Starting near the end of February, 2013, I began an experiment. I stopped playing video games for a whole month and started a blog. Because, you know, why not? Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed blogging quite a bit.
You see, I love statistics. I love numbers. I love analyzing data. It’s part of being an engineer. And what is one of the perks of having a blog? Tons and tons of data, that’s what!
It was fascinating. Which articles were popular? Which were not? Which spiked in views and then died off? Which provided a steady stream of views? How did people find the site? What country were they from? How often did people view more than one article? Which search engine did they use? What keywords did they type?
And on, and on, and on.
Oh, this stuff just tickles my brain. I love it.
But there was one piece that didn’t seem to fit. Often, my articles would have more LIKES than VIEWS shortly after their release. Now that seemed odd to me. What did that mean? Was there a delay in recording the VIEWS?
This was an easy enough theory to test. I used a second computer and was pleased to see the new VIEWS registered almost immediately. The only delay I saw was in reporting unique VISITORS, not VIEWS.
Okay, that cleared up that. VIEWS update quickly. So how did I get more LIKES than VIEWS?
And then I witnessed it happening.
A fellow blogger LIKED one of my stories … and then another … and another. The blogger LIKED about five of my articles in the span of a minute … in the reverse order I wrote them. And the VIEW count did not rise. I actually had my dashboard open at the time, since I was prepping my next article.
Huh. I wondered what’s going on there. I checked the person’s blog. Maybe we had something in common.
Now, I suppose the person could have had a huge interest in Warmachine Cryx warcaster strategy articles, but it seemed unlikely from a young lady with a poetry blog. I know there are plenty female wargamers out there. I married one, but I’m also smart enough to know that isn’t the norm.
So what was the point in LIKING the article if she never actually read it? It’s not as if I had interest in following a poetry blog … oh, shoot. There it is! I visited her blog because she LIKED my article! That was the only reason I visited her blog! And that was why she LIKED my article, to generate traffic!
After catching it once, I found this was a fairly common activity.
Well, that kind of makes the LIKE button meaningless, doesn’t it? If the LIKE button is being used as a blog advertisement, then it becomes more of a nuisance than anything else. Call me old fashioned, but I actually read the articles I LIKE. And if I don’t like them, I don’t LIKE them.
But it’s still cool. I am definitely having a good time. After all, isn’t that the point of a hobby?