Popularity Contest

posted in: Paean 10
Artwork for East Texas State Normal College’s 1922 yearbook. Image: Wikipedia.


Most of the time, for most readers, this blog is a pair of slippers. Comfortable. Nice to slip on. Occasionally amusing, if you’re the bunny slipper sort. I figure if you’re the bunny slipper sort, you are still amused by your slippers after all these years. I want to be that for you. I want that relationship. Let me be your bunny slipper.

As such, most of the time our relationship doesn’t experience high-highs or low-lows. But every once in awhile, the ol’ PG is more stiletto, less slipper. More Doc Marten, less flip-flop. Some posts blow up a little.

Yes, over the years, certain posts on the ol’ PG have gone bananas in terms of reader response. The way to track this kind of thing is to be a wizard about website analytics and stats, but plebian moi just goes by Facebook likes and shares and what is, in this plebe’s estimation, the clearest measure of engagement: comments on the blog itself.

Here are a few of the most-engaged-with posts in recent memory. I’d go into the actual data and reach back further, but I’m serious when I say I don’t know how to do that.** The number in parenthesis is the number of comments the post got.

  1. The first time I directly discussed politics. (144)
  2. When I announced my editorial directorship of Quiltfolk. (107)
  3. Yesterday’s post. (89 and counting … )
  4. The time the nurse lady asked me about my colon after I told her I literally do not have one. (86)
  5. My first love letter to Quiltfolk. (55)
  6. The post the day after the London Bridge bombing. Note: comments swelled largely due to a misunderstanding. (45)
  7. A confession of knee pain, though this is tied with “I Want The Coat.” (46)
  8. The one about dryer lint, which makes me love you more than ever. (44)

If you haven’t read some of those posts, it’s safe to say your fellow readers recommend them. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so much conversation, right?

The engagement-level examination has all come up because of the fabulous, thoughtful conversation that took place — and is still taking place — over yesterday’s post about breastfeeding in public. I keep this blog for many reasons; discourse like what I’ve seen in the comments section from yesterday is one of those reasons.

Hey, Marianne Fons?

Since you faithfully read my blog every time I post; since you are my biggest fan while still giving me full autonomy and freedom to find my own path in this life; since you personally commented on yesterday’s post, I’d like to take this moment to say thank you. I know you’re reading this.

Thank you for giving me life. My life is not easy, but I’m grateful to have the chance to try it on for size. Thanks for birthing me on August 6th. It was probably hot in Iowa! Yuck! Thanks for breastfeeding me, even if it was annoying/awkward when in public. I’d like to officially apologize if I was ever a nuisance in that regard. Thanks for weaning me off the breast and onto whatever it is I drank after that. Didn’t I do a soy formula for awhile?? Thanks for smashing my peas when I was ready for solid food. Thanks for dealing with everything that came after the peas.

To all the readers of this blog who think and engage with their fellow humans in a thoughtful, curious way: thank you. To all the mothers in the world, public nursing or not: Thank you, too.


** A website overhaul is coming soon, people, so I may actually know how to do that soon!