I forget sometimes that you guys don't get to see this blog from this side of the screen. I forget that, as long as things are going smoothly, you don't have any idea that people are flooding in and brushing past you on the way to another post. All you see is what you click on. For all you know everything is the same as any other day.
The last couple of days have been a little weird. A couple of bloggers that live a little higher up the food chain than me, decided to have some fun with one of my posts from last week and tried to make it go viral. It was great fun and while you regular readers were sipping your coffee and pondering the supremacy of WordPress or Blogger, a couple of hundred people were pushing past you to find out what Google was up to now.
It was very cool to have the rush of traffic but I learned something that shocked me.
I didn't like it.
As most of you guys know, I'm a stats hound. (I prefer my name for it, GnomeyNewt.) What you may not know is I watch my stats obsessively. So much so, I recognize most of your IPs. When I look at my detail page on Sitemeter it displays IPs and ISPs but I see my readers. I have found I can only keep up with about 100 per day. (I know this because last Tuesday was the first time I had hit 100 in one day and it was all I could do to keep up.)
Yesterday the count went over 200 and instantly, I lost the intimate feel of this blog. I couldn't see who visited when and what they read. All I could do was look at referrals and trends and outclicks and all that other sterile, non personal stuff.
Nope, don't care for it. It's not that I don't appreciate the new visitors, I do. It waas just a little uncomfortable with the crowd milling about. Fortunately traffic has died back down a bit. I like small parties with my friends, not roaring nightclubs where I see my friends from across the room.
Maybe it's just a growing pain. Blogging success and traffic go hand in hand. I wonder if this is why successful performers talk about missing the small venues.
I realize most of you have better numbers than these every day. What do you do to maintain the personal relationship with your blog readers? Do you only worry about your commentators and ignore the lurkers? Do you miss being small? Would you go back?