D for Dalrymple has been thinking about itself a lot lately. Where is it going? What is it doing? What was it thinking? Is it sufficiently interesting? Do enough people read it? Do the people who read it like it? Do the people who read it and like it like it enough to tell their friends about it? Will Caitlin Moran ever read it and exclaim ‘finally! This is the blogger whom I shall make my apprentice and launch upon the world’?
These kind of questions are mostly posed in Dalrymple HQ on the days it checks the blog’s statistics page. This nifty little confidence make-or-breaker tells me how many of you visit, the days you do it on, the website you linked from, and the terms you used to search for me.
FYI, D For Dalrymple is visited by 10-15 people a day, a figure that spikes to 150 on the days new posts are uploaded. A fair proportion of these hits are probably re-clicks, so I’ll project a regular readership of around 100, built up over the six months of D For Dalrymple’s existence. S’OK, I suppose.
A lot of you come from Facebook, though traffic has increased from Twitter since the launch of the new sidebar widget. Then there are the clever people who click on links from their e-mail inboxes or the RSS feeds they’ve subscribed to. Well done, technophiles. Why can’t more people be like you?
A surprising number of readers appear to have been watching smutty Japanese cartoons directly before checking into Dalrymple Towers, and I occasionally entertain an unexpected contingent from a right-wing blog in the US. It’s possible that these groups are attracted – and, one must assume, extremely disappointed – by a WordPress-sponsored link.
If you’ve successfully Googled me, award yourself a bonus point for spelling ‘Dalrymple’ correctly. Meanwhile, the individual who searches ‘d for dalryple’ with such dedicated regularity should keep taking their supplements. Another lone searcher is consistently entertained by the direct hit scored by ‘Dalrymple Underwear’. Hey, creepy Googler – why not also try ‘Dalrymple Dates’, ‘Dalrymple Homosociality’, or simply ‘Kecklessness’?
Before you panic, the stats page doesn’t tell me who you are, your motives are for visiting, your opinions, ideas, or shoe size. All I have to go on for this kind of detail is the information that you consciously submit via comments on the blog itself, Facebook and Twitter, text and e-mail, and in person.
If you’ve been kind enough to comment, you’ll know that I’m pathetically grateful for the contact. But deluged with feedback I ain’t. A quick audit of regular commenters accounts for around 25 named individuals; most of whom are women, the majority of whom I’ve met in person, all of whom are magnificent. But who are the rest of you? And why the silence? We’re all friends here. And I need your help.
I’ve been thinking for a while now about the various directions D For Dalrymple might take in future posts. The current content, style and format – which I mentally refer to as ‘Rip-Off Bridget Jones Single Self-Hating Female Lite’ – is wordy, visually uninteresting, heavy on personal anecdotes, and light on topical issues. My aim is to identify and keep the good bits, jettison the crapola, and bring in new material – and perhaps some new readers.
This is where you come in. If it was up to me, I’d publish a 4000 word long list of things I hate, once a month, and that would be an end to it. Nevertheless, I sense that my intelligent, well-read, and – if I may say so – devastatingly attractive readership may favour more diverse content. I aim to harvest your collective genius, and this foolish reticence on your part simply won’t do.
I’ve been thinking about why you might feel shy about saying hi. It could be that you don’t know me very well and don’t fancy the commitment of correspondence. Maybe you’d prefer to comment anonymously. Perhaps you just can’t be arsed.
Anyway, I’ve created an online survey that should allow you to communicate your views anonymously and with minimal effort. I appreciate that not everyone enjoys filling out forms as much as I do, so made it nice and short. It may help to think of the time you spend filling it in as time saved from reading the usual 2000 word essay on how inept, fat and single I am. Added incentives shall be my heartfelt gratitude, a new and improved D For Dalrymple, and a special treat at the end. Click on the link below to go to the quiz.