Experiment Log – 001 Results
It's been almost one month since I started this experiment. I've decided to end it at the start of a new month, just because I didn't see any benefit to prolonging it. I started this experiment with the intention of answering the questions below. And so here are the answers.
I want to see if not publishing to the Read Write.As feed will decrease the number of people reading my posts.
So this was interesting because during the start of this experiment, I still had access to my site's stats. However, a little over a week after starting this experiment, I started Experiment Log – 003, which basically hid my site's stats.
So during the start of this experiment, while I could check my site's stats, I did notice that the number of readers did drop. It was somewhat offset by another blogger referencing my posts, but overall the number of readers/hits did drop noticeably. This points to how helpful the Read.Write.As feed was to getting eyeballs on my posts. It also indicates that other readers are perfectly fine with following my posts via email subscriptions or through their feed readers.
Since I currently have the link to my site's stats disabled, I cannot check to see if the number of readers increased or decreased during the 2nd half of this experiment. I'll give an update on that once I conclude Experiment Log – 003 later in the month.
And if so, does it bother me? Do I even care? Should I even care?
Did it bother me that the number of readers dropped? – During the first week of the experiment, yes, it did bother me. Interestingly, once I disabled the link to my site's stats for another experiment, it started to bother me less and less.
At the moment, it no longer bothers me, especially since I do not know if the number of readers increased or decreased during the experiment. It looks like the ability to check my site's stats directly influences whether or not I am affected by the number of readers I get.
Honestly, I am a little scared about checking my site's stats in the future because I fear it might bother me again.
Do I even care? – I no longer care.
Should I even care? – No.
I want to see if it changes how I write my posts, knowing that my posts will no longer show up on a feed.
It did change how I wrote my posts. Knowing that my posts wouldn't show up on the feed anymore was honestly, liberating. It was like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders. I no longer needed to please people with my writing. I could just write for myself.
The decreased exposure also made for a peaceful environment for writing, knowing that less people could get offended with what I wrote. Not that I aim to offend people with my writing.
Another thing I learned is that it is almost impossible to separate writing for myself and writing to an audience when posting on a public website. It is just something that I will have to learn how to deal with.
Specifically I want to see if I'm writing to an audience, or if I'm purely writing for myself.
I was writing to an audience. More specifically, it was like I was writing to please other people versus just writing for myself. It's one of the best things that this experiment has shown me.
So what now?
With everything I've learned from this experiment, I have decided to allow my posts to show up on the Read.Write.As feed once again. The reason is simple, it is possible that I will write something that is exactly what somebody else needed to read at that point in their lives. Having my posts show up on a feed increases the chance that my post could be helpful to somebody else.
I liken it to the way that I found this post that helped me battle my smartphone addiction. If the author never bothered to share it to a community of readers, I most likely will never have found it. And I most likely would still be addicted to my smartphone.
Another reason is that if I ever hope to replace my social media with this online journal of mine, then it would be helpful to be able to post to a feed. Also, if I am to have any chance of convincing other people to do the same, then they need to see that it can be done. Or at least, be able to see what it looks like when someone is attempting it.
So after publishing this post, I'm turning my site's publicity to public once again. The challenge for me then is to stay focused on writing for myself, even when my posts now show up on a feed once again.