Are you sure it’s a beech you’re looking for, madam?
One of the first things that happens when you begin a blog is that statistics start to exert a shameful fascination upon you. It’s thrilling to see your reader numbers increasing in fits and starts, while a tailing off of hits can induce consternation and soul-searching to a disproportionate degree. Eventually one’s fixation on stats wears off and, apart from the occasional bout of self-indulgence, one hardly gives the numbers more than a cursory glance, just to check that there is still someone dropping in from time to time.
Every now and again, however, a blip in the figures can give pause for thought. I sometimes idly wonder why, for example, an early and embarrassingly poorly illustrated post on how to cook puffball mushrooms is often so popular. (Are there really so many puffballs popping up around the world? And is my amateur attempt the only puffball recipe out there?)
Even more baffling is the steady attention given to a frankly forgettable little entry about beech trees turning colour at the end of summer. It’s just a couple of photos and a line or two, none of which are noteworthy even by the modest standards of Dancing Beastie. I wouldn’t mind the attention if it were being given to a post I felt merited it! (This one on art, thresholds and Celtic mythology, for example.) More often than not, though, this paltry entry on beech trees is at the top of the ‘Top Posts’ list of any given day.
On a quiet day that might mean only a few readers having seen it. I have no illusions of being more than krill in the blogging pool and only a handful of people have stopped by today from most of the world. A couple in Indonesia, five in Pakistan, a few around Europe and the Middle East and a dozen or so here in Britain. (Thank you for coming!) Yet from the United States, visitors today to this blog number over a thousand people. And nine hundred and ninety nine of them were looking at On the Beech.
Am I missing something obvious? Is ‘on the beech’ a code for something naughty? Have I unwittingly said something there of vital usefulness to a student essay? Or are we at cross-purposes thanks to sloppy spelling? When I say beech, you can be pretty sure that I do mean the tree and not a place with sand and palm trees. If you came here looking for a sun-soaked holiday I’m sorry, but you’d best move right along, sir. Any beaches on Dancing Beastie tend to be of the bracingly windswept variety.
I can’t figure it out. I’m sure these visitors are looking for something else and I don’t know what is leading them here by mistake. So please, will the next person who stumbles ‘On the Beech’ at Dancing Beastie put me out of my confusion and let me know why on earth you find yourself here? Then I can stop this navel-gazing and get on with writing about things that interest me in the real world. Like, for example, beech trees…
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