This is day 1,152 since I started writing Life of an Architect. In that time, I have written 465 posts, received 4,044 comments, and edited or created a total of 3,769 images. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have 4,496,987 visits to my site during the past 3 years, 1 month, and 25 days. I love all of that and if you couldn’t tell, I have a thing for the numbers regarding my site. It is these numbers – along with my competitive nature – that make writing / blogging for this site an addiction … an awesome and sucky addiction.
I might need some help. Possibly of the “12 Step” variety.
I am not the slightest bit ashamed to admit that I get a large percentage of my motivation from trying to constantly improve myself. This is a character trait that I would generally say is an asset to my personality. However, when it comes to writing this blog, it definitely has its darker side. I still enjoy scheming and preparing the posts that I publish here. I enjoy the interaction with the readers (I actually LOVE that part) and I am appreciative for all the doors that have been created AND opened for me as a result of Life of an Architect. BUt for you to truly understand my sickness, I need to show you something …
This is a page out of one of my sketchbooks. For a month in January 2012, I tracked the traffic on my site – once an hour, every hour – over the course of a workday. I did this because I was interested in seeing if certain patterns would present themselves (other than the apparent crazy person OCD pattern right in front of me). Did I learn anything during this month – other than getting an inkling that I was heading down an unhealthy road? Sure, but nothing that made me a better architect or communicator, the only really goals I have left for my blog experiment.
Luckily, despite the current evidence at hand, I am not crazy and I didn’t maintain this sort of behavior beyond January 2012. I don’t document things like this (much) any more
a computer does it for me but that doesn’t mean I don’t pay attention to the numbers, the sweet, beautiful numbers. I just don’t know how people don’t look at the numbers. To clarify, I don’t really care what other people’s numbers are, I’m not competing against them … this is all about competing against myself and improving …
Can this Tuesday beat last Tuesday?
Cant this week beat last week?
Can this month beat last month
Can March 2013 improve upon March 2012 in the same manner that March 2012 improved upon March 2011?
Sadly, I can actually tell you the answers to all those questions. I want to continue to improve and grow the visitors to my site but at what cost? I write less now than ever before and traffic still improves. I don’t really want to stop but is that the blog junkie in me speaking? Is this how baseball junkies feel, knowing the batting averages for every player dating back 70 years??
There are loads of positives to having this sort of traffic to my site. Foremost, I can use it for altruistic pursuits – the Life of an Architect Playhouse Competition (seriously, if you are a designer and you haven’t registered, follow that link and do it today! It’s free and it benefits abused and needy children). Without this site, I’m not sure how I could have been able to put something like this together at this scale. It’s truly remarkable and maybe one of the main reasons I will continue to maintain this site.
There are other real positives to having a blog site. As a direct result from vastly improving (enlarging?) my digital footprint, I have met other people who I am in awe of … people who inspire me with the things they are doing. I’ve met other writers, creators, bloggers, podcasters, owners, clients, artists, inventors … everything. I barely know my neighbors but I now know (and have meaningfully connected) with real people from almost every conceivable location on this planet. There are times that I think I should start a video travel site where I go and visit all these designers and architects I’ve met from around the world and have them show me where they live, their every day architecture and design. Not just the stuff in the magazines, but the architecture that makes up and defines the neighborhoods where they work and live. That would be an amazing site and I know I could do something like that now. All thanks to this blog.
There are other struggles that I am dealing with, things I never considered but I will save those for another day – maybe do a part 2 post to follow this one up.
I encourage everyone to start a blog, you might hate it … but you also might discover something amazing about yourself that you never knew existed before. I certainly did