I’ve written about the size of the universe and the foundation of ethics. I’ve reviewed the oldest story in the world. I’ve cooked up poems and stories of my own. I’ve even self-selected a “Best of Buckley” section, over on the right sidebar.
And guess which post gets the most hits?
This one right here: 28 Words to Use Instead of “Awesome.”
When I say it gets the most hits, I mean it’s not even close. Yesterday alone, that single post (from six months ago!) accounted for over 20% of my raw hit count.
28 Words to Use Instead of “Awesome” is old and doesn’t give a shit. It is the Betty White of blog posts.
Because if you go out to The Google and type in “words to use instead of awesome,” that page is the #2 result. And let me tell you, a surprising number of people are searching for exactly that. Watching these young’uns improve their English warms my frosty heart.
Two things we can learn from this.
First thing. As an artist – and, more generally, as a creator of stuff – you really can’t predict which of your creations will catch on, and which will die. Popularity isn’t random, but it seems damn close sometimes. Embrace the chaos. Create your things, scatter them over the Internet, see what takes root. And as you’re waiting for those roots, remember that popularity does not equal quality.
Second thing. If I thought popularity did equal quality, then 28 Words would be my “best” blog post. I might be tempted to do a lot more posts like that one, just to ramp up my hit count. Of course that would be silly, because then I wouldn’t be growing a community of readers, I’d just be making a bunch of one-off posts that people would find, read, and never return to again. Yet it seems to me that corporations often do something similar. They get so focused on the raw numbers, the performance of their “metrics,” that they lose sight of what really makes sense for their business.
Thus sayeth Buckley, anyway. Although me giving business advice is like Moses starting a tech blog. Take anything I say with a grain of Lot’s wife.
If you blog, have you been surprised by which posts are the most popular?
And I have to ask: did anyone out there start reading this blog because they found 28 Words to Use Instead of Awesome?