ideas that bounce

You know, the operator of a website has a great deal of information about the people that visit his site. How long they hang around, how they get there, what operating system they use, what city they are visiting from – what they are looking for when they land on his site. It’s nifty really – and sometimes disheartening. This little blog of mine only gets about 20 visitors a day, not too bad – certainly not enough to feed myself on (thank goodness that was never its intention). What’s a bit disappointing is this website’s “bounce rate” – the number of visitors that visit just long enough to  click their browsers’ back buttons. The bounce rate here is high, really high.

So, I took a look at a few other personal blogs for comparison. I’ve certainly found a few differences. My posts are relatively long, my content rarely (if ever) mentions pop-culture, and it is almost completely text.

I’ve decided to make a few decisions based on my findings, and I’m basically noting them here so that I remember them.

  • No more ads. No sense is bothering the twenty-one of us that look at this website every day.
  • I’m going to make an effort to include a bit more media. Pictures, short videos, online books – they are sometimes helpful for illustrating an idea or sharing a view of the world.
  • I completely and utterly refuse to include any more pop culture than I already do.

Aside from these things… I’ve received plenty of complaints about the lack of personal information on this (personal) blog. Looking for Andrew D. Anderson, how can you be sure you’ve got the right one – I’ve no picture! Want to know more about my family background or socio-economic history – there’s not much information here. Where do I travel, and how often? What do I do with my free time, and how much do I have? Yeah, I know, I don’t really talk about it. And, yes, sometimes this leads to false assumptions or misreadings.

However, I don’t really intend on addressing that “issue” – mainly because it’s not really an issue for me at all. It’s by design. I try to think outside these personal limitations… and truly believe that ideas are the only interesting things we humans have to share. I don’t really care about your trip to visit your Aunt Ethel – outside of your motivations and interpretations of the event, your physical experience is unimportant to me. As a result, I strive to distill my own experiences into bundles of thoughts, and spare you the boredom of particulars. If you like to get all wrapped up in trivialities… well, this isn’t ever going to be the blog to read. If you think that ideas are actually the boring part of life… well… in a different context, I agree. Believe me, I’m not a fan of idle theory… but we can not actually experience things for our fellow humans. No sense in trying. I do what I can.

That’s the end of the administrative memos. I think.

The Problem with a Personal Blog

Publishing a personal blog, however neglected, poses some interesting dilemmas. Whatever you publish is open to everyone on the Internet: this includes those people that know you – potentially those people that like you. You’re writing for people you may interact with, may care about, people you may sometimes have to explain yourself to.

This is problematic,  because you are aware of this. This awareness becomes particularly nagging when you’d like to explore wild topics, attack certain ideas, grapple with less accepted points of view. In many ways, you can feel bound to the “safe” discussions. Your awareness has a tendency to manifest itself as censorship.

And, unfortunately, when you “don’t go there” and leave things you’d like to explore untouched – you stagnate. When you’re constantly dealing with ideas and concepts you’re comfortable with or you’ve accepted – you become dull. Life loses all that makes it extraordinary.

Of course, you can still think about the ideas you avoid writing. But that defeats the purpose of a personal blog. You cheat yourself out of too much: a dated record of how your thoughts develop, a searchable cache of ponderances that may otherwise be lost, and the opportunity for feedback from the entire world. You shouldn’t do it.

What I’m really saying is: I shouldn’t do it anymore.

And so, I’m apologizing to you in advance. I’m going to write about things that might, well, piss you off – or make you sad – or embarrassed. I’m going to smash some sacred ideas of yours to pieces, and only occasionally attempt to put them back together. I’m going to put ideas you despise on a pedestal. And I’m not going to worry if you’re reading or not.

Otherwise, I’m not being fair to myself, or to you. After all, you may need to see something that startles you from someone you know, interact with, or care about. The world is more adventurous than most people – and its leaving them behind. I don’t want to be one of them, and I don’t want you to be either.

So, reader beware… nothing is off limits any longer.

Snipe on Ebay – The Easy Way!

Maybe you know the feeling, you’re salivating over an under-priced item on eBay. Your seconds away from owning the item. You’ve been the high bidder since the auction started. Just as the auctions ends, you refresh the listing page to bask in the joy of your new-found ownership – and you’ve been OUTBID. SNIPED.

If you’d have known it would sell for paltry $1.25 more then your max bid, you’d have bumped ‘er up a little. Now that antique-one-of-a-kind trinket that you’ve been daydreaming about is gone. You’re in pain.

You imagine the guy that beat you out. Chuckling like a madman, rolling on the floor in pure glee right after he completes checkout to claim his stolen goods. Oh, the pain! What you wouldn’t give to trade spots, just this once…

Well, you’re in luck, because you can next time. Be that guy. For free. Heart-broken eBayer – meet Gixen. It makes sniping on eBay too easy. Heck, you’ll probably do it for fun.

eBay Sniper