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    Miscellaneous administrative stuff

    I don’t get a lot of comments, but those I do get are always good. Unfortunately, they’re sometimes on older posts that I fear regular readers are no longer scrolling down far enough to see, so I’ve added the “List Recent Comments” code to the left sidebar. I was originally only going to list the last five. Then I remembered that I respond to most of them, so at least 40% of the last five are likely to be by me, so I switched back to ten, which is the default number.

    PowerBlogs is working on a comprehensive internal site stats page. It promises to be very snazzy, but in the interim, I don’t get to see what deranged search terms have led people here. It was posting about those that usually gave me the springboard for thanking everyone for reading, and I realized today that I haven’t done so for a while.

    So thanks for reading, everyone. If anyone had suggested last year when I started posting that I’d have 350 visits a day (excluding search engines and stuff) by now, I’d have told him to stop washing the happy pills down with Asahi Super Dry. Not that this is a popularity contest, or anything, but there’s no denying that it’s nice to reach people.

    Along those lines, I’m occasionally asked for advice about starting a blog. I always feel kind of lame. There are already scads of bullet-pointed lists about how to achieve blog popularity; I don’t have much to add to them. When I feel like posting a lot, I do. When I feel like spending a week of news reading propped up on my elbows on the floor and eating Orange Milanos, then sharing my astringent opinions with no one but Atsushi, I do that. But a few recent exchanges I’ve had have put me in mind of a couple of things that I rarely see mentioned but that are, I think, useful to bear in mind:

    One is, everything you post will be read, even if you wouldn’t know it from the lack of immediate comments and links on a given entry. A few months later, a blogfriend may refer to it, or a site you’re not familiar with may link to it after discovering it by Googling the relevant topic, or you may get an inquiry about it from a reader who decided to dig through your archives.

    The other is, if you post under your full name, everyone you have ever met in your life will know it. You will hear from the last woman you ever dated, the first man you ever dated, the guy who grew up up the street who also turned out gay, someone who was in your second-year Japanese class in college, former clients, and colleagues down the hall at work who have been reading you for months without letting on. I mean, depending on your life story, some of these may not be applicable, but you get the idea. Every time I’ve heard from one of these people, it’s been great. I’ve ended up resuming consistent contact with some of them. But the first e-mail is always a jolt. I had my own reasons for deciding, from the moment I started making mouthy comments on people’s blogs, to use my full name; but I can understand that there are perfectly legitimate reasons not to, and it’s important to think carefully before doing so.

    2 Responses to “Miscellaneous administrative stuff”

    1. wheels says:

      Well, I use my (apparently rather common) nickname for posting purposes, both on my blog and when making comments on others. I don’t hide my real name, though. It’s available on my blog.

      The problem with respect to anyone finding me is that a web search on any form of my name will list too many others with the same name ahead of me, including several British professors, a cookbook author, and an ice-skating magician.

      In slightly over two years of blogging, I’ve only had one person email me to ask if I were the Steve Wheeler that they knew.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      You’d think there’d be a lot of searchable Sean Kinsells kicking around Ireland. (Of course, Kinsella is the more common variant of the surname, but still.) But I’m kind of hard to miss if you Google my full name. No one ever asks whether I’m the one they were looking for. The two comments I’ve gotten most consistently are “You turned out gay–duh” and “You’re an ATHEIST???!!!! WTF?!”

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