Obviously, I don’t have a clue.

Well, I obviously do not have a clue what is of interest to those here at our humble little blog. My column entitled “When is it time?” received about 90 comments and over 3,000 views. My column two days later, a human interest story about a pro golfer playing with his second transplanted heart, entitled “It’s Tee Time!” received zero posts and zero views.

Obviously, I don’t have a clue.

After Steven died, I committed to writing five columns per week in an effort to keep his blog alive. I have and will continue to keep that commitment, but obviously I need some direction.

The month of June is shaping up to be our best month ever, driven by nearly 5,300 views this past Monday and Tuesday, which were our best and second best days ever.  To put that in perspective, however, on Wednesday we had less than 700 views.

Obviously, golf is not a good topic for a column.

But here is my dilemma – I thought Wednesday’s column was far superior to Monday’s piece.

Obviously, I don’t have a clue.

I know statistics well enough to know that you can’t look at them with a microscope – you need to see the big picture.  That having been said, our humble little blog here needs participation and continued interest to survive.

As a writer, I can cover virtually any story. My columns are researched and my style of writing is similar to classic opinion columns. I try to vary my topics weekly and to include news, human interest and humor within a week’s span.

But, obviously, I don’t have a clue.

So, help me and this humble little blog out a bit. What topics do you want to see covered? Which columns do you like and which columns would you just as soon do without?  What would you like to see as the topics for future columns. Give me a hand.

Obviously, I don’t have a clue.

(The thread photograph  is not actually the author.)

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under This humble little blog...

48 responses to “Obviously, I don’t have a clue.

  1. I can only guess, as I don’t have a clue, I don’t have diddly, I don’t have squat… Although Sekan told me he had a little extra ‘diddly squat,’ and even offered to share once. 😉

    What brought us all together was our interest in discussing news, particularly political news. I will only speak for myself but I’m not as fanatical about every bit of political news I can find nowadays because I know we have a more competent president than we did. I was sincerely afraid of what bush the lesser would do next!

    It’s summer time. I haven’t looked at stats and hits from last summer but I know I am busier and have less time to blog, less time to visit.

    On your thread header that didn’t generate comments, I read the story you told and had no questions other than how did the guy do. The question would have been premature the day you made the post since they didn’t begin play until the next day. The thread header that garnered lots of interest was featured by WordPress, it was about beloved pets — everyone relates! I think it’s unfair to compare the two topics, and certainly unfair since the circumstances were so totally different!

    You’re your own worst critic! Relax. It’s summertime and the living is easy.

    This blog has seen steady growth. I have no questions about its viability. It’s a place where good people find good people and an atmosphere of calm good conversations. Occasionally there is a blogger who would like to change the atmosphere, kick it into a place of arguments, but we always have risen above that. There may have been times when the questions or thoughts of combative posters could have generated interesting conversation but were presented in a hostile off-putting manner. Honestly, some posts and some posters don’t deserve to be dignified with a response.

    None of us wants the atmosphere of our blog changed. It’s what we wanted when we started, and it’s what we still want. Hostility and any need to make someone wrong doesn’t appeal, doesn’t encourage honest open communication where every question can comfortably be asked. People with differing opinions can all be right, and no battle needs to be waged. We are all intelligent, capable of reading, capable of reasoning, capable of compromise. Our atmosphere fits us, but may not fit other bloggers. There are about a gazillion blogs so everyone should be able to find one that fits them.

    As for your questions: “What topics do you want to see covered? Which columns do you like and which columns would you just as soon do without?” My only answer is how can I know what is interesting to me, or not, until I come across it? I find most everything I read here at PPPs interesting whether I have input or not!

  2. I think it would be amusing for you to do a post on the death penalty since they pumped that guy full of lead yesterday…I personally think the death penalty is barbaric, but if you are for the death penalty, I’d still love to read your views on it.

    And if you get bored, you could do that BP guy calling the folks in the gulf “small people. Maybe look into it in regards to the differences in British culture as opposed to American.

    Just thoughts. Feel free to disregard or us them as you like.

    I still can’t get over you making “Freshly Pressed.” You did what thousands and thousands of us bloggers can only imagine as we look toward the surface of the lake but remain bottom dwellers. Shoot, I wish I could complain of the numbers of people coming to my blog. I average about 30 a day and I’m amazed that that many come visiting.

    Or just scratch my suggestions and write whatever you want whenever you want and you’ll probably get the best material. So golf may be boring, but that is what moved you that day, so who cares how many read it? Soon enough you’ll hit a topic that hits ‘eader gold.”

    • A comment on “small people”. The gentleman who made the remark is, IIRC, Norwegian by birth. He speaks several languages.

