Monday, February 9, 2015

My Virtual Garden

Every now and then one writes a blog about writing a blog. I often write these for milestones. I normally do a yearly notice as the blog ages. This is a primary Eve blog. I have another one that I drop occasional topics in but I spend most of that time putting energy into Eve.

But I hit a blog milestone that I've been sitting on for a bit while I addressed some personal doubts about something that is irrelevant.


Sometimes the topic of how to blog crops up. We have new members of the community while older ones die out. Some people find out in a few posts that it is not their own. I think the year point tends to be a big hump for some people. I'll often follow as they watch their metrics move around. I find it fascinating as it motivates them or demotivates them.

I started writing because at the time there were not many newbie blogs. There were plenty of Eve blogs with great stories but at the time I didn't want great stories. I wanted to know if other people felt as dumb and inept as I did when it came to figuring out simple things. I wanted to believe that I could learn the game if I tried and as I stuck to it, I started to write what I was doing and how things were going with me.

That set the foundations for my blog in my failures and successes. I was without a theme for the first six months. I just played Eve and wrote about Eve. And my interactions grew and my sphere of acquaintances slowly expanded I started to muse about the people and things that we did in the game because they fascinated me. That wasn't the type of thing that I could just sit down and have a chat with people about. I tended to out talk and over talk people as I chewed on topics and wrestled with concepts that seemed to fascinate me.

They all wound up here. Over time it has become a journal, a thought book, and a confessional. I've written about my joys and my sadness. My hurts and my heartbreaks. It was not written for people to read so much as it was written for people to read if they felt the way that I was feeling. Human. I felt very human in a blog sphere where everyone around me seemed awesome and flawless. I wondered if I would ever reach those heights because I seemed to be stuck in the tar of my mediocrity. And I wrote about it because I figured that I would catch the point where I became amazing and then other people would know that it was okay to be absolutely terrible.

I'm not sure that I ever made the amazing part happen. But sharing the good and the bad let's people know that they are not weird for not doing things perfectly when it seems that everyone else is amazing. And then I wanted to capture the every day. The people around me were incredible and there was a story there that fascinated me.

And so I wrote a blog. Something that is not a new adventure for me. It just happens to be one about Eve.

I watch my blog stats. Many people do. but I don't chase them. I've used them as information. For instance, PvP posts get the fewest hits and fiction writing is also low. I never let that stop me but instead used it as a way to measure what fascinated all of the people that I never heard from. And I didn't know if anyone else cared about them or why they would. I set up Google analytic to watch for keywords and traffic. I learned that the blog feeds don't reflect the readers. I also learned that googling yourself is one of the best ways to find out all the ugly things said about you as well and that is a habit I nipped in the bud before I became obsessed with myself.

And then I had something said to me that I have been unable to pull away from. I was told that it takes an egotistical person to write a blog. I don't think of myself as particularly egotistical but I may be. I did feel bad and I stopped tracking my blog stats or sharing them after that point. I worried about it a lot and I still often fret about it. Am I just an egotistical attention seeker? It eats at me, but I keep writing because I do enjoy the writing and I pushed away the worries of being good or bad, popular or unpopular, aside. I know I am not as popular as some. I could be more polarizing but at the end of the day my blog is a retreat. It is more of a garden. One anyone can walk through and look at but only I tend with occasional help.

I did avoid advertising. I was once asked to syndicate with Eve News 24. That was back around when TMC launched and I didn't want to be anywhere near the shit storm that the hate between those two sites. Its why I didn't list ether until I was asked to last year. I don't post to reddit and stick to posting to twitter when its relevant to something someone asked me. I'm not good with advertising. I feel embarrassed going to people and rubbing my blog int heir face. Plus, I'd developed that little nagging voice in my head telling me how egotistical I was. Mixed in with a poor responses the first times I was cross posted or linked places I avoided the attention. I hoped that if people wanted to visit they would but I'd not push it at them.

But I became embarrassed of blogging and I stopped talking about it to my corpmates and friends. I still wrote. I loved the writing of it. It satisfies me greatly to jot down my day. But I tried to keep it quiet in the background. I was ashamed to discuss what I wrote or that I was writing it. I didn't want to not write but I didn't want those around me to call me out for my egotistical habits. It is a personal demon that I carry around still. I can hear it in my ear as I write this post.

And now I have this milestone. I'm going to ignore the whispers for now and see what the fallout is.

My search keywords are the most interesting. People most often looked for my blog to read it. That makes me happy. Thank you for sharing my flower garden.


The milestone that shocked me when I realized it happened was this.


A million hits. I know many others have more but these hits... well these hits are mine.

My blog traffic has not increased a ton with the CSM. I was bouncing around 1,100 to 1,500 before the CSM.

