Hey, have you looked at your story stats page recently?

You shouldn’t, by the way. Checking stats can become obsessive and discouraging. You should not be measuring your success by these sort of numbers. Your writing would be worth it if it reaches just a single person. After all, writing is in the fist place for yourself. The rest of us are privileged to get to go along for the ride.

So, you’ve seen your story stats page recently, right? It’s all new, shiny and impressive. It’s also really weird. I mean the graph is weird. Look at this.

So my first day spike for this story is a bit over 50 views. That’s easy enough to read. Pop quiz, did this story get more dark green or light green views?

It’s been a while since I’ve learned to read graphs, and maybe things have changed so much my skills (little of them that there were) are completely obsolete but my understanding of this graph at first glance is “there are more light green views than there are dark green views”

Nope. Light green is for “External referrals”

So even though that “External referrals” line goes up to 53, there are only 18 of them — the difference between 35 and 53. Um. Is this how we do graphs these days? smallest grouping on top? Because I am fairly certain if I was to turn in a graph like this to any sort of teacher I’d get a big red cross through it. the small portion goes at the bottom, up to 18, and the big portion on top, so even if you don’t study the thing you’d get a feel for the spread. Admittedly that was 20 something years ago….

But hey, I figured out why everyone’s claps and stats were screwy for a while. Medium was in the process of bringing us brand new, flashy stats pages! Misleading ones, true, but look at all the work that has gone into these things. They are so…dynamic.

Let just ignore that little Pandora’s box that reads “Your Reader’s Interests”. I’ve cropped it out of the pictures. We don’t need to start thinking about the implications there, or the pressures to start catering to an audience. Let’s not talk about pieces of your personalized algorithm being revealed to everyone you lend a view. I’m sure We’re waiting until your story has more readers to show these insights isn’t a subtle dig at my lack of performance on this platform.

You shouldn’t look at your stats page, you know? Validation comes from within, not from outside and besides, who needs the anxiety?

Writer of fiction, blogs and erotica. Frequency in that order. Popularity in reverse.

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