Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Members and Numbers

Those that have been reading this blog for most of it's five years of life, and there are a surprising number, know that I am not very good at the mechanical parts of Blogger. I have no idea how to track stuff and record stuff and figure out the way the blog works. That I have figured out as many statistics as I have is a tribute to Blogger's ease of use and I dread the forthcoming changes to the format that will be forced down my unwilling throat. Apparently the engineers at Blogger are bored and want to make pages and posts harder to find for stick-in-the-mud writers like me.
I like to take pictures and I like to write about them and in doing that I find relief from the tedium of daily living. It is a form of mindfulness which is important in a world that is moving too fast for my taste and changing too rapidly. Which is to say I meant to note the passing of the 500,000th page view, a number conveniently noted for me by Blogger. I noticed the landmark come and go and I forgot to say anything. As of two days ago we were up to:

Pageviews yesterday 697
Pageviews last month 18,681
Pageviews all time history 536,024

The all time pageview count is only from May 2008, a year after I tentatively started this blog and called it Key West Vespa because I intended to write about my gloriously unreliable Vespa GTS. By the time that machine bit the dust I needed to figure out a new name for the blog and I had already decided I wanted to write about more than riding a scooter. Or a Triumph Bonneville.

I find in summer when the sun and warmth of the Keys have less impact than the cold dark gloom of winter Up North, so readership drops as people go outdoors to enjoy their own sunshine. Nevertheless it astonishes me that there are 20,000 pageviews every month here. I was asked recently if I would keep blogging if people didn't read this page. I expect so was my answer, met with some scepticism. The pleasure I derive from recording the Seinfeld moments of my life are my own response to the chaos of life around me. You the readers want Key West and among the blogs I have found about this town mine is the only one that does what I want a blog to do which is record the daily street views. My blog has never attracted any attention locally which is hardly surprising as locals know the streets better than I do and I do not put myself out in public at parties and events which is how you get noticed in a town fueled by alcohol. But despite my own social limitations I find there is one more number that astonishes me about this blog. Two days ago the number of members hit the 230 mark.

Now I confess I am not completely sure what a "member" actually is but that was a gadget I was told should be on my blog so I dutifully put it there and there it sits today and grows much to my astonishment. I have tried to "send a message" when I see new pictures

appear but my computer tells me I have failed to initiate some obscure program or other and my attempts have been foiled. Consider this a belated welcome. I am not very good at dealing with comments and I read other blogs where the authors, better trained than I in public relations know how to cope with the demands of 21st century media hornswoggling. I have a Facebook page where I publish notes about essays to come but I loathe Facebook with as much passion as I loathe Ayn Rand or corporate marketing. I believe it to be as intrusive as an iPhone and it serves no useful purpose at all. Twitter is demented and in remaining true to my simple blog page I am aware that I am slipping behind in the electronic race to replace print. In a world that does revere cheerful salesmanship Brady of Behind Bars, an excellent writer, gets my vote for the most enthusiastic recipient of comments. I think he gets a gold star and a future in media consulting and salesmanship. I get an F, which is okay because I rather prefer to write my essays than hornswoggle. Brady just happens to be brilliant at both.

In some ways my blog reminds me of my motorcycle. I read motorcycle blogs and forums where people seem to prefer to talk about riding than doing the actual business of being on a motorcycle. I must have a slightly obsessive, slightly I insist, considering I have published an essay a day for five years, often more than one a day, and therefore I suppose my daily desire to ride could also be considered obsessive. So be it. But in a world of blogging where blogs start and stop, come and go apparently at random, I have no intention of stopping. I may get stale from time to time or off track (witness my forthcoming long series of pictures from Louisiana) but sooner or later I will get back on track. Incidentally if I didn't live in Key West, New Orleans would be in the top three choices of places to live. On the plus side we have: good food and music, genuine local culture and color offset by the negatives of boring flat roads to ride outside the potholed city streets and a town rotten with violent crime laced with urban squalor and corruption...tough choice as a place to live! The blogging in the Crescent City on the other hand would be, to coin a modern over worked word, awesome!

In the end though this blog is the product of my inner need to do it, not in pursuit of recognition or a desire to be nominated for anything. I do thank those of you that read it and choose to be members even though I know not what members are or may be,

...and like the man said, tell a friend about this page. Though why your friends would want to share your reading habits I really couldn't say. Honestly I make a terrible salesman. I am going back to taking pictures now, and pondering hurricane season, and wondering how it is that Alexa rates this blog the 644,000th most popular web page in the US.

