i am obsessed with two things

1.) The Mitchell Report, which is coming out in 5 minutes. I haven’t been able to work for the last hour.

2.) Blog statistics. I don’t know why, but I’m fascinated by them. In fact, I’m less interested in the content of this blog right now, and more interested in how people are navigating to, through, and from it. And how many. And I don’t care about popularity. I’m just obsessed with tracking it all.

19 thoughts on “i am obsessed with two things”

  1. I’ve started getting into the stats, too and all the stuff about how navigates here and how. This is really bad as I have other work to do. I also don’t understand pings and tracebacks and all that other stuff.


  2. I blogged for more than four years without any kind of sitemeter or stats partly because I was worried about obsessing over the stats. I was right.

    Resolved: We are *not* installing anything that lets you see the IPs and such of readers.

    One thing about the Mitchell report naming Clemens et al.: A good day for Barry Bonds.


  3. Re the Mitchell report: The two best players at their positions in this generation (Clemens and Bonds) were steroid users, but what is astounding about the report is how many middle value players were users. As crazy as he seemed at the time, Jose Canseco’s theory has basically been validated.


  4. I never thought Jose Canseco was crazy. Well, at least, not for the stuff he said about steroids.

    Speaking of stats, today we passed 2,000 page views for the first day without counting olderwoman’s “choices” post. The nice thing about WP reporting page views rather than unique IPs is that we can feel like we have a massive readership when it’s probably more like 20 people who refresh a lot.


  5. Carly: Of course, your comment would be even funnier if you had left it within five minutes of me leaving mine, suggesting that maybe you were continually refreshing. Sort of like what I’m doing now with yours.


  6. RE: page stats. You eventually get over it. Used to be a multiple-times a day habit for me, but I’m down to 3 packs a week, I mean checking it once a week or so at the most. That patterns get pretty stable after a while, so drilling down starts to get boring. I do keep any eye out for spikes because that may mean people are discussing a post elsewhere and I like to get in on that, but that’s about it.


  7. I got interested in tracking down the places where my personality was dissected after the “choices” post. I saved the URLs for the amusement of my children. But now I have to let it go or I will never again do anything remotely resembling academic work.


  8. I’m curious what your children thought of your post, olderwoman? Or are your sentiments simply, “old news” in your household?

    As for the statistics, I’m convinced that the 2000 hits we get are 100 people visiting about 20 times a day. And that once the blog is no longer new, it will drop to about 200. But I could be totally wrong.

    I also wonder about impression management. I see that folks from all kinds of universities have visited my person website since this blog has gone up. I wonder how I come across both here and there.

    Though a good friend of mine (Ang) told me that on interviews I simply needed to be myself because, “no one wants to hire/work with an asshole” – and she seemed to think I’m not an asshole – I worry a bit about professionalism.

    Then again, having met some doozies of personalities in my brief time in life, I also realize that well cited work trumps personality any day of the week!


  9. Well, the totality of my sentiments are, of course, more complex than one post, and all of us have different emphases in what we remember. But neither child was surprised by anything I said.

    Re impressions, I think what struck me the most about the “external” reactions was how crazy some people went at the overt expression of any negative feelings, even a self-critical reflection on negative feelings. Impression management has never been my strong suit. There are deep cultural/personal differences about preferred impressions anyway. Some people are very reserved and emotionally cool, and think everyone else ought to be, too. I prefer people who are more open and emotionally warm. And I really cannot stand those whose public persona is “I’m perfect, I’m a super achiever (and so are my children).”

    Re “doozies,” some argue that male doozies are cut a lot more slack than female for any given level of work quality. But I think being a decent human being and caring about others is worth a lot and gets rewarded, even in the academy, as long as you avoid the doormat/martyr path.


  10. I think you’re absolutely correct about male doozies. Look at evaluations. If I’m “tough” on students I have authority and know what I”m doing. If a woman is, she’s a “bitch”. Vast generalization, I know. But certainly something I observed about evals when talking to my fellow TAs at Wisconsin. There’s got to be a good sociology paper out there about this…

    As for impression management, I’m also not that good at this. I tend to highlight my weakness, my arrogance, and my privileges. If you look at my postings they’re about how I stink (my student writing nasty things about me) and how my life is great (I get to buy an iphone). I don’t think I come across as a wonderful person, but I hope to come across as a real person with faults and strengths that I’m more or less aware of.

    I’m going to do a post about impression management some time soon.


  11. Impression management is something I’ve been obsessed with (not necessarily working on my own, but in studying and observing others) since I was an undergraduate. I look forward to your post, Shakha.


  12. >>> If I’m “tough” on students I have authority and know what I”m doing. If a woman is, she’s a “bitch”. Vast generalization, I know. But certainly something I observed about evals when talking to my fellow TAs at Wisconsin. There’s got to be a good sociology paper out there about this…

    there are a ton of papers and books on the gender differences in leadership and power. a seminal one is Rosabeth Moss Kanter (1977), Men and Women of the Corporation. in chapter 7, she talks about how female managers are often typecast into either a “mom” image (ruling by caring) or an “iron maid” stereotype (i think it’s the phrase) which brings them much backlash. lots of related work in soc of gender (e.g., Ridgeway on leadership) and social psychology (e.g., Foschi’s “double standards”).


  13. yli: Thanks! I actually know the gender literature reasonably well. What I’m curious about is course evaluations in particular. It strikes me as a very interesting (publishable) doable masters thesis… If anyone has grad students out there!


  14. I think there is a research literature already specifically on course evaluations, actually. Can’t pull up the cites, it isn’t my area, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen things over the years.


  15. Hi Shamus and OW,

    I think the article you have in mind is Sinclair and Kunda’s “Motivated Stereotyping of Women: She’s Fine if She Praised Me but Incompetent if She Criticized Me” [Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 26, No. 11, 1329-1342 (2000)].

    They examine real course evaluations and also conduct an experiment. The title of the article pretty much says it all.



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