To Sarah or Not to Sarah

July 4, 2009 § 34 Comments

pamsfriends01Yes, this is a creative writing and poetry blog, but I have to take a step outside for a minute to share an ethical dilemma and ask your take on it.

Recently, in response to Tannerleah’s post about Sarah Palin, I flipped off a short poem (Ode to Sarah Palin) and then posted a fictitious response (I Got a Response from Sarah Palin!).  The unexpected result was a huge spike in my blog stats (which I consider unmentionable).  Since Sarah’s press conference yesterday, my stats have shot star high again.

When this happened two weeks ago, I had a Twitter exchange with friend and blogger John Turner. He’s a practical man and an expert in music, marketing and communication. I told him I was uncomfortable with the spikes and having an ethical dilemma, since I’m not a Sarah supporter; his response was to enjoy it and take advantage.  

What are your thoughts? Would you drive stats by posting something solely to drive them or is that an ethical dilemma for you?

And now I’m doing it again with this post. I’m doomed.


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§ 34 Responses to To Sarah or Not to Sarah

  • john says:

    Seems like 2 thumbs up all around Pamela! Palin away

  • Use it to your advantage. People will come find you, read your wonderful poetry, and be hooked.

  • DOMINO says:

    Stats aren’t so accurate anyway. I read your blog everyday in my Subscriptions, but I don’t click on your post unless I feel I have something I want to say.

    Likely, you have far more readers than you think you do.

  • alantru says:

    I say enjoy it. It was a fun piece. It’s not like anyone was praising Ms. Palin. And you deserve traffic to this damn fine blog. And who knows, maybe you picked up a few new loyal readers along the way.

  • ralfast says:

    Well, if some people hang around after the Palin post the so much the better. I try to separate my politics from my writing but hey, its your blog so go for it.

    Nice place you got here, and thanks for the advice Pamela!


    • Thanks for dropping by, ralfast, and good luck to you!

      And I don’t usually go for politics – hence the dilemma.

      • ralfast says:

        I understand. You might separate a day just for esoteric topics. That way regular readers know that your deviating from the path. Having regular features (if you have the time of course) helps.

  • bindo says:

    Since you have dropped by my little world of coffee and ciggs a few times I thought I’d return the favor…

    It seems your dilemma is stats……..Stats?.

    Perhaps this is the problem with the modern world of sound bites and flash fiction in general; no time, no attention span and no depth. The blog world, driven by stats should never be a reason to write anything. If it doesn’t burn inside you, begging to get out, undoubtedly, it will be crap whether Scottish or not.

    • Ouch. And agreed.

      Quality over quantity. That is the ethical dilemma in one aspect. But what if quantity leads the masses to more quality? (Playing devil’s advocate here)

      • bindo says:

        Yass, a devilish question….

        So….As my friend the Countess Von Witzendorff..AKA Mephista, would say, “Of course you feel this way, it allows you to live in mediocrity.”

        The sad part to all of this is, if you write for anyone else but yourself, you have missed the point of writing..

  • A couple of months ago I published a post that mentioned gallbladder and have received gallbladder traffic everyday since. Its become a running joke and several of my readers still tease me with it. Who cares? No one who ever clicked on my blog because of a gallbladder search has ever left a comment. I am only interested in what my regular readers and commenters have to say. I would rather have 10 great comments than 600 page views and no responses. Anyway, who commented on your Palin post?? We, your loyal readers, that’s who. I enjoyed the post and comments and got the impression that you were having fun with it. End of story.

  • G says:

    Fortunately, I haven’t had anything like that happen yet with a post of mine. I say fortunately, because I would love to have people hit my blog with one of my odd posts and have them tell others about it.

    But I have the next best thing on mine, in the form of widget called “Feedjit”. It lets me see what posts (old or new) people are reading on my blog. So far as I can tell, I’m getting the most traffic from two non-original posts I made earlier in the year around Easter. Both of them originated from a multi-forwarded e-mail that was sent to me by friends.

    In any event, I’ll keep plugging away trying to find that perfect word combo that will drive traffic to my blog.

    I will let you in on a little secret though. If you use the word “panties” in a post title, you will get people to your blog.

    • Thanks, G. I can tell which posts get the most hits here, which is why my poetry ego is shattered :-)

      In regard to the ‘panties’ hint, that’s a whole ‘nother ethical dilemma.

      • G says:

        So very true.

        That particular allusion was simply due to me writing about a popular phrase in the chat rooms called “don’t get your panties in a bunch”.

        Been popping up in my Google Analytics ever since.

  • DOMINO says:

    I had this happen to me in my first few days on WordPress and it completely FREAKED me out — to the point where I finally took the post down.

  • hooplamedia says:

    Lots of people who can’t stand Sarah Palin still want to read about her. I had the same thing happen with a fake conversation I had with Tyra Banks and it was awesome. Now, do I want to ride on the coattails of people using search terms like “Tyra Banks Crazy” and “Tyra Banks Boobs”? Um, absolutely. By the way, your blog stats will go up again because of this comment. Happy Birthday. Also,

    • That’s a good point about wanting to read about someone we can’t stand.

      But, girl, did you have to put the “Tyra Banks Crazy” and “Tyra Banks Boobs” here? Damn. ;-)

      BTW, the best search term for her I have is the simple and elegant “Sarah Palin hot.”

  • calliopespen says:

    If your intention in posting was to simply share your thoughts there seems to be no reason to have any ethical dilemma. Sarah has supporters as well as those of us who don’t..umm…support her and anybody who is offended by what you have said can simply click away from your blog. And, as Linda said, newcomers will have a chance to read your writing, and that indeed is a gift. I would not worry a bit. As for posting obsessively about Sarah–don’t worry. We won’t let you do it:)

  • sauer kraut says:

    I’m in the process of killing my blog because there’s too much internet traffic.

    But yes, I’ve posted stuff just to see what would happen. I’ve become addicted to making posts with the phrase/name “mercades nichols” and “cheerleader beating.”

  • john says:

    Linda’s comment is 100% on the money. Funnily enough, I wrote one post about how much I detest popcorn, and it still draws ten times the traffic of any other post.

    Palin is your popcorn!

  • Linda says:

    Did you originally post the ode to drive up your stats? If not, then when your blog turns up on search engines is out of your hands.

    I confess to sometimes crafting provocative, though apt, post titles to draw attention from those scrolling through the WordPress tag searches.

    If some unsuspecting people are exposed to your poetry, so what? They’ll be richer for it.

    • I didn’t try to drive them, Linda, you’re right. I do attempt to do interesting titles, but often poetry doesn’t lend itself to the ‘click here’ genre.

      Part of my dilemma is that I doubt (and I hope I’m not being harsh, I don’t mean to be) that folks looking for information on Sarah will enjoy what I have written about her or the other material here.

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