during certain moments over the weekend, but I’m more appreciative of the few dozen folks who tune in day after day. Yep, I can live with that.