The Metrics that Matter

This is something I struggle with: Figuring out which metrics matter and somehow making progress on those metrics.

I know you can use forums, social media and the like to further projects, but I have never been good at that. No, instead, much to my chagrin, I was always good at being a walking, talking train wreck where I attracted all kinds of attention of the wrong sort and could not for the life of me figure out how to direct that attention into things I wanted to direct it into, such as traffic for my websites or new members for a discussion group I own.

Over the years, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to stop being a walking, talking train wreck.* For the past few years, I actively worked on attracting less attention and lowering my public profile. I was fairly successful at achieving this goal. On the upside, that meant I saw fewer shit shows. On the downside, it seemed to lead to even less positive attention, such as website traffic.

I found the whole thing crazy making. In recent months, I have actively worked on trying to raise my profile again, but gradually and without drama, as much as possible.

I seem to be making progress on figuring out how to actually get stuff done and direct attention where I want it. I am not really sure how this is happening, but it seems like it is. I'm pleased as punch.

Well, not really. I really would be pleased as punch if I was seeing positive drama on the scale of the negative drama I used to see. Sadly, this is not happening. I have not "gone viral" or similar.

In the last few days, I left a couple of links on HN promoting a Google Group I own. The result has been an influx of new members. This is a thing I have never in my life been able to pull off before.

The interesting thing is neither of these comments got a single upvote nor any replies. I wanted to blog about it because it somewhat flies in the face of what I would have thought.

I would have thought that getting upvotes and/or replies would matter. But it apparently has no bearing at all on getting "conversions" -- getting people to actually submit a join request.

I wanted to note it for posterity -- and because I think I learned something. I might want to revisit this lesson some time, so now I have a record of it.

* In my defense: I am medically handicapped and simply getting healthier has played a large role in me being less of a shit show here lately. Getting healthier has been no small feat.


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