Someone’s being dishonest…

As I blog, I always like to see how my posts are doing. To me, reaching people is part of why I write. One of the reasons I started this blog, is because I used to be very worried about what people would think when I voiced my opinion. I figured that a daily blog, and hitting that publish button every day, and sharing my writings on social media, could contribute something to that gnawing feeling in the back of my head telling me that I shouldn’t share my opinion. In fact, since starting my blog, I have had *mostly* positive responses on my writing. I’m grateful for these. I think it is totally cool to share your opinion. We’re not here on this planet to keep our voices unheard. We’re all unique, and have something to say. Better just say it. Oh and guess what? Most people don’t think about what they read much longer than a couple of minutes (I’m being generous). I should really keep it real with myself: I’m not that interesting, nor that important. Normal people won’t care too much.

Alright. I digress. These days I just find it interesting to know whether my blog reaches an audience (any audience, just read my blog already!).

So I check the stats. I’m a scientist, and I regularly try to find patterns in numbers, and I think patterns are very interesting. (Spoiler alert: readership stats seem to have very little pattern in them.)

Now, when Elon Musk (yeah yeah, I mentioned Elon Musk, TWICE) announced a view counter on Tweets, I was actually very happy about this. I Tweet for the same reason I blog: to engage with people. But to know whether you are actually engaging, it is interesting to know whether you actually reach any people. I’m not a huge fan of ‘likes’, I’d rather just know how many people interacted at all. Likes can represent many things, but no matter what way you look at it, they are a gross underestimate of engagement. The fact that people leave a like, doesn’t necessarily mean that they liked your work, or agree with it. On the other hand, *not* leaving a like most certainly means horse shit. What it boils down to, is that a very low percentage of readers actually like or interact. I tend to be one of them (these are typically people that should probably start a blog 😉 ). It tells me very little, however, about how many people are actually reading.

Yes. You’re right. Digressing again.

I like the number of views on Tweets. I also like the engagement statistics on Twitter. I also like the stats on WordPress. They show me exactly how many people visited a post, and where they came from, for instance whether they came via WordPress, Google Search, or Twitter.

Where are you going Robin?!

Patience! I’m getting there.

I have limited data, since I only have a couple of posts live since Twitter introduced the view count, and since I became aware that the engagement panel could be something new that I could obsess over. However, the limited data I have seen this week, show that Twitter claims that more people click my links than WordPress claims that have arrived on my site. It varies a bit, but I would say that Twitter probably has a 20% higher claims, and since I am quite the pessimist about my own writing, I tend to trust the lower number from WordPress more.

Now tell me, who’s lying here, and why are they doing it? Can you really not trust social media anymore?!?!

Feel free to say hi in the comments. You don’t have to like anything.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

2 thoughts on “Someone’s being dishonest…

    1. Really? You never look? Even if they would not be provided, I would probably find an experimental way of trying to find out some more. In my case they are not totally random when you look, say, at monthly patterns. It is clear that in the dark cold winter months, I get about 25% more readers. The scientist in me speculates that people don’t like to go outside when it is cold, and are in Vitamin D deficient depressions and look for some comfort by reading about other people’s struggles. Another pattern is that whenever I am holiday, my numbers go up. Another speculation that people probably like looking at holiday pictures :).

      The day to day numbers make little sense. The last couple of days have been quite insane. People really seemed to be happy to read about me finding a new house. I take that as a positive sign.

      Thanks for sticking around! Hope all is good in France!

      Like

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