Friday, August 3, 2012

Real Time Google Analytics Thoughts

One of the very cool things about writing online is that  you actually get to see a lot about who is reading your work. Through Google Analytics, you can see a good deal about who is reading your site, and why.

Analytics mean more to me than numbers. 
In some strange way, I find this very comforting and soothing. Why? Because I see that my writing matters to  people, real people, and it is playing an important part of their life. How do I know? Because I get searches all the time like "should I get a divorce," and "poem for losing your mom."   I have articles that talk about these kind of questions and people are reading them in order to find some answers. That brings me a sense of comfort.

Now I know Analytics were not primarily conceived as a way of comforting a writer, that Google Analytics a tool for making money online, for tracking your numbers, your traffic, and ultimately, your profits. And they are good for that, too. But to me, they mean much more.

Writing is sharing. 
They are confirmation of something deeper than monetary profits and traffic. They are confirmation that writing is something worthwhile. Writing, after all is sharing.  For this once shy, awkward girl who sat in the corner at the party, it is an amazing feeling to know that my words are reaching out across the world somewhere, to someone I don't know, with something worthwhile.

The power of words was also brought home to me this week when a good friend from Hubpages, whose Hubpages name is BillyBuc, wrote a very powerful piece about injustice happening on a reservation in the United States. The piece, written on Hubpages, has now gained national attention and important people have been paying attention. This was something Bill did by sitting down at his laptop and punching out some letter keys. But it was heart and his courage that came through, and affected change.

Yes, we all like to write for traffic. Me as much as the next person. But I think the deeper reason many of us want traffic is that we want to be able to make a difference, by using our gift, our writing. And Bill has inspired me as a writer and a human being, that we can make a difference if we try. Thank you, Bill.

Love Sharilee. If you like what you are reading, sign up for regular updates with Blogger or through my Facebook page.

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