Does Freshly Pressed Still Insult My Intelligence?

As most of you already know, Cats Insult My Intelligence was selected for Freshly Pressed on Friday.  I’ve been blogging here for over a year and I’ve heard the moans and wails of downtrodden bloggers desperately wanting to be featured there.  I’ve seen a “Never Been Freshly Pressed” club spring up among those whose lives had been destroyed by not being picked.  I’ve seen lots of people claim that their posts outshine the ones that were selected.

Unlike me, a lot of those people are full of crap.

I’ve seen bloggers dream of being picked because they believe it will launch their blog to new heights.  And then I’ve seen people become clinically depressed when the jump in visitor stats proves to be short-lived.  And then they take their ball and go home and complain to mommy that the mean people are being big bad meanies.

But what is the experience like?  It’s overrated in some respects but beneficial in others.  Let me explain:

1- If you had put all of my  blog posts in front of me and asked me which one would land on Freshly Pressed, I probably would have guessed correctly.  However, I wouldn’t have based that choice on post quality.  The cat post was cute and fun and, of all my posts, clearly the one that would most likely appeal to a broad audience. Kind of like Garfield.  Garfield’s no Dostoyevsky but people line up to read Garfield.

And have you ever heard of someone wanting a Dostoyevsky birthday cake?  (I think that sounds kind of cool, actually.)

I predicted last summer that I would never be chosen for Freshly Pressed because my usual brand of intellectually-infused humor has never struck me as suitable for McDonald’s-like mass consumption.  However, as it turns out, cats were perfect for McDonald’s.

2- My spike in stats did not break a record for daily views.  It probably didn’t break into the top three.  Here’s what my daily views look like for the past month or so:

My date of freshly pressing is in orange and the current day is so low because I took the screenshot before 9 AM.

Don’t be an idiot.  My date of freshly pressing is in orange and the current day is so low because I took the screenshot before 9 AM.  Premature conclusions are unnecessary.

Spike?  Yes, and sustained over a couple of days.  But it’s nothing earth-shattering.  I get more spikes around here than a teenager who loves his hair gel.  You can tell this more clearly by looking at my weekly stats:

Again, the current week is so low because this screenshot was taken on Tuesday morning.  And yes I know that the numbers on the graph are missing.  I did that on purpose because I like to be obnoxious.

Again, the current week is so low because this screenshot was taken on Tuesday morning. And yes I know that the numbers on the graph are missing. I did that on purpose because I like to be obnoxious.

So what do we conclude from this?  Not much.  I just like math.


3- It’s too early to know whether the stats boost will fall off.  As you can see from those graphs, my stats haven’t been significantly higher than normal.  However, I seem to have gained more than 100 followers as a direct result of being Freshly Pressed.  A sustained increase in traffic, if only a small one, is therefore expected.

However, I may consider feeling guilty for a while because I can’t check out the blogs of my 100+ new followers so quickly…

4- The Freshly Pressed badge is nice.  It’s a perfect aesthetic match for my blog.  Also, since virtually no blogging awards exist that aren’t determined by popular vote, it’s as close to an official certification of quality as I can get.

Even if the Freshly Pressed posts aren’t always wonderful…

5- I’m glad my blog wasn’t Freshly Pressed when it was young.  New followers will bring fresh perspectives to the discussions around here, but my old followers are still the definite majority.  That means I’m not tempted to change.  As my long-time followers already know, I write this blog for me.  The content can swing wildly at times and I’m sure most of my readers have been less than happy with the opinions they’ve encountered here at one point or another.

What do you expect from a blog about “things that insult my intelligence?”

I don’t worry when I lose a couple of followers after a particularly controversial post.  And despite my brief travels into mass distribution, this blog remains a small independent undertaking.

38 thoughts on “Does Freshly Pressed Still Insult My Intelligence?

  1. In my estimation, the only things more heavily trafficked on the Internet/web/tubes than cats is pron and the current time. You almost definitely spiked because of that fact alone, not that your blog isn’t otherwise worthy of attention. The obsession over stats differs from liking math, the former being a virulent form of “look mom, no hands!” that proliferates easily. In addition, probably half of the followers on my blog are content farms, so I base my thinking more on comments (or lack thereof) than likes or robotraffic. YMMV, but you don’t seem any too caught up in meaningless traffic bait.

  2. I’ve never been Freshly Pressed but a friend of mine has – she was expecting a massive jump in stats, trolls, etc. None of it really happened. Nice to get a few extra views and followers but for me, it’s still about the interaction! Getting 100 likes on one post is great, but if nobody comments it would feel like a failure!

  3. I feel kind of weird since I don’t even care about my posts being Freshly Pressed. Now I’m going into a wormhole of neurosis because perhaps I should care and I’m missing the point… Must go write about cats, must write about cats, must write about cats, dogs don’t cut it, horse’s don’t cut it either, and neither did the story about my losing… Mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble…

        • According to Ben Huberman:

          I’m happy to confirm that as of yesterday, when he held a town hall in human form, Matt isn’t a cat. Of course, this doesn’t overrule the possibility of him being a shape-shifting organism, but, as I’m currently thousands of miles away from him, someone else would have to investigate that possibility.

  4. All I know is that I have thrown every type of post at the wordpress overlords… every conceivable type… and some that I am proud to say are almost inconceivable… I even wrote wordpress a very moving love song… okay, I stole the tune, but whatever… of course, I have also pissed them off a number of times… and that stupid spam joke got me kicked off for 4 days… and I tend to do a post directly to wordpress every time I have a technical issue… or they make changes I don’t like… but they won’t even acknowledge my crazy post that has almost 30,000 comments. Still, I am proud of you for busting through the glass outhouse ceiling…

  5. I think leaving numbers off your graphs isn’t nearly as obnoxious as still insisting on maintaining your anonymity after being Freshly Pressed. 😉 Who are you? Who are you? How can you enjoy fame without a name??

    Can you tell this keeps me up nights?

  6. All your points are spot on, especially the last one.

    I was Freshly Pressed twice in one month. The first time was me playing with the current listicle trend but the second one was a real effort on my part to simply write something I would enjoy reading. So, the initial honor didn’t surprise me but the second one felt more like true kudos. My daily hits, comments, and follows skyrocketed and now I have a better understanding of what it must be like to do cocaine.

    After the thrill was gone, I came away with some valuable lessons. First, the attention is nice but you gotta filter it for the people you’d actually want to have lunch with. I respond to each and every comment but a lot of people leave half-assed replies just to keep that holy attention on themselves. Kinda like social trolling, it’s all about them.

    Second, because I respond to every comment, it was a real challenge to keep up with the barrage of conversation in the initial week of each FP. I didn’t want to lower my standards of courtesy and as a result I became sort of shackled to them. I decided that a steady diet of daily hits and replies is more peaceful than fame, at least on WordPress.

    Your last point is what kept me on an even keel through it all. With the exception of that listicle, every post I’ve added to my blog has merely been my way of entertaining myself. It’s like my electronic photo album, a way of recording my adventures so I can look back over them and smile. If others get a kick out of it, that’s a bonus.

    First FP:

    Second FP:

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