The day after

Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo in Manitoba. A stranger sneaked into her yard the other day and tried to blend inconspicuously into the background but she spotted the intruder.

After a reasonable Christmas day, the weather gods decided that we should not be happy for too long and gave us a very deplorable Boxing day with strong winds and frequent rain. As I write this in the evening, the rain has got heavier and the winds stronger, so our feeling that the day couldn’t get worse was proved wrong.

We stayed in and kept our heads down, eating cold cuts from yesterday’s feast from time to time. I stirred myself enough to get on the bicycle to nowhere in the afternoon and spend an hour pedalling gently while listening to European jazz on a programme broadcast from Northern Ireland while staring at the wall. Just how gently I pedalled can be measured by the fact that after an hour’s exercise indoors, I had lost exactly no weight at all. Must try harder.

It was too gloomy to take bird pictures, and there were hardly any birds in the strong winds anyway so there was little to fill this post today except the lone blue tit in the header picture..

I could have filled it with my brilliant thoughts for the day if I had had any, but I didn’t, so I couldn’t.

Please feel free to stop reading at this point (but do scroll down to the final picture which is a Christmas cracker).

What I did have time to reflect on today were some curious statistics which WordPress gives me. Simply by virtue of keeping going for several years, my blog has just under 13,000 ‘followers’, that is people who have clicked on the ‘follow’ button. This sounds like quite a lot but lest I should get vainglorious, WordPress also tells me how many people actually visit the site each day and that usually comes to between 140 and 210 per diem. Just in case I am still a bit puffed up, WP also tells me how many people visit each individual post and that comes to between 80 and 110 generally. Even that number may be inflated by spammers as I get quite a few spam comments daily (5 today). Don’t get me wrong, I am amazed and grateful that any people enjoy these ramblings, literal and metaphorical. But what are the other hundred visitors doing if they are not reading the posts?

Anyway, the point of this is that my calculator tells me that the percentage of actual readers to followers is more or less 100 divided by 12,900 times 100 which comes to 0.7751937984496124% (roughly) or well under one percent. This gives a different view of those news reports which tell us that some influencer or celebrity has got three million followers on Instagram. If their percentages are like mine, possibly only 0.77% of the three million followers actually look at their posts. That’s twenty three thousand actual viewers. I find that quite comforting for some reason.

The only flying bird that I saw near enough to photograph today was as black as the weather.

As this post badly needs cheering up, I am making use of a second guest picture today as a footer. This wonderful Christmas Day sunset comes from my Lake Michigan correspondent, Laura.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

39 thoughts on “The day after

  1. I agree, it is the quality vs. the quantity. WP goes out of their way to suggest to members other blogs to follow. Sometimes people follow blogs for a while out of curiosity, I think, and a fair number probably just read posts in their email and don’t attempt to interact. Followers seem to be like planets orbiting a star;, they inhabit orbits closer in or farther away depending on any number of criteria only they could tell you.

  2. I have been reading your posts in the form of an email, but in the interests of accurate reporting I will now click on the link that takes me to the web browser as I suspect that emails may not be represented in your current totals. Your blog is most enjoyable and I look forward to it at the end of the day. Thank you and best wishes for the New Year from Ontario, Canada!

    1. Thank you very much for this comment. I hope that you find that the photographs come out with a bit more ping in the browser. That is if there has been enough light to take any good pictures of course.

  3. I am one of those people who actually reads your post every day and greatly looks forward to doing so. Long may your continue to spread information and good cheer among man. Happy New Year! XO

    1. Thank you very much for taking the time to let me know. I will do my best to spread good cheer though it has been in short supply on some of these recent grey days..

  4. I’ve never cared much about numbers but I do know what you mean. WordPress gives me two different numbers, hundreds different, for the amount of followers, which makes no sense at all.
    We had a day yesterday that was just like the one you had today. It wasn’t worth going out in.
    That’s quite a sunset they had in Michigan.

    1. I am very grateful that anyone visits and particularly grateful to regular commentators like you. I feel that I am part of a community which has taught me a lot in recent years.

  5. Interesting reading about the numbers on WordPress. I prefer going to each site rather than using the Reader, or via email. I like seeing the actual blog layouts that each of us spent so much time choosing and pulling together. Three Cheers to your numbers and please, keep it going because I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts and seeing your pictures!!

  6. Yes, that is quite a sunset and they have been wonderful in Wisconsin too but at the end of your blog I was actually looking for something with cheese on top

  7. Sorry about your awful weather we seem to have escaped the worst of ‘Bella@. The statistics you quoted were very interesting and surprising to.

  8. Interesting to read about your statistics. Enjoyed the pictures at the top and bottom of your blog – sorry about all the wind and rain. Hope you can get out today.

  9. Great post much admired by this welshcyclist, very proud to be a member of the 0.74…….% of actual followers who read your daily blog regularly. I used to hate statistics at school. And anyway statistics are only used to prove what the statisticians have been asked to prove. In this case to give the impression that our blogs are very popular. If I were to look back now, at the statistics WP produced for my no longer active blog and put them through your numerical analysis I would end up with a big fat zero! Long live tootlepedal! Good news my Garmin Edge 130 is set up and raring to go on my Pioneer. Bad news the forecast is for snow tonight. I want to commute for my night shift this evening but the idea of snow on the ground in the morning fills me full of dread. Those slips on snow and ice are too painful. So, currently, I am in a quandary, do I or don’t I? KEEP POSTING. Cheers.

  10. My stats are similar to yours re daily visits even though I have far fewer official followers. I think we might have more visitors than we know, because I still think that if someone reads the post in email, without clicking through to WordPress, it may not count as a statistic. Some bloggers insert a โ€œread moreโ€ break where you must click through to read the rest. I have thought of doing that for a few days just to see if it makes a statistical difference, but I donโ€™t want to appear demanding.

    I think your blog has a wide rather than a niche appeal because it regularly covers quite a few topics: bicycling, Scotland, flowers, gardens, hiking and walking and fungi and food! And it is droll. I love droll.

  11. As a fellow naturalist I love your blog: birds, plants, fungi, lichens and above all the wonderful views round Langholm. I don’t ‘follow’ as such, I just enjoy reading your posts each day.
    Weatherwise, we have had really calm days recently in North London, though my son, about a mile away, said the storm blew in over Saturday night – it certainly left the park even more flooded.
    Happy New Year to you and Mrs T.

    1. My London sisters didn’t think too much of the storm though there was one really heavy gust, they said.
      I am glad that you enjoy reading the blog and thank you for commenting.

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