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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Metrics And The Blogger

Being fond of metrics has - like most things - advantages and disadvantages. But if you've ever found yourself - as I sometimes am - a bit pre-occupied with measuring progress in a domain of your life, I'd welcome hearing your strategies for re-gaining perspective.

Goals are said to be most useful when they're specific and measurable, e.g. "Six months from now, I'll be ten pounds lighter" or "In one year, I'll be able to pedal a bike for forty five minutes without any break." This makes metrics an important component in the life of a goal-driven person like me.

Over six years of blogging, I've gone from weekly to monthly to quarterly check-ins on the metrics BlogSpot provides. I found this a useful way to measure progress toward my goals, while at the same time, steadily decrease my pre-occupation with numbers. After deciding last fall to prolong my check-in to semi-annually as 2017 began, January's check-in showed a dramatic increase in my view numbers, a trend that started in late November. Although this made the metrics part of me happy, it sadly came with a predictable side effect - I reverted back to being as mentally pre-occupied with these numbers as I was in 2011. It took a lot of effort for me to wait three months to check in again.

The story doesn't have a happy ending, metrics-wise; the early April check-in showed the upward trend peaked in late January. So, I'm now back to my six month plan. If there is another spike, I won't know until around my 68th birthday. Getting a boost like that as a birthday gift would be cool, right?

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