Stats, Search Engine Terms & You

livelytwist stats

 

WordPress spared me the trouble of spreadsheets, charts, and graphs by providing Livelytwist’s annual report for 2014. Here are some highlights to mark Livelytwist’s second anniversary.

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2013, Livelytwist was viewed about 13,000 times. By 2014, this doubled. The growth in number of views reminds me of a chorus sung in some Nigerian Pentecostal circles, everything na double double! What’s in a number? I publish articles once a week about subjects that don’t involve Kim Kardashian—the numbers tell me people still care about what I say.

At least one person in every continent, in 105 countries, viewed Livelytwist in 2013. Come 2014, Livelytwist travelled farther, touching down in ten more countries. Although we complain about the internet, it remains the universal passport, which defies visa restrictions. It is how I met you. Most visitors came from the United States. Nigeria and United Kingdom were not far behind, and The Netherlands and Canada made a strong showing as well.

 

These posts received the most views in 2014.

1. The Love Languages of Nigerians [posted July 2014]

2. The Body Magic [posted April 2013]

3. Open Letter to Akpos [posted May 2013]

4. I am Not Looking For Love, I am Going to Work [posted August 2013]

5. A Father’s Love [posted June 2013]

 

According to WordPress,

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2014. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

To me staying power is distilling current events in a way that transcends the present so an article remains relevant, year after year. Search engine robots also drove traffic to these posts judging by the most popular search words. Search engine terms are words and phrases people enter into various search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing that land them on Livelytwist.

A random sampling of the search terms shows my indebtedness to the creators of Akpos, a male character around whom many Nigerian jokes revolve, and to Ardyss for their corset, Body Magic. And yes, to romance and love. Below, I make my case.

 

A self-deprecating post about my struggle with weight and the Body Magic may be what bring these die-hard seekers to Livelytwist.

Search Engine Terms                                                             

magic chant for a round butt

  • When you find it let me know so I can retire early!

how to wear a body magic despite the pain to hide belle fat

  • Lol, vanity involves pain; just do it.

anything similar to body magic but cheaper

  • E.x.e.r.c.i.s.e maybe?

i hav flesh coming out from under my arms after wearing a body magic?

  • What did you expect? To drop 2 or 3 dress sizes?

 

A tongue-in-cheek stab at the ubiquitous Akpos, means that Akpos, and all things Akpos, are the search terms that bring the most traffic to my blog.

Search Engine Terms                                                             

akpose comedy – na we dey here 

  • What can I say? Akpos wins year after year.

what will i do so that i can be receiving  akpos joke every day as text message on my phone

  • So, someone actually typed this into Google?

i have a dream by akpos

  • That one day _ _ _ _  (fill in the blanks)

naija jokes that will thumble the girls and  make them shout

  • Girls beware!

Naija loaded akpos comedy

  • There in four words, the problem with Nigeria!                                                                                                                                                      

 

Every time I write about love, my stats go boom boom boom! But, what’s love got to do with these search engine terms?

Search Engine Terms                                                             

social network to find girls phone number or pin that are ready for marraige in nigeria 2014

  • This is not a dating site.

i am looking for love

  • I repeat, this is not a …

i want to friendship nigerian in mumbai

  • This is not a 419 site!

when will a female want a male to stop stroking

  • No comments. My lawyers are already writing Google.                                     #DefamationOfCharacter

when a woman acts up it means you pull her hair and show her whos boss

  • Osanobua! I haven’t even watched, not to talk of reviewed Fifty shades of Grey. I reject it!

i am tired of her in nigerian language

  • I apologise on behalf of all good Nigerian men.

timi yeseibo married

  • Get a life, read The  Economist!

 

Thankfully, these search engine terms reveal what the others may or may not: Livelytwist actually offers something intellectual.

Search Engine Terms                                                             

third world cultural profiles

  • Sociology majors welcome here.

what are the relationship between satire and social transformation

  • Satire can act as an agent of social transformation. Next question?

let there be peace in the land of my birth ( nigeria). Essay 

  • Indeed peace is a necessary ingredient for growth.

can an enemy be killed by splashing holy water on its picture

 

And these search engine terms remind me of why I do what I do…

Search Engine Terms                                                             What I Think

am bored..keep me lively pls

  • Came to the right place, read on.

latest blog by timi yeisibo-lively twist

  • Aw, sweet. People want to read Livelytwist!

livelytwist timi

  • So glad you found me!

 

A report tells one side of the story. I would love to hear your side. So what brought you here? Search engine? Facebook? Twitter? WordPress Reader? Other? And if you blog or have a website, what search engine terms drive traffic to your blog?

