I had a different topic in mind for this, my first post of 2011. But an email I received from the friendly staff at WordPress changed my mind. What good news! WordPress congratulated me on my blog’s attainment of a rating of Awesome on their Blog Health-O-Meter™. And I know they really approve of the job I am doing because they added, “We think you did great!” Of course, they assured me that their rating is completely data-based.
This surprising honor is cause for celebration, indeed! And I am gratified to be able to share it with you, my readership! I could never have done it without you! I am humbled and otherwise speechless…
Well, not exactly. I can’t resist commenting on their methodology, can I? So let’s get right to it. Here are the data behind this honorific rating. First, WordPress reported that total visits to this blog in 2010 were equivalent to four full Boeing 747-400 jets, which seat 416 passengers each! Second, 14 posts were added in 2010 making the total now 31. (They forgot to say so, but that represents an almost 100% increase in entries!) Third, I uploaded an average of two graphic images per week. (Busy, busy! Plus, illustrations brighten up the most tedious of text!) My image library now takes up 3mb of storage. (Or was it 4mb…I forget. If I’d known they score that I would have uploaded only high resolution images.)
Fourth, this blog’s busiest day was in August 2010 when the post A Preponderance of the Evidence got way-more-than-average hits. Fifth, the fact that that very popular post was from 2009 led the WordPress evaluators to conclude that “Your blog has staying power! Consider writing about these topics again.” (Hmmm…is staying power something like shelf life?)
Honestly though, I am under no illusions as far as this blog is concerned. I understand it appeals to a very limited and specialized audience—to a miniscule one, actually. And, frankly, the Boeing 747 analogy is not very convincing. WordPress probably judges really cool, high-popularity blogs according to how many sports arenas their readers could fill. Hard to be impressed by a readership count from a few dumb little jumbo jets.
The gauge WordPress emailed to me appears below, though as you can see it is un-metered. According to the placement of the white arrow (which is too thick for my taste), I guess Awesome would be about 70 on a 100-point meter.
So far I have found only one other Blog Health-o-Meter™ (shown below) among the thousands of WordPress blogs. The white arrow on that meter gets a score of about 93 points (if there were points), which is a Wow!! rating. But, hey, I prefer to think of my Awesome rating as 70 miles-per-hour. That’s plenty high, isn’t it?
But wait a minute! The image filename for my meter ends in 2 and the other one ends in 5. So the the lowest scaled Blog Health-o-Meter™ must be a 1 and must point at 50 or 60 points! So, these are Lake Wobegon-style ratings where everybody is above average?? (I have no idea what the color shading in the meters means. WordPress never explained it.)
Well, who needs their stupid ratings anyway? The results say more about the limitations of the measures than about how good blogs really are. Why should anyone care about the number of images used in a blog? My images are designed to be clever and tasteful decorations, but their subtle ornamental qualities are completely undetected by the WordPress ratings. And several of my images are illustrations in the true sense of the word. But do you think their thoughtful designs got me a higher blog health score? No way!
These ratings don’t measure the quality of my writing nor the accuracy and relevance of the content. What kind of rating system overlooks such important factors? Besides, this blog is unique—one of a kind. Comparisons with other more run-of-the-mill blogs are meaningless.
I have no choice. I just have to let the quality of this blog speak for itself. (Good. Now I have 32 entries.)