I've had this blog since 2011. I started it pretty much on a whim (though I had previous blogs, the most long-running of which was called The Irish Chestertonian). In that time, it's garnered 350,000 views. I don't know whether that's good or bad. I don't even know how much of it is human traffic and how much of it is webcrawlers. I get about 350 views per day, though sometimes it jumps up as high as seven hundred or eight hundred.
Apart from a handful of blogs, I don't really seem to get any traffic from other sites, or from social media. I get some, but rarely.
I write this blog almost entirely for my own pleasure, and to raise my voice for the things I believe in and bash the things I hate-- although that's also 'for my own pleasure', since jumping into the maelstrom of ideas and debate is one of my keenest pleasures. So I don't delude myself that it's any kind of service to anybody. All the same I hope it does no harm and some good.
I do realise how eccentric and downright dotty some of my posts are. It's part of the fun. I don't really have a filter on this blog. I sometimes wonder whether, if I made it more business-like-- more newsy, more focused on issues of public interest, less inclined to stray into meditations on snow globes and film titles-- it would get more traffic.
The randomness of the subject matter reflects my personality in general. People who know me are used to my tendency to raise the most arcane subjects out of the blue. It comes naturally, and it amuses me. Once, when a new staff member was starting in the library, the very first thing I asked her was: "Would you say 'jumble sale' or 'sale of work'?". (I guess Americans would say a yard sale.) She responded as though this was the most natural question in the world. (I forget her answer.) I liked her from that moment. Yes, I can see how this kind of behaviour might seem tiresome and irritating. It's partly social awkwardness, partly affectation, partly exuberance, partly to amuse myself, and partly because I'm genuinely interested.
Sometimes I forget anyone is reading this blog and simply use it to write out my thoughts. But occasionally I'm taken aback to realise people do read it. On three occasions, students in UCD have recognised me from my blog. That's three students out of thousands upon thousands, but I was still taken aback.
I'm very grateful to the people who comment, email me, pray for me (I pray for you, too) and otherwise interact with me. When I was in school, we took the Myers Briggs personality test (as part of religion class, of course). I scored as an INFJ. This satisfied my inner snob, as INFJ is the rarest of personality types. (It was also apparently the personality type of Adolf Hitler, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama Bin Laden, and Leon Trotsky.) More recently, I took the test on Facebook and came out the same.
I have no idea whether the Myers Briggs has any scientific validity, but a few sentences in the 'portrait of an INFJ' I got in school were very interesting to me. One was that, when writing, INFJ's tend to have a particular person in mind. I knew this was true because I always wrote for my English teacher, when writing English compositions. When writing this blog, I am very much addressing myself to the readers I know about. Maybe this is why my novels were so bad-- because I had nobody to write for. Maybe it's why I didn't get an A in English on my Leaving Cert. I didn't get an A in anything, but I thought English was my best bet, and I got a B1. I don't think I got a B1 in anything else.
Anyway, I'm always happy to hear from people, through comments or emails, so please never hesitate. I do often wonder who else is out there.