 

© Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Two Years On

Two

My blog is one way by which I measure time. April marks two years since I began blogging. The earth spins on its axis as it revolves round the sun. The moon pulls the oceans and lets them go. If I did not write, the earth, sun, and moon, would not have stopped for me and I cannot imagine what else could have filled my days so.

Self-discipline is the hallmark of my journey. It is the ability to make yourself do what must be done.

When I’m in the zone, I could write forever. Ideas ooze from me and words tumble out faster than I can type them—I abandon current thought and scroll down the page to type perfect sentences and beautiful dialogue, falling from heaven like gold dust.

Many times, I’m out of sorts. Experiences burn me and disappointment visits nearly every day. My head hurts and my emotions are pink like cut salmon. I sing, tired oh so tired, and I’m too tired to compose a new song. I question which direction to take my blog or if I should quit. And most of all, I don’t feel like writing. Not writer’s block, but an insidious lethargy, which is akin to living with a low-grade fever.

I’m not unique in this regard. This is how we sometimes feel about our jobs and responsibilities. When did the things we love become a prison that we long to escape? But we show up at our jobs and dance on the stage of our lives anyway.

 

One Friday evening I’m moaning about how I don’t feel like writing.

My friend nods in understanding, “No, you don’t have to, it’s your blog. Not like anyone is paying you to. I’m sure people would understand.”

She is right. However, I can’t miss a Sunday post. Maybe it’s because growing up, my mum pushed me to outdo myself. Or it’s the result of my school principal repeating at assembly, “What is worth doing is worth doing well.”

“Yeah, but I have to,” I say.

 

So, that night, I discipline myself to write about an incident involving a friend and then launch into a broader conversation about what we value as a society. Disciplining myself to write means that I turn down many invitations, adjust my sleeping habits, watch less soaps, and read more stuff.

I muster all my skills and still feel as though the article could be better. Bloodshot eyes and new streaks of grey; five hours later, I know I have nothing more to give.

Eventually the article resonates with readers as reflected in the comments and shares.  In a sense, this is the reward of diligence—pushing past inner and outer turmoil and insisting on excellence from myself. The discipline of writing weekly provides momentum for those times when I’m flat. Still, I shake my head. I know this, and in fact all I’ve achieved, isn’t my doing. A wise man said:

The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant
or favour to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.

If this is my time, then my blog has been my chance. And self-discipline would mean nothing if I didn’t have readers like you encouraging me week after week.

Thank you!

 

 

© Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

Photo credit: http://pixabay.com/en/digits-pay-123-1-2-3-series-705666/

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

WordPress 108: Liking, Following or Not

following

So here’s the deal. I upload my 600-word article on my WordPress dashboard, use the proofreader to make last-minute corrections, and then publish. Fifty seconds later, my phone beeps; so-and-so liked your post. I’m a slow reader, but even if you’re a pro at speed-reading, you could not have read my blog post that fast. Haba!

The ‘numbers’ game, no longer holds the same fascination for me as it did two years ago when I started blogging, and yet, I’m in awe of the numbers. The number of people who engage my posts by liking, commenting, sharing, or leaving a message via my contact form is one way I measure the effectiveness of what I do—entertain, inform, inspire, or provoke thought.

I cannot ignore the numbers. When someone stumbles on my blog, he may not know what to read. If the Top Posts & Pages widget on the sidebar does not woo him, the number of likes and comments may resolve his indecision. In that sense then, a fake like is better than no like.

One evening between 8:42 and 8:44, my phone throbbed with the force of too many notifications. After the climax, so-and-so had liked nearly fifty of my blog posts. I was not flattered. It is like a man telling me how intelligent I am while staring at my chest; it just doesn’t add up.

Okay, I understand that sometimes a like on WordPress is like a poke on Facebook. It’s another way to say hello or get your attention—oh boy; that was one long poke! It is an invitation to come out and play, which I honour by visiting the Liker’s blog, as time permits. It is not an indication that so-and-so has read and digested your writing. Hmmm, very well then.

In the digital space attention is a

But there’s a nagging ring of deceit to this thing, this game of like tag. So far, I have been unwilling to like a blog post that I did not read or appreciate, as if my like has a price tag, as if anyone would know. If quality feedback is important to a blogger, then this promiscuous liking distorts perception; it certainly feeds ego.

In a way, social media is about numbers, number of likes, comments, follows, and shares, because no one wants to have a conversation by himself.  The problem with the like button on some social media sites is that the conversation with others may be illusory.

