Bad Habit

29 Jan

With a big chunk of my content/comics online, I have a bad habit of doing something. What exactly? Checking stats.

I had this problem many years ago when I first started adding things to the internet. I would toil over checking out Google Analytic, “likes” on Facebook and comments on my sites. Honestly, it was probably hours that I killed on a per day/couple of days basis. Nuts, right?

I slowly weened myself out of that bad habit.

Now, with the launch of my newest cartoon drama, Technically Speaking, I’ve noticed I kind of got back into it. It’s gross, I know.

My bad habit is sometimes I feel like I have to have admiration presented toward my work in this way (stats) when in reality Google Analytic, “likes” and comments don’t have much to do with anything. Sure, they all matter in the BIG scheme of things a bit, but not totally either. Just because something doesn’t get a million views doesn’t mean it’s not successful. With even one view a cartoon can be a success. How? Well, because success can come down the road for any post/cartoon. There might not be many views because the audience that its marketed toward might not be getting the memo that there is even new content available. Or people that get the memo honestly might not be into it where if the memo were delivered elsewhere they would. Stuff like that.

I’ve had a couple of hundred of views per comic at Technically Speaking since launching on Jan. 15th. I’m happy with that. In fact, it’s more than I expected considering this is new and all. But still, I notice that I’ve been straining my eyes still looking at stats.

Why?

Again, I think it’s a form of validation for me or something. “Oh, look – a “like”! This comic is going places now!” I know this mindset is a false belief yet my brain falls for it every time. Silly brain.

A big vice of mine is Reddit. My god, I spend so much time seeing what comics get up-voted or down voted. I do that here and also with my syndicated series, Break of Day.

index

Reddit, though I’ve been using it for years, I still have no clue what will be popular.

Some of my most viral comics that get shared in the tens-of-thousands (sometimes millions) on social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. have been down-voted on Reddit. (If you don’t know about their system, people vote on whether they like content or not. If they like it, they up-vote it. If they don’t, they down-vote it. If something is up-voted a lot, it gets a lot of views and goes to the top of the page. Down-voted stuff generally falls into the Reddit abyss – never to be seen again.)

And even though I know Reddit is not a determining factor if something is good in general, I STILL mentally beat myself up about it if a comic is down-voted. “It’s trash. My stuff must just not jive with anyone. I should just quit now.” Okay, I don’t get THAT down about it, but still….crazy nonsense does fill my head.

Anyway, part of the bad habit is when I post on Reddit I enjoy sitting on my chair, eating popcorn and watching Google Analytic go nuts with visitors. It usually does. But then, if down-votes start coming in, well, those high numbers quickly go back to zero. I usually then throw-out the popcorn and go sob for a moment or two.

So, I’m going to try to get back into my ‘not-give-a-shit’ phase like I was before launching. After all, these little things don’t mean that much. Sure, I want an audience, “likes”, visitors, up-votes, etc. But, the main thing is I create content that I’M happy with. And I’m extremely happy with all my work. And quite frankly, most of it has been pretty successful in the long-run. Yes, I’ve had those disparaging major failures as well, but none of those were determined by “likes” and stuff. In fact, a lot of the things I’d consider a failure were actually pretty popular in some mediums. This whole social media thing, again, doesn’t mean much in the big scheme of things.

It’s important that I get back into my N.G.A.S phase because it really eats up a lot of time, thoughts and energy. It’s not worth it. My advice to you, if you post things online, is not to look too much into any of that stuff. I have cartoons that are selling good to publishers that get no “likes” when posted on Facebook. I have blogs with numerous comments and emails about how good it was that have been down-voted on Reddit. And there are numerous other examples. The opposite of these examples is true as well (like I’ll have a popular cartoon on Facebook available for purchase, yet, no sales).

Sure, I’ll probably post this blog to Reddit. But, I am determined to NOT check and see if it’s popular (well, only once or so).

I have to live by my old motto: Don’t check stats, check yourself.

By doing that, it’s like giving myself and my work an up-vote instead of letting someone else determine it.

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