21 October 2011

Doing the Numbers, or, The Swimming Hole

Just a few words, this morning, about numbers. And thresholds.

I'm going to ignore, briefly, one of the best pieces of advice I've seen given to bloggers/tweeters, which goes something like 'No one but you cares about your own numbers; so what if you just added your 1000th follower or got your 5000th hit?'

But I'm blogging not only for what you might call read-only types; I'm blogging for everyone, potentially, and that includes people who are themselves bloggers or who might start blogging some day if they only knew how easy it is.

And I opened the door in Wednesday's post to at least a little talk about numbers when I mentioned that Monday's post about the Dickens centenary and readathon had become in less than 48 hours my sixth most-read post (of 'all time', which in the world of Jascha Writes means about 30 months). What I didn't realize at the time (because I was looking at the automatically generated most-read list that appears at the foot of every page of the blog and not at the actual numbers) was that Monday's Dickens post was in truth in a three-way tie for fourth place. By this morning, moreover, it was tied with last February's Ellery Queen post for third place. (The leader, if you will, continues to be Jo Nesbø, with my sole real Nesbø post to date scoring almost four times as many hits to date as the Dickens. Still back in the pack is determined newcomer James Hulbert, whoever that is, with respectable numbers of hits for four posts [in the top 10] relating to his novel A Kiss Before You Leave Me.)

As today's new business, I'd like to note two (additional) numbers, before they're swept away in the wash of ones and zeros in which we seem at times to be living.

Yesterday, Jascha Writes crossed the 10,000 threshold for cumulative page views ('pageviews all time history', in Blogger-speak)--thanks in no small measure to my friends Dickens and Nesbø, and, even more, to you. And, to every one of you who might have been wondering whether, if you 'gave' a blog, anyone would show up, I think this answers that question with a definitive yes.

The week's second threshold number may be less immediately significant to non-bloggers (and pre-bloggers, not-yet-bloggers), but most of the rest of you will understand. This is a Twitter number. Twitter caps at 2000 the number of people it allows you to follow--until you have enough followers yourself to justify letting that cap drift higher. The (unpublished, unofficial) threshold is currently 1820, and @jaschawrites crossed it a few days ago. Beyond this point, growth in the number of followers can become geometric again, after having been hampered in the run-up to 1820. And all of that I owe to the first 1820 and all the others to come. Thank you!

The moral of both of this week's threshold crossings, to put it succinctly, is a message of abundance: there's room here for everyone, and we create possibilities for one another and for ourselves. And that's something that we 'qualitative' types can hang on to when all the ones and zeros have moved on.

Because it isn't really a racetrack. It's a swimming hole.

Come on in....

1 comment:

Jim Carpenter said...

You encourage me to be a more disciplined blogger. I love this post.