This post would have been unnecessary but for an encounter on WordPress, involving likes and follows. After reading a blog post I enjoyed, I liked it. In response, the blogger who only recently followed me informed me that a like without a corresponding follow was an insult. See me see wahala. Are we now back to high school?

Following a blogger on WordPress means that new posts from the blogger will appear in my Reader or I will receive an email notification when they publish a post. It seems dishonest to have my Reader flooded with hundreds of posts, which I will not read, but like. To me, a follow is a commitment to read your posts.

I am commitment shy. In a world awash with information, but limited time, you and I cannot read every blog post. If yours is a niche blog about DIY, for example, it would be spurious for me to follow your blog because I don’t like DIY and don’t want to get better at it.

Perhaps I will throw this textbook idealism out the window to monetize my blog or market any book I may write in future. Time will tell.  First-world problems, heh?

Be relevant

Still, the highest compliment I could pay you isn’t necessarily to follow you, but to read and engage your writing. It is the highest compliment you could pay me too.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Price of Shame

hour glass

The price of shame is seventeen years. Seventeen years is the interval between when Monica Lewinsky’s affair with former US president Bill Clinton became public and when she received a standing ovation at the end of her TED talk. The period following the disclosure was a time of intense disgrace for all parties involved, Mr and Mrs Clinton and Miss Lewinsky.

The media rehashed the stories to the point that the name Clinton is perhaps indelibly linked to Lewinsky and vice versa. Hilary Clinton’s political career, Bill Clinton’s public speaking and humanitarian work, and now Monica Lewinsky’s advocacy for victims of online humiliation and harassment, notwithstanding.

Seventeen is the number of years it took for Lewinsky to mount a public podium and declare, “it’s time . . . to stop living a life of opprobrium; and time to take back my narrative.” And so far, over 2.5 million people have viewed her talk.

Why did the TED audience rise and clap at the end of her talk? One reason may be her opening question, which hit home: “Can I see a show of hands of anyone here who didn’t make a mistake or do something they regretted at twenty-two?”

I am reminded of a meeting I attended where the preacher, speaking on the importance of a wholesome thought life, asked how many people would like the contents of the thinking they had done the previous day to be displayed on a billboard in Times Square. Every hand remained down, including that of the preacher.

She admits that she deeply regrets what happened. Whether the affair was for love, in love, through love, or about love, affix any preposition to love, and we still say wrong, wrong, wrong. However, by throwing stones at her, the ensuing spectacle of derision that has continued, with radioactive endurance, for a decade and a half, have we become like the people who brought only the woman caught in adultery to Jesus?

As I watched Bill Clinton reinvent himself over the years and become to my mind, charismatic Bill, the notion that it is a man’s world concretized. Yes, I can only imagine the PR machine behind such a powerful figure. But we live in a male-dominated culture, a patriarchy, where men are hailed for sexual adventures and women are shamed.

The positive press Lewinsky has recently received indicates that perhaps after seventeen years, we have become magnanimous—okay Monica; you may go and sin no more. But being human, suspicious, and armed with conspiracy theories, we point two fingers to our eyes and then at her: We. Are. Watching. You.

Talking openly about shame, especially the modern cyber variety, how it can cripple, destroy, and lead to suicide is good. Broadening the conversation to include honour killings that assuage family shame is welcome. We do well to adopt a more empathetic response to public shaming.

And yet humiliation, a synonym for shame, in small doses, can be a wake-up call. A few years ago, I finally scored an interview that I’d been angling for. It couldn’t have been scheduled at a worse time. Exhausted from travelling, I slept with my notes (which I was reviewing for the first time), on my chest Sunday night. In the flurry of Monday morning, I had no time to revise and little time to get to the venue.

I hoped to bluff my way through. I could not. I read the impatience in the interviewer’s hands as he flicked through my résumé while listening to me. I perceived his thoughts, rubbish; I cannot believe she came highly recommended. From that moment on, the ability to think on my feet deserted me. Shame made me forget things I knew.

The memory of that humiliation goads me to over prepare for interviews. I have other memories, secrets, too painful to share, which still stain my cheeks red. My shame has filled my compassion vaults, so now I have compassion to spare for others.

Although you and I haven’t endured public humiliation, we are acquainted with shame and its incapacitating effect. There exists the looming danger of a single story if we remain paralyzed. Not of shame, but of regret being our single story.

I think that to change any narrative from shame to glory, we must do time. No, not seventeen years, but a season away from the ‘limelight,’ burrowing underground to learn lessons from humiliation. In time, we may re-emerge with fresh purpose and tell inspiring new stories.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

Photo credit: Nile/pixabay.com/en/hourglass-time-hours-sand-clock-620397

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.