Re: Revisiting the Web Analytics Rabbit Hole

Kevin Quirk (great blogger, btw) wrote about how web analytics can cause us to fixate on numbers.

I've never considered putting analytics on my blog for this very reason (of course, with my self-imposed extremely strict design rules any javascript would be impossible either way). The follower count in the fediverse has much the same effect and require a conscious effort on my part to ignore.

It's weird how we can get stuck staring at numbers. I guess this is why gamification so often works. We look at those digits and think "higher is better; I must climb the global scoreboard" as if there was such a thing as a competition.

In retrospect I realise that this is one reason it took me so many years to eventually set up a website (and gemini capsule) and start journaling semi-regularly. That thought of "what should I write about or publish that people will want to read". A fallacy, quite obvious to me now, unless you're peddling a product or marketing a corporation.

And engagement. What is that, really? We so often conflate it with number of comments, shares on social media, comments on the shares, and how many individuals are eventually exposed to our site.

I've previously written on gemini about how I received an actual physical postcard from a reader. I've since received two more! They're all visible on the first wall one sees when entering my home, along with other pictures and messages that make me happy.

Similar to Kev's reflection on the "reply by email" button on his posts I've found that real human connections are formed by giving people a way to contact you, and for that matter contacting them. But don't start counting the number of email replies you get...

And speaking of content: the question of what one should publish is really hard to answer, until it isn't.

Which is why my next post will be about cat poop.

-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal