Time to time I churn through statistics as I try to work out how to get my words, my ideas, my stories to people out there in the world who may give something of a shit about them. I look at the few windows into the past I have, that first year of non-stop writing and class and the fear of never writing a book that I had inside me. I finally took the plunge and installed a blog stat device, which has allowed me some insights into what I can and can’t do, what does and doesn’t get attention.
Fascinatingly, forum presence is the largest and most reliable way to get hits. Being noticed. Being somewhere people already hang out. That seems obvious, but I needed to confirm it anyway. The irony to me is that once I used to dedicate hours of my day to fighting on forums – sigless, undefined. For the longest time on my City of Heroes profile, my entire bio was ‘don’t pretend you care,’ because I figured there was only one reason anyone was there: They’d clicked on it by mistake.
Turns out, nope. People read sigs.
What’s equally strange to me is spam. Now, I did no advertising for this site in its first year, but the spam trap I have is pretty robust. What blows me away is just the non-stop quantity of spam comments the blog gets for something which, prior to the past few months, had no real internet presence at all. None!
At the moment, my spam trap tells me, there are 3,227 posts that were spam, that it handled. That is to say: There are six times as many spam comments on my blog as there are posts on my blog.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling down on myself, I go read the spam comments, which are meant to look like enthusiastic, interested readers. It’s actually momentarily heartwarming to read them and think ‘hey, maybe this one’s a real comment the spam filter didn’t-‘ then see their email address is entirely a link to a spam advertisement.
Who hears the spambots, I wonder. Do spambots dream of spammy sheep?