June 1, 2007

Speaking of blog controversies...

I was happy to see that traffic on this blog hit a new high in May. The previous high was last September, when traffic was inflated by a huge influx of visitors who were extremely hostile to me! Mostly, I'm glad to get a lot of traffic, and it's fine that a lot of people are here looking for a fight, but it's not fun when it's all out of proportion, especially when there are all sorts of distorted comments which I don't like answering and also don't like leaving unanswered.

Anyway, May had its crazy little controversy -- noted in the previous post -- so there actually was a little of that sort of thing pushing traffic. Not that I planned it. You never know what little offhand wisecrack or thought experiment is going to set people off. I mean, sometimes you know you're taunting a particular person or type of person. I never do that as a means to the end of getting more traffic. Really, I want readers, not traffic.

My approach to blogging is to say whatever I want about whatever interests me, and nothing more. Sometimes a little less -- to protect my privacy and to respect people I interact with in off-blog life -- but never any more. I hope you can tell, and I hope you realize how much I appreciate the readers who come here because they like approach.


rightwingprof said...

Is that a new photo of you, or do I need to see the eye doctor?

Ann Althouse said...

Good call. I wanted something more summery. Plus, I just got a haircut.

Terri said...

I will admit that I'm addicted to your blog. I have to visit several times a day. I love the varied topics, especially pop culture and photography! (Loved your photos of my hometown, Austin. It's cool to get a visitor's perspective.) I am so burnt out by blogs that are "all politics, all the time". Your blog has a great mix. And I love the comments section (even if I never leave any myself!)

Simon said...

Re readers vs. visitors, that's one of the problems of Sitemeter - it'd be great if there was some way to track recurrent readers. There's obviously many regular readers who don't comment. It's nice to have hits from search engines and so forth, it's nice to to know that past work is providing a service, but it's much better to know people are tuning in.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well the reason I lurk on here is the variety of topics and the good (most of the time) discussions that get going.

BTW, like the new photo, much better than the old one.

hdhouse said...

yes Ann, it is a nice photo and serves you well.

Readers v. bloggers would be hard to discern as the comment area isn't a separate page so no one knows if a visitor is reading or typing.

As several serveys have popped up on here re: demographics...can you share any info and perhaps unique visitors daily and average time on site.

Might be interesting.

Triangle Man said...

It really is a nice photo. I wonder how much the physical image of a blogger influences the perceptions of the blog readers, or the readers' comments.

Theo Boehm said...

What Terri said is spot on with the exception of pop culture, which holds fewer charms for me than others.  Unlike Terri, I've been leaving comments, but considering the quality of writing on Terri's personal blog, a word or two from her wouldn't be the worst thing to happen here.

I do appreciate Althouse's approach very much.  Aside from her interesting choice of topics and good writing, her ability to demarkate what is private is so easy and natural that it's possible not to notice the integrity that lies behind it.

Am I wrong in saying the motion, "Resolved, that the current picture of Althouse is fabulous" has been seconded and passed unanimously?

hdhouse said...

triangle man....

well she is looking to her "left" and smiling so perhaps that is an indication of her true feelings...it just may be an omen for the next elections..you know like those fleeting visions of the Virgin Mary or crying statuary...

Ann Althouse said...

Terri: Thanks. I'd love to think I have a lot of readers like you. (And I'm going to check out your blog.)

As for the picture, now I'm wondering if -- because of the smiling -- it will make people interpret the writing differently. I hope people see more humor, but maybe they won't feel the daggers!

SteveR said...

I've been coming here for 3 years and although you have changed your focus somewhat (being a bigshot blooger and all these days) and there have been some comment "storms", its still a nice place to visit. A good mix.

Yes the new picture is nice, summery is a good look.

Maxine Weiss said...

Shopping List:

1. User generated content
2. Cohesive online communities
3. Supply and demand

AJD said...

I mean, sometimes you know you're taunting a particular person or type of person. I never do that as a means to the end of getting more traffic.

Ha ha ha!!! That might be the single largest Althouse falsehood in history.

Are you really that self-deceived, or are you simply that deceptive?

Mindsteps said...

Prof. Althouse wrote: You never know what little offhand wisecrack or thought experiment is going to set people off. I mean, sometimes you know you're taunting a particular person or type of person.

Funny, after reviewing the comments section from the Ginsburg piece I was going to ask if you ever examine the relationship between your remarks in the comment section and how it might affect the nature of the ongoing dialogues amongst your readers.

To some extent (I would guess to a greater extent) your comments may not significantly influence the direction, emotionality, or level of distortion brought to your blog by your commenters. However, I wonder, if at times your remarks might accentuate or de-accentuate the emotional tone of the comments you receive.

Have you learned over the years how to affect the intensity level, to a degree, of your comments section or is it not feasible?

Maxine Weiss said...

OffBlog relationships: Althouse doesn't realize she's say a lot by saying very little.

Less is more. The more she holds back, or thinks she is....she actually reveals far more.

Very transparent, and without saying a word!

Triangle Man said...

hdhouse: Well, her body is rotated toward the left, but she is looking to her right...unless the image was flipped in Photoshop, but this is starting to smack of apophenia.

B said...

Althouse addict.

I admit it.

Went away for the long Memorial Day weekend with no computer access.

Althouse blog withdrawals. Not proud of myself.

Am thinking of entering AAA.

Still the best, Ann.

Amazing that no one else seems to successfully copy your style.

Or consistently attract a high level of intelligence among commenters - and yes, that includes the lefties - heavy sigh.

Just happy to be in the mix.

B said...


where's the sign-off?

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, B. That means a lot. I don't know why more people don't blog the way I do. It's fun and it's inherently interesting, since you only write about what interests you...

Maxine Weiss said...

B ---I'm in the process of developing a new moniker.

Back to Althouse: She can't really believe that if she doesn't talk about something....nobody will be the wiser.

"You think you know about me but you really don't"---Althouse

(In a Podcast, whenever)

What if Althouse is wrong, though? What if everyone knows everything about her, with --or without-- her saying it?

Afterall, a glaring omission speaks far more volume than even the most startling revelation.

And there have been many glaring omissions on this blog, which Althouse laughs off as nothing more than "idiosyncratic". Oh really?

Two Words: Virginia Tech

--In which Althouse's silence in the early parts of that spoke volumes, namely how scared she was but couldn't bring herself to admit it. And why not? Is fear, in that instance, some kind of bizarre emotion?


That, and the lack of Holiday theme blogging in general

("It's Easter. Happy Easter")

Clearly Althouse is not the place to come for your cheerful Holiday merriment.

Peace, Maxine

Ann Althouse said...

I blog about what is interesting to verbalize about. Holidays are clich├ęs. There's nothing to say. I don't blog about what a good night's sleep I had last night, even though I spent a lot of time on it.

hdhouse said...


I found your broom. Just where you left it.

When you stretch out your claws early morning do you reach for coffee or or something else...

Your mock criticisms wear thin. Truly they do my dear. Truly.

rsb said...

Much better pic Ann.

Theo Boehm said...

hdh: Maxine gotcha to notice!

My 10-year-old did a comedy routine at the breakfast table today, and got us all to notice.

But then again, my 10-year-old is amusing.