      What it appears to me is he doesn’t think in the language spoken (here, English), but forms thoughts in his native tongue and translates the same to English. Thus, “small people” viz “little people”. Both, I’d venture, are accurate translations, but miss the idiom and the connotation of the choice between “little” and “small”.

      Hey, I’m still working on English, and marvel at those who are able to converse in multiple languages.

  3. We used to set new records all the time, but the new record only broke the old one by a few ‘hits,’ and was the natural result of our blog’s growth.

    Beginning last November some events out of our control resulted in new record days for hits:

    — Last November some people who wanted to ridicule us and our blog ‘discovered’ us, posted about us, piqued enough interest that an unnatural record was set.

    — That record day was broken by Steven’s death when another record was set.

    — Recently a very interesting thread was highlighted by WordPress and lots of interest generated.

    I look more at steady growth as the indicator of our success. I don’t even think the number of ‘hits’ is as interesting as new bloggers who return to share their thoughts and ideas.

  4. WSClark

    I’m waiting for one of you (%^&~!~@#) to reply that the thread photo may not actually be me, it sure as Hell looks a lot like me!

  5. tosmarttobegop

    LOL don’t take it personal, I know it is hard not to do as I posted two pieces and neither one of them received any posts. One I thought “OMG its about the lack of medical care in areas of the United States and zero? Sorry I guess it was passé since the reform fixed all ills“.

    It is not easy to come up with topics that everyone is interested in or think is worth discussing.

    I have been thinking of a piece about the last time mom and I visited her house. The torn between today and the yesterdays of memory. I have been thinking about it but not sure since did not know if anyone would be interested in it.

  6. William, it has been my experience that the post you think the most of may get no response.
    Then you get depressed taking it personal so you post some “FILLER”, just to be posting.
    Next thing you know, the filler has gotten record views.
    Kinda’ like the songs American Pie or Stairway to Heaven….they were fillers.

    Now that we bring up the issue of traffic, views do not necessarily reflect your “ranking” in the blog world.
    These rankings are based on various factors, and hit count is only a small part of that.

    If you really want to know where you rank in relation to other blogs check here

    If you want to know how these rankings are figured, I can tell you a little, just drop me a line.

    WSC…..you do a great job. Just be yourself, after all, everybody else is already taken!

    • I looked at the site and it said my blog is lost at sea, no data, but i have had over 1k in hits according to wordpress, so some folks must read it.

    • Lisa,

      I just read at your blog too! I found it fascinating. You are definitely your own worst critic! You wake up promising to not make a mistake, and when I make one I give it a tiny bit of thought and maybe check to see if it was a new one ’cause I feel better about new ones than repeating old ones whose lessons I should have learned. I expect to make mistakes! Never a day has gone by that I haven’t made many and I have zero confidence one ever will.

      I’ll bet you could write about anything and make it interesting! Another person who could do that well was Erma Bombeck. Much of her writing was about the everyday, the things most of us push to the back of our minds, but she and you make it entertaining.

  7. Prairie Pond

    Hi Y’all. I’m still alive.

    Will, I find the same things with my newspaper columns. Some weeks, I just throw some crap together and sling it at the wall, and some weeks I think what I write is Pulitzer material.

    However, my readers dont share my opinion very often. Sometimes, the “crap at the wall” columns get lots of response and the Pulitzer quality columns barely get a “meh” from my reading public.

    Just write whatever you are thinking or feeling and let it land however it lands on your readers. You are only responsible for the writing, not the landing. They own that. If you are writing to generate hits or comments, you are chasing your tail.

    Women probably understand this better 🙂 but writing for the comments is like chasing an orgasm. The harder you try, the more elusive it is. Just relax and dont try so hard and it will happen. And dont forget the lube.

    Oops. Oy. I’m thinkin’ that’s carrying the analogy too far….

    And Lisa? I just visited your blog today and I think it’s very VERY good. Personally, I like hearing about real life and the very real lives of others. Takes my mind off my own crappy life. heheheh

    • Thank you very much Prairie!!!!

    • WSClark

      I am probably guilty of being a bit too narcissist with my writing. As I wrote Fnord, I am a bit new to this and probably am trying a little too hard to “hit” the right combination.

      I usually write about whatever pots into my head – well not EVERYTHING – but you get the idea.

      I tend to fret about what I write so maybe I could save myself the grief and not look at the stats.

      But, as you know, WordPress calls them “stats to obsess over!”

      • WSClark


        Really, I didn’t mean that – swear to God!

        No marijuana references here, no sir!

      • Prairie Pond

        Heh, Will. Working for a newspaper will cure ANY vanity you may have about your own writing. And making it a business tones down the ego too.

        When I first started, some 25 years ago, I obsessed over every word, and wrote and rewrote every sentence until it was perfect. But working on a deadline, and writing a million words a week kind of dulls that perfection thing.

