In case you read this17 Jan 2011
Ever since we started working on mathblogging.org I have been reading far too many math blogs. At the beginning of the year many bloggers (of course, also in the scienceblogging community) have analyzed their page data and discussed trends and interests to readers. This made me think whether I should invest time in some technology to gather such data. Thankfully, I do not have to do this from a technical point of view since my webspace is provided for free thanks to a generous supporter. But somehow I do not feel inclined to do it anyways. It’s not that I don’t want to know people read my posts (although, realistically I would expect the number be significantly lower than 10). But when weighing the invasion of privacy of my (potential) readers against my own interest in them, I am convinced that it’s not worth it, a conviction which grew stronger this week.
Last week I stumbled upon a piece on ftrain that I found amazing. Paul Ford writes about a concept he calls wwic or “Why wasn’t I consulted” and believes to be a integral property of the most successful internet projects. You should, really should, go over and read it. It made me think about why I keep this page. As you can check I have approximately zero comments and most communication I have about my posts happens in meatspace, not cyberspace. What I would love to have is, like most bloggers, a conversation about what I write. Most of the things I write are nevertheless not really designed to spawn a conversation. And that’s ok. I will nevertheless try to experiment more towards creating conversations and see how that goes.
Coming back to collecting data, this goal, having a conversation, strengthens my conviction that I do not want to have the necessary technology. I want to ‘consult’ (in the wwic sense) people, find out what they think about what I write. If somebody does not want to get involved with my posts (leave a comment, link me etc) then I really have no reason to track their behaviour either — it’s just not what I am interested in. If, on the other hand, you ever read my posts and want to react, I’d be very happy if you left a comment.