The Unbearable Banishment: Follow me, boys (and girls)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Follow me, boys (and girls)

Follow me boys, follow me,
When you think you're really beat
That's the time to lift your feet,
And follow me boys, follow me,
Pick'em up, put'em down and follow me,

Follow Me Boys
Written for the Boy Scouts of America
by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman

* * *

I've added a Followers gadget over to the right. To those who are psychologically evolved, inserting a tracking gadget is a non-event. Sadly, my insatiable neediness turned it into an angst-ridden ordeal.

As I've discussed with Daisyfae in several email exchanges, I spend far (far) too much time pouring over my stats and comments. I realize that maintaining a blog is something that is purely for the 'self' and that worrying about the size of your audience is a exercise in futility. Wishing for more readers is inane and pointless, but I've never permitted sound reasoning to interfere with my foggy judgment and I'm not about to start now.

Last summer I received a flattering review from the hard asses at Ask and Ye Shall Receive that I thought would result in a media firestorm. Those guys aren't easy to please, you know! There was a big spike in the bar chart which has since tapered off.

At my worst, I get into comments/unique hits pissing contests with people who are completely unaware that they're in a pissing contest with me. A Followers gadget seemed suicidal! Which evil genius wrote the code for a gadget whose soul purpose it is to cast a harsh spotlight on how few readers I have? Did he/she do it specifically to mock me? I think so.

But there it is, chuckling. Ridiculing me. I might create a dozen false accounts just to goose up my number.

* * *

3-Year Old Daughter removed the flat, wooden slat from its sleeve at the bottom of the window shade, stood up on our bed and stuck it in the rotating ceiling fan. It made a terrible racket. I bolted upstairs and shouted at her.

“What are you doing?!”

“I wanted to see what it felt like. Now, you made me cry. Waaahhhhh…

She’ll be the one who dates a biker. And not one those weekend pretenders, either. You’ve seen them. Actuary accountants who don expensive leather jackets and get all manly on Sunday mornings. She’ll date the real thing. This is the same innocent flower who took a pair of shears to our curtains.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

how many times do i have to say it? size doesn't matter. unless, of course we're talking microscopic or freakishly enormous, it doesn't matter.

there. following you. happy?

April 8, 2010 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Barlinnie said...

I've always been a fan of well written and entertaining authors. I see no reason to change now.

April 8, 2010 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger RubyTwoShoes said...

Wow, I have never read your blog before, so this is quite an introduction, its kind of like the 'can we be friends' exchange that toddlers make at the sandpit, except hardcore, because, I like, hardly even know you...

April 8, 2010 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger savannah said...

bles your heart, sugar, but it's ok, we all have those inner-competitive/looking for acceptance/i wanna be part of the in-crowd issues...or maybe that's just me. xoxoxo

(one day, i'll share mine)

(going back into the dark.)

April 8, 2010 at 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your blog every day despite the fact that I have absolutely no clue who you are, although I think you may live very close to where I grew up. Anyway, I began reading thanks to your witty comments on my dear friend popomatic Jeff's blog, and I've never looked back. I've also several times emailed the link to friends who I know would enjoy your musings for one reason or another. I've oftentimes considered commenting, but never actually felt compelled to until today. I figured you'd enjoy knowing that you have a MAJOR fan that you didn't even know existed! Have a great day!

April 8, 2010 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Daisy: I get it. Content is more relevant than size. And, no, I'm still not happy.

Jimmy: I don't want to turn this into a big ass-kissing session but, really, you are in a category all on your own. You are the one ring to rule them all.

Ruby: Well, this is a bit embarrassing. This isn't a typical post. I'm usually not prostrating myself before the blogging world.

Savannah: I thought it was just ME! Do you mean to say that other people have the same acceptance angst that I harbor? I thought I was one in a million. Turns out I'm a dime a dozen.

Anon: If I knew who you were I'd send you $1. If I knew where you lived, I'd bake you a cake. Thanks, so much.

April 8, 2010 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Pueblo girl said...

Arghhh! I'm so sorry - your follower count just went down by one, and it's my fault. I was horrified to see that my full name appeared, so I've stopped following publicly until I can work out how to change it. But I am "following", honest.

April 8, 2010 at 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Sid said...

"Now you made me cry."

Wow. I don't think I'd mess with that little one. Sounds like you might have an emotional blackmailer on your hands/

April 8, 2010 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

PG: How funny is that!? I post my followers and lose one. All in a day's work here under the black cloud.

Sid: Not to reduce half the population to a jaded stereotype, but on a subtle level, aren't all woman emotional blackmailers?

April 8, 2010 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I am so following you dude. I love your blog.

April 8, 2010 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger Here In Franklin said...

I have to say that I too have, on occasion, obsessed over stats. Mine have fluctuated wildly in the past. And because I adore you and want to feed your ego, I have "followed" you. First time for me. (Hope it was good for you.) :)

April 8, 2010 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

When I first started blogging, I would check the site meter thingie to see who was stopping by and where they were from.

Now, I don't even remember it's there. It just doesn't matter. It was a curiosity for me at first but that wore off in the first couple months, I think.

Now, if people read and comment, great! If not, I don't really care. It's a place I can blather on about nothing... or something... as I see fit.

