I never feel alone on the internet, and trackers show me I very rarely am. This blog gets hit so continually that it feels like a hangout, maybe on the exclusive side because lurkers come and go freely without other people knowing they're here. As reclusive as I've been in the past even with my internet history, I like feeling that I'm not alone. I guess like with any sport or challenge, you really don't want people seeing the fails, but knowing someone still shows up regularly even after the facepalms has been so inspiring that I have been able to surge far past my originally intended platform goals. Until I experienced this, I never even envisioned it. This was pure accident.
I'd love to propose the idea of 'lurker engagement' as a great assessment tool. I don't think this is utilized well in general analytics. I've had statistics classes in 3 different fields of study (math, geography, and sociology), and if there's anything I'm good at, it's trends over time. When you use engagement to assess blogging needs, include the silent returns. They may not 'engage', but they are definitely engaged. I have 600+ documented returning readers that clocked over 10 returns each, and a fifth of my readers spending 20 minutes to over an hour at a time reading and clicking through more posts while they are here.
You heard me. Yes, documented. Those of you throwing in the towel need to stop that. On the outside it looks like I average 30-40 hits a day and very rarely get comments. I'm not 'engaging' my audience. On the inside, people are keeping this window open and clicking 'next', and apparently quite a few have me bookmarked. It's about learning how to read your analytics. You are not alone. Don't stop just because you can't see people reading what you write.