        After a while, you’re just damn glad to get ANY words on the paper and out the door. No matter what you write, someone will bitch. It’s why newspaper people are such assholes. We know that we’ll never please anyone, and after a while, we give up trying. After a year in the biz, no one is going to say anything or call you anything you havent heard before.

        My standard reply is “wanna pick a fight with me? Bring it. We buy our ink by the barrel and you buy yours in a 49 cent Bic pen. Bring it.”

        Now you know why I’m so popular here….

      • Prairie Pond

        Oh yeah, and if you want to know how freakin’ old I am…

        When I had my first newspaper job, I wrote all my stories on a yellow pad, and we had a typesetter who set them all. He was the spellingist sumbiotch I ever met. There was NO word he could not spell. A skill that came in handy with my poor spelling.

        We still had a linotype in use back then. He could set type on it faster than the Compugraphic operators.

        Hell, we cut, pasted and waxed the paper together less than a year ago! Now? It’s all paginated on computer.

        “Grampa, tell me ’bout the good ol’ days!”

  8. Prairie Pond

    You are welcome, Lisa. It really is very good. You have a wicked sense of humor and a way with words. I have a feeling you could make any subject matter interesting.

    And I hope your cat feels better soon. It’s hard on us when our pets don’t feel well.

    Summer, the Doppler Dog, was out of sorts last night because of the big storm here. I wanted to comfort her, but she was pacing the floor too fast for me to catch up!

  9. WSClark

    You know, Ms. Pond, when I was whipping up BBQ Sauce for Steven’s picnic, I made a special traditional Texas BBQ sauce just for you. It is great, if I don’t say so myself.

    Next time we all get together, I’ll make it again, just for you.

    We missed you at the picnic – hope to see you soon!

  10. tosmarttobegop

    When I first started writing and of course did not know crap about writing for others to read.
    I thought it was exactly what I wanted to say and that it was the most thoughtful pieces since War and Peace.

    Only to feel the floor drop out from under me when all that was said was here is a misspelling or this should have been a period not a comma.

    The greatest day of my young writing life was when I was attacked for the subject matter!
    The reader thought that Dan Quail (yes I know that is misspelling of his name) was the most brighten man a live and my character of him was undue.

    • Prairie Pond

      Heh, Too Smart, I know what you mean.

      And why is it that if I get 20 positive comments and only one pan, it’s the pan I worry about?

  11. I have always admired the way you string words together, PP! You are a writer. Simple things that would never come into my mind like calling Summer, “Doppler dog.” You have a gift! I would have said Summer is afraid of storms.

    • Prairie Pond

      Heh, thanks Linda. I’ve been told I can sling the BS with the best of ’em. And, with apologies to 617, I’ve frequently been told I should have been a lawyer.

      I think if I had become a member of the Bar, someone would have murdered me by now!

  12. In short, the hit count don’t mean squat…
    Everybody that is an authorized author here writes well, and there’s always a lively discussion.

    The whole goal of the blog rating thing is to put a monetary value on blogs. Unless you make it to the top 1 million, don’t count on any buyout offers. The hardest working bloggers I know will never make it to that range.

    Have fun with it! This is a meeting place for friends; old, new and the ones you haven’t met yet!

  13. G-stir

    PP- I still have your IOU for the chicken and the potato salad, I aims to collect…. hopefully soon. You missed a really good time- I’m a sort of loner type and I went and really enjoyed myself. I know you had a good reason for not being there,and hopefully , you can attend the next.


  14. There’s a long weekend coming up. We could all drive there.

  15. Steven labored over stats. I think he probably psychoanalyzed them! 😉 I have emails from him about what should we do, what should we post, how will we survive, how will we…

    Damn! I miss him.

    And then along comes Will and that part of missing Steven seems to disappear.

  16. G-stir

    Fnord- If that many “libruls” went into, what, Trego Country,– wouldn’t they had to activate the “Natural Guard”?

    • Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?! We could all stand there and laugh till we hurt. 😉

      I’ve been there! It’s a magical place. If you haven’t been to that part of our state, you need to be there. It should be on ‘the list’ for every Kansan. We all have the advantage of a friend who tells all the history (shares a bunch of it 😉 ), knows all the points of interest with abiding love.

      • G-stir

        I have a new Suzuki Crossover, a compact SVU. I could haul 3 people , but the one behind me must be smaller than 4’3″ and preferably catatonic.

  17. G-stir

    Would we need Kansas passports and shots, etc.?

  18. No! I think wingnut spray (it resembles bug repellent) would be in order. PP has adequate reserves of that stuff.

    Do YOU have ‘papers’?

  19. G-stir

    “Do YOU have ‘papers’?”

    No, I’m an”immagrint”- I was born in Farht Wurth,TX. I’m still workin’ on my accent; maybe someday I can pass as a native. ??