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:
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:
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.