The Shallow Blog: A Retrospective

For obvious reasons I couldn’t resist this one.

Well it’s possible that calling this a “retrospective” is a tad presumptuous but it has been six months to the day, more or less, since I started the shallow blog and six months is a very long time for a shallow person to “stick-to-it” as they say. So I thought, what the heck, let’s take some time to review all that’s happened from day one until now. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I set goals that have to be met or anything like that, although WordPress does award me little trophies to mark various milestones and those do keep me marginally motivated. But I admit that I have become surprisingly attached to this project of mine so it seems somewhat appropriate to take this opportunity to glance back at where I have been.

If you are not a blog writer yourself, and I know that many of you are not, you probably don’t know that the folks at WordPress provide their writers (and I use that word rather loosely), with a plethora of statistics on their readership. I don’t want to scare you but I have a pretty good idea of how many people look at my blog each day and from where they hail. I know how people found my blog and which posts they read when they got there. WordPress tracks the number of comments made and who made them, information that seems to beg for a contest of some sort and yet I have resisted since it appears that I would be the winner of that game. It also provides me with a constant reminder of how often, or not, I have posted. So without further ado, I would like to share with you a summary of (to quote Marvin Gaye) what’s goin’ on.

Shallow Blog Stats

  • I am pleased to report that with this my 30th contribution, I have met my self-imposed obligation to post something at least once a week.
  • To date there have been 1604 visits to the blog. I know that doesn’t mean 1604 people have read the thing although I sometimes I like to interpret it that way.
  • Somehow the blog has attracted an international audience with visitors from not only Canada and the U.S. but also from Australia, India, the United Kingdom, France, the Philippines, the Netherlands, the Russian Republic and, as I write this, apparently Spain and Algeria. I do worry a bit that those from field’s afar may be getting a rather skewed version of life here in the Canadian North and then I think, is it really my responsibility to provide a more balanced repartee so they know there are some deep and caring people in this part of the world? Nope, I’ll leave that task to the good folks at the United Nations.
  • As of today I have 20 “followers” including the two I don’t know and who actually joined the movement of their own volition.
  • On my best day I had 102 visits to the blog. On my worst day I had 0 visits. Nothing more to be said about that.
  • My blog has been “reblogged” once which made me quite happy until I visited that blog and discovered the sole purpose of it was to reblog sites which I assume are randomly chosen as there are hundreds of them each day. The only saving grace is I believe I have actually found someone who is more shallow than me.
  • Perhaps my proudest moment was when I received a “shout out” on one of Edmonton’s most famous blogs “The Unknown Studio”. (How’s that for a reciprocal “shout out”!) Unfortunately it didn’t amount to a great deal of additional traffic but nonetheless warmed my heart as I began to feel connected to the larger blogging community. Not really. I was just hoping for the traffic.

So there you have it, my six months in a nutshell. As I review the data I am mostly pleased with the results of my efforts although there is one thing that seems to have been lost in the crowd of achievements. To date there have been no sales of t-shirts or mugs, not one person is proudly displaying a “shallow and proud” logo on their desk or chest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not your fault. There are actually no t-shirts or mugs to be had. And here’s why.

My trusted business advisors (well advisor really) has informed me that in order to make the merch thing fly I need to have a critical mass of followers significantly larger than what my current numbers reflect. Assuming that the WordPress stats are accurate, he estimates that an increase of about 10 fold should do the trick. If my calculations are correct and historical data can be relied on to predict future outcomes, left to it’s own devices this blog should reach that target in approximately 50 years. At which point I will be dead. So I started to think about alternatives, how I might be able to speed things up a little and here’s what I came up with.

As I have mentioned I am a woman of multiple achievements in the academic world and this means that I have had the privilege of attending graduation ceremonies more than one time. At my last trip to the podium the honorary speaker was a woman whose name escapes me but whose message apparently resided somewhere in the recesses of my mind and managed to shimmy it’s way to my frontal lobe in the midst of my problem-solving exercise. From what I recall, this highly regarded academic spoke about the “power of one” illustrating through story the tremendous impact that one person can have on our world. I’m not sure she would be ok with this but I thought it could be a useful idea to apply to the blog. If each of my followers shared the blog with one person, who shared with one, who shared with one more, the growth of the blog would be exponential. And I could sell stuff. And you’ll look great. And we will all be happier. Well I know I will be happier and what more could anyone ask of something that has only been in existence for six months? So next time you meet someone you think might enjoy a gander at the site, it’s ok with me if you share it with them. I promise, six months from now I’ll bring you the results of your efforts.

My sincerest thanks to all who have stuck with me these past months and I look forward to our future together… one week at a time.

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4 thoughts on “The Shallow Blog: A Retrospective

  1. SK says:

    I can never resist a challenge. I’ve shared your link with not one, not two, but three entire people. Stand back, this thing might explode 🙂

  2. Louisa says:

    Congratulations on 6 months, 20 followers, and 1 shallow reblog. 🙂

    • wcaplan says:

      Thank you so much. You will be pleased to know that, as of this morning, I have 21 followers so it appears my plan is working. The power of one! It could be my new mantra.

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