While I Was Away

A couple weeks ago now I spoke about how I had posted something like 300 or more posts in a row… concurrently. Well, I don’t think I was anywhere near 300 concurrent, but it was a lot of posts without a break. And I spoke about how I’d almost run aground from an idea stand point.

Well, since then, I decided, heck… let’s just let it all topple, and pick it back up after a vacation. And inside my head it went a little something like this:

(Which, to be clear, is a very sad clip… and only happened just yesterday? And apparently 20 people were injured and 2 houses were destroyed? Still searching for confirmation of this. Oh, here we go, thankfully, only one person has been sent to the hospital) But you get my larger point. Brain synapsis shredded and snapped, mental shoring, de-shored, and just my overall pattern and rigor of normalcy ended.

Now, for sure, I had an amazing time with My family and will be posting not just a few crazy ideas I’ve had from that trip. But I basically just threw my hands in the air and walked away and watched it crumple around me. But the funny thing? (And assuredly, not related to my leaving at all, but still… the funny thing?) While I was gone, my site traffic doubled in comparison to the previous year averages. It’s actually closer to maybe even 120%. Yeah, I know… I should leave more often. Funny.

But a funny thing occurred while I was gone. I realized that I needed to infuse the site with more posts like this. (No, not videos of terrible crane collapses in Alphen aan den Rijn.) More personal musing and ideas. Moments of just basic introflection (Weird… WordPress doesn’t know the word introflection. See. It did it again. No of course you can’t see that. But it has marked it as being miss spelled. And when I right click it for options, it wants to replace it with antireflection. Which I didn’t realize was a word.) There’s something poetic about what I am talking about, and my deciding upon a course correction for this blog, and the fact that WordPress doesn’t believe that introflection is a real word. Its almost as if the platform I am using is proving my point for me.

More to the point, I sort of realized that a random assortment of unrelated trivia isn’t what I want out of this location online. I have had fun posting random bits of this and that in between my keystone pieces of bespoke content. And I don’t think anything major is going to change here. Except that I think that I need to get more real here. Treat this place a bit more like Cheer’s as opposed to McDonalds as it were.

With my friends, I always have a good story to tell… and it should be the same way here. This place should be a location where recurring visitors can find good stories. But the internet is a strange place. Currently only something like 15 of my traffic are people who have even returned once in a month. Normally, I get a user looking for an explanation of the movie The Signal, and then they leave, never to return. So does one, in the modern age, write content that people will search for? Should we write content that are always answers to questions? Or should we write content for content’s sake… or more for the experience of it?

Let me put this question to you more concretely.

If I write a story about a complicated movie and how it works, on average, I will get around 500 to 1000 readers a day reading it. Conversely, if I write a piece more introspectively, like this one… I can expect maybe 50 people to read it. Total. But those 50 people would be the 50 people that read many of the things that I write. And they probably, I’m guessing, might prefer this to that? I don’t know.

Recently I was emailed by someone who had started reading a few of the things I’d written and had found himself coming back more often. And the email was a chastisement for stopping the more personal writing approach. He specifically asked why I’d stopped writing my Bible Experiment pieces. And he was the one that encouraged me to pick it back up. But I also think that there is something to be said of more custom crafted pieces here. Thoughts. Ideas. Funny asides. And the like.

For example, over the weekend I was struck by a few of the interactions I had with my nieces and nephews and their perspectives. Most specifically, their perspectives around getting a college degree and whether or not its worth it anymore in today’s poor economy. Or better yet, a recent conversation with someone has made me realize that the Nebraska tourist bureau is most likely hacking our GPS systems and subtly serpentining all their roads into a mobius strip of never ending roads that allow you to enter but never leave their state. No? Maybe I should just perpetually be talking about the reason for the hope I have? Or better yet, all of the above.

So, all that to say, things will probably change a bit around here. Maybe not a ton. But subtly and over time I would hope that they will morph into a place that is more authentic and transparent. And that over time, you’d find yourself returning a little more often to see what is going on.