State of the Blog, 7/9/10

Traffic during the summer is pretty horrible for me, so I don’t know how feasible it is to try and get 500 unique visitors a day. Still, that’s the goal the next week or two: reach out and link to a number of other bloggers, get a bunch of links built back to this blog, and of course continue writing so that I have that much more to promote and be found by.

I can definitely use some help with this process: those of you with delicious accounts, please do bookmark the blog. You have no idea how helpful that is long term. And if you know of any “best blog” sort of contests that don’t require me to add a stupid badge to the sidebar, feel free to submit this blog (heck, feel free to submit this to a “worst blog” contest, why not? I could use the exposure). You guys are great with Stumbleupon, and David Sullivan is an enormous help with that and Digg/Mixx/Amplify/Twitter (and yes, this blog can always use more tweets, now that I think about it).

I suppose we should talk about long term goals. I looked at Instapundit’s traffic yesterday: it was something like 391,000 per day. I don’t think I need that much, not even close. I don’t even think I need 70,000 per day. But I think the sooner I can get to several thousand, the happier I’ll be, and the number I’ve been playing with as an eventual, very long term goal is something like 20,000. The idea is that something like 1% of people who read a blog actually do something with the content, i.e. comment on it, promote it, subscribe, etc. From what I’ve seen of my traffic, that percentage is actually less than 1% for this blog – it’s closer to .5%. Most days I’ll need 200 unique visitors before someone says anything or promotes this blog in another place. And the percentage of traffic that has generated links from other blogs – hahahahahahahahaha. That’s probably in the millionths. So I’m thinking 20,000 not in terms of a number, but more in terms of “what would 10,000 readers be like in terms of my content spreading on its own?”

There are some new readers to this blog, so I think this is an opportune time to point out a few posts that might be of interest:

  • Xenophon, “Art of Horsemanship” – My work as a doctoral student has focused on Xenophon, a contemporary of Plato who gives us another account of the life of Socrates. Xenophon’s themes focus on what it means to be a “gentleman” as distinguished from a “philosopher;” the difference is stark, to say the least. The post I’ve linked to is on a work that doesn’t explicitly mention Socrates, but discusses some of those themes.
  • Shakespeare, Sonnet 73 – I give a rough method for reading poetry here. Might prove useful.
  • An Introduction to Machiavelli’s “Prince” – more generally, what my work as a graduate student has been about. Goes over a rough division of political thought into ancient, medieval, modern and emphasizes the differences between the modern and the former two.
  • Emily Dickinson, “If I can stop one heart from breaking” – a teacher in high school said that Dickinson was just placed in the pantheon of poets to give women some representation. Perhaps he was joking, but I couldn’t disagree more. I read Dickinson daily: her work never shies from complicated, dark themes. There may not be a more courageous poet.
  • Analysis of the Gettysburg Address – I can’t recall how many times I’ve gone through this, commenting on it sentence by sentence. I remember once I was in the airport at Cleveland, talking a high schooler through this, and we drew a small crowd.

Alright, I’m out. Next post Monday Tuesday.


  1. I just came here from Ta-Nehisi’s place and added you to my TNC blogroll on the strength of the FAQ alone, before even having read this post! I’m not sure how much traffic I’ll add, but hey. I’m in the same boat you are, and I think what you’re doing looks interesting, so here we are, being interesting together in the boat. Hopefully, the boat will grow larger for both of us.

  2. What a great goal!!! I will stumble it. I haven’t experienced Delicious yet, but I’ll take action and do my part as a reader to help you reach your goal!

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