Statistics Summary.

Conchscooter.blogspot.com has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 5,073,048. The site has attained a traffic rank of 643,695 among users in the US, where almost all its audience is located.

Isn't that weird? Or at least surprisingly high.


Anonymous said...

Well I am one of the 230 members who has read every essay, most of them several times. Thanks Conchscooter. Scooter Vic

Garythetourist said...

I started last year reading backwards in your blog, 2 or 3 posts/day until I got to your first post. Was that sick or what!?

ralph alan said...

What would be the other top two choices of places to live?

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and have been wondering what would happen if I "joined", since I'm not sure what that means? I have read a large amounts of your older posts. That is what I do to kill time while working in dispatch, as they have most of the internet blocked and all electronic devices are forbidden. I enjoy your blog a great deal. I was planning on visiting the Keys this winter to check things out as I would love to move there one day, but I've searched the internet over and can't find anywhere to stay that is cheaper than $1800 for a week, so I guess I'll keep reading your blog and long to beoome a conch someday. Thanks for all the wonderful pictures of the area and your wonderful dog.
Wannabe Conch!!

Conchscooter said...

I cannot fathom reading every single entry but there again I guess I did spend some time writing them! I think the post count is closing in on 3,000 and I've seen. Lot of blogs coe and go. I know most people lie Facebook but I like the control I have over my own page.
Other places to live? I'm not sure but but in no particular order I like Corsica, Appalachia, and I want to at least see Vermont. Any state that contemplated instituting it's own single payer system deserves a look but I doubt I could deal with the winters up there. My wife likes Birmingham. She got her start in Alabama after graduating in California and she still likes it. West Virginia is said to have the best riding roads in the country...but here I sit!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I've read every entry. I started reading a a few months after you started writing and began by going through the (at the time) small archive. I'm not a member since I post anonymously. My dislike for self promotion is apparently greater than yours. I even saw you once with your wife at the Tropic watching Food Inc. and chose not to disturb your privacy

I've always admired your handling of comments. Your approach is honest and spin free. You occasionally return snark for snark but don't we all.

I miss Riepe.

Anonymous said...

Funny you mention Alabama, we did vacation in the Fort Morgan/Gulf Shores area back in May. It is beautiful there to be sure, and I'm sure their cost of living is similar to ours. Something about the Keys just keep drawing me. I've loved every single picture I've seen from there. The only thing I don't like is that I hear the cost of living is very high. I do enjoy your blog. You do an awesome job with it.
Wannabe Conch

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for nearly 3 years. Love it! Also really like your other blog with your social commentary.

Bob from Livingston Montana

Conchscooter said...

I talk to Riepe from time to time but he doesn't comment here anymore as he feels my frequent stings di
Ute the brilliance of his wit. He is surviving if not thriving and ever the salesman is convinced the future is brighter than the past. We debate that notion a lot over the phone.
The cost of living in key west is dominated by the lack of
land and the popular desire to live in the tropics. The pay isn't always heat and is frequently average so the two don't compute very well.
byway Hank you all for the nice words and we wil be keeping on keeping on. ¡Viva la revolucion! ¡Hasta la victoria!

David B. said...

Your success is due to the magical combination of Key West, motorcycling, and a very photogenic dog.

How bad could it be? Much continued success.

Anonymous said...

I think your dedication to posting every day also contributes to your success. It's work. But now it's your duty also, as so many people rely on your dependability as well as your charm.

Lou said...

Michael, the impressive readership numbers speak for themselves. You write for yourself, yet without doubt, your writing, pictures, dog, Bonneville, lifestyle and perspective has become a bright spot in the day of the hundreds of us who visit here daily.
I am happy to hear you plan to keep it up and hope that whatever changes the site forces upon you are only minor annoyances.

elzregina said...

I started reading a couple of years ago when my desire to move to the Keys was becoming stronger with every visit. Michael, you gave thoughtful advice about moving there, and together with our due diligence in terms of speaking with potential employers, etc., we logically opted to leave Key West as our "home away from home" and settled into a historic home up here. Keep writing please...I so enjoy the photos and commentary, and live vicariously through you.

Danette said...

What David B. said... cheers as always Conch!

Conchscooter said...

Thank you all.
Vacation season ends soon and after the series on Louisiana coming up it will be back to school I guess. And boating. I got the boat motor fixed (I hope) and we intend to splash it soon.