But I do love stopping by to read yours!

April 8, 2010 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

you've got a lot of followers already

i've only got 5

i'm not as stat obsessed as i once was, but comments .... i love comments!

April 8, 2010 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger A Free Man said...

I don't like the word "Follower", which is why I don't do the whole follower thing. Makes me think of sheep. But I'm here now and I'll be back again. And again. How about you consider me a reader?

The stat thing can drive you nuts, so I try to stay away from my stat pages as much as possible. Hard to do, though.

April 9, 2010 at 1:19 AM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

I'm not a follower either but you've been on my "daily reads" roll for ages. Keep posting about New York and you'll be there forever.

And whenever I wear pink on corset friday, I think about you

April 9, 2010 at 5:40 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Leah: You're my Brooklyn connection. That neighborhood was an important part of my life. How odd that I stumbled across your blog!

HIF: THX for following. And I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only obsessive out here. It almost makes me feel normal.

Ponita: Honest to God, I wish I could develop that attitude about the stats. But I'm two years deep and I check them as frequently as I did when I first started. You're way more evolved than I am.

Ellie: Commenting IS an interesting game of tennis, isn't it?

AFM: You're absolutely right about the "follower" tag. I've changed it to a more appropriate "Readers" in the column head.

Nurse: I know that your daily read list is limited and fluctuates. I'm flattered to have hung in there for so long. Funny -- when you wear pink on corset Friday, I think of us, too! Wink.

April 9, 2010 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger savannah said...

another of my obsessions, checking comments on other peoples blogs when i'm in the deep, sugar.

April 9, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger mapstew said...

Now you got a pic of a baldy warbler in your Followers thingy!

I don't know how to check my stats, and I don't think I'll bother to learn.

Thanks for all the 'trips' around NY I've had through you! :¬)

April 9, 2010 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Pearl said...

Your daughter sounds like a hoot.

As for agonizing over fans/comments/readers, I regularly go through that myself. And then I remember why I write: because I enjoy it, because I need to write to feel whole, and because I've been known to work for applause only. Yes, it's a conflict, always.

Glad to be a fan of a site I visit and always enjoy.


April 9, 2010 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Savannah: As if we didn't have enough to obsess over, in addition to the actual blog posts, I have to trail back to see the comments I left. It's maddening. Thank God it doesn't cost anything!

Baldy Warbler: Please. I BEG you not to get involved with tracking your stats. It's a maddening waste of time. I make the same plea to people who are interested in learning how to shoot craps. It's a slippery slope.

Pearl: My daughter may be a cute hoot at 3, but what's going to happen when she's 14? Or, worse, 20?! Do you have any insight on this?

April 9, 2010 at 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I follow your blog through my google reader and always stop by to see what you have to say whenever it alerts me that you've posted.

A long time ago, I had the Followers widget on my blog for about a week when my sister convinced me to take it off for reasons that made sense to me. Like her, I decided I didn't like being listed as a follower on someone else's site. It's too detailed to go into here and I may address it in a post of my own later.

While I may choose to be a total fan of someone's writing or whatever else draws me to their blog, I prefer to announce it myself in some way such as a comment or a post where I discuss and link to them to share with my readers rather than in the Follower widget on the side.

I guess some of it comes down to why we write and would we continue if no one showed up. I read your words because I can identify with much of what you say.

I have also felt the need to know more about who was stopping by my place. I can see the numbers in the stats, but of those numbers, not many leave a comment. This used to bother me until I thought about how many people I read everyday and almost never leave a comment. I still show up and I still enjoy them, but I just don't always have something to say or time to say it.

I've blathered on too long when all I really wanted to say was that while I may not be in your Follower group, I am still here.

April 10, 2010 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

I'm just a boring mommy blogger - too timid or cowardly to really write about what is truly important to me. The things that really annoy me, or the things that truly inspire me. Who might I offend? Who might see it and judge me? But I started a blog because of my admiration of bloggers like you, and Elizabeth, and others who are so much more than mommy bloggers. I wanted to comment and show my appreciation for what I was reading, and I felt I needed a blog for an identity. But this whole blog thing (reading and posting) is an evil thing. It is addicting, and it sucks away time I should be spending on other things. So I don't always comment, let the blogger know that I appreciate their efforts. When I click a follow button, I am saying "thanks, I really do like what you do, and I hope you will continue." It's an ongoing comment. I may not have time to comment, but I read every chance I get. So I'm going to click your Follow button. And I wouldn't miss your blog.

I am so paranoid about it tho and I hope GOTJ will address why she doesn't like to "follow" someone. I may have to rethink it and go back and "unfollow" if she has some good reasons.

Yea, I'm a sheep. A boring sheep. But I'm a smart enough sheep to admire someone like you and appreciate your writing, and, for now, follow you.

April 10, 2010 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

If it's any consolation, I hate the big blogs. You know the ones with hundreds of comments under each post, millions of followers, all the rest. Because when you read or comment it's like you're just a drop in the blog ocean.

All the blogs I read (including mine) are a little more personal, while still being popular in comparison to the general hoards and riff raff out there. We doing good, UB, we doing good.

April 11, 2010 at 10:29 PM  

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