This will be my 1,437th post. I guess its self serving to look at it all. But I do look.

Thank you for taking the time to visit with me. I'll keep the flowers growing.

18 comments:

  1. Congrats on the milestone. Don't look at it as the blog being about you. It's really about all the comments and commentary that your readers generated based on what you wrote. When you write, it becomes an organic thing that extends well beyond just yourself.

    And that's a truly beautiful thing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. “I'm not sure that I ever made the amazing part happen.”

    Wat? You curate an amazing garden. I suppose if you want *evidence* analytics will do. Or you could have just asked . . . we’d have told you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The first million is always the hardest. Congrats!

    I never talk about my blog in-game, but a few people know about it and every once in a while, out of the blue, somebody will say something nice. I once had an FC link a post of my in fleet chat. I am not sure he noticed the name was in his fleet.

    ReplyDelete
  4. hmm roses I love roses, been such a long time since... oh never mind.

    Human: that's why I keep returning. Sensible and grounded. That's why I voted for you. (I voted for Mike to "keep the bastards honest").

    Congrats on the milestone. A toast to many more.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow this really hit home for me since I literally just started my own blog, keep it up but don't worry about my ego or my seamless self plug. HTTPS://atronconfessions.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Grats on your milestone! This post gave me some inspiration to actually write more often after a month long hiatus. I'm glad you have more discipline than I do as this way I always have something interesting to read every day. Keep up the awesome work!

    ReplyDelete
  7. "I was told that it takes an egotistical person to write a blog."
    Some ego is needed I guess, you could have made a private diary but instead we get to share in your adventures. There's a difference between 'Hey, look at me I'm awesome' and a look for validation or wanting people to acknowledge your existence, but a certain minimum ego or exhibitionism is needed.

    The next million will go twice as fast :P

    ReplyDelete
  8. Be happy, nice work!

    ReplyDelete
  9. "I was told that it takes an egotistical person to write a blog."

    One can only assume that they've never actually *read* your blog, then! While you obviously take some pride in many of the things you have done -- and why shouldn't you? -- you don't meet *any* definition of "egotistical" I can find. The most common usage would be "thinking too highly of oneself" and, if anything, you put yourself down too much...

    You say you've created a garden. There will always be idiots who, as they pass, throw their litter over your fence. Some morons will even climb over and pull up a few plants. But the rest of us will be forever grateful that you've not only created it, you've also opened the gate and invited us in to share.

    And at the risk of pushing the analogy too far -- a garden may be created, but it is never finished. While the garden grows and changes under your care, it works its own magical transformations in return. I look forward to seeing where you both are at after the next million visitors have dropped by to smell the flowers.

    Oh -- and plant more veg. Flowers may be good for the soul, but the belly needs filling too! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!! Thank you saving me the typing. My sentiments exactly. Even the vegetables...

      Delete
  10. Thank you for the responses. I sometimes get lost in the opinion of others. Should or should I not write about this taboo topic. This person said this to me or I don't want be to seen in this particular way. Yet, writing about it also faces it and sometimes i get to find out that I am not the only one. Othertimes I am very well alone in my weirdness. :P

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations about your first million! I share the sentiments of Bitter regarding the "egotistical" matter. I'd say that you would be best described as happy gardener who likes to share news with passerbys. Sometimes we passerbys say something back. Also, you do excellent PR work for lowsec. From your blog I have learned more about the people living in lowsec than from any other source. I am not talking about mechanics, but the people and what makes them tick. Sure, you and your friends are small fraction of the entire lowsec population, but still somewhat representative. That has to count for something.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'd say it takes an especially non-egoistical person to share as much of ones experiences, thoughts, ups and downs and time with total strangers.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Who says having a little ego is a bad thing? I think people often associate negative things with stuff that is inherently neutral. Ego being one of them. Someone might look at the guy who gets hospitals and such named after him and say 'He only does it for the nameplate on the building.' but not know that without a building built by some other philantropist in the past, that man wouldn't be alive. He's trying to ensure that everyone gets a chance. The name will be forgotten, the building and legacy probably won't....

    ReplyDelete
  14. I checked my blog stats and found for the last month:
    Referring Sites
    Entry Pageviews
    www.google.com 5441
    www.reddit.com 1587
    greedygoblin.blogspot.com 1520
    www.lowseclifestyle.com 1501
    www.google.co.uk 1255
    disqus.com 1041
    www.google.ca 625
    evebloggers.com 571
    www.themittani.com 464
    www.google.de 397

    Yep, you are my biggest independent traffic source!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Surprised you haven't found the CSM has changed your traffic. I see a ton more traffic coming to my blog from yours since you took to the CSM. Jesters Trek was my biggest source this time last year, now its your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  16. And thank you for tending this garden, I really enjoy reading your posts :)

    ReplyDelete