Confessions of a referral junkie

Okay, so I admit it. I have become addicted to my referral logs.

In the beginning, they were mostly a curiosity–no one was referring to me. Then I did some minor punditry on something Apple was going to do with scripting and XML. And wrote to Macintouch and to Dave to tell them what I thought. I had no idea what I was in for; suppose I thought I was just showing off how clever I was.

By the end of that day I was at over 2500 reads of that one article. Today the high water mark stands at 3313. It is by far the most popular single story I ever wrote, at least before I made the shiftf to news items (which the Most Read Messages stat doesn’t track). I was hooked. If the Internet was ever an attention economy, it was making me an attention junkie. And it affected the way I write.

I would have written my scripts anyway, and Manila Envelope. But I think unconsciously I was adjusting my web writing to the stuff that had gotten me attention in the first place. And I’m not super happy about that.

So I’m going to try an experiment. I currently have a bookmark menu for my web site on the Personal Toolbar of my browser. It has a folder containing links to the reports that Manila provides me about who’s pointing to me. I’m going to delete that folder. And until I’m happy with my writing again it’s going to stay deleted. I’ll report here how my behavior modification is going.