i can almost see you

I’ve been using Google Analytics for about a month now, and it’s telling me all about you people. It’s pretty cool. I know how long your average visit is, what you like, and where you live. (If I were better friends with that person I know who works at Google, I bet I could get photos of your house.) I know, for instance, that I have regular readers in all 50 states. I wasn’t expecting that. For some reason, I’ve got a tons of readers in New York and California, but every state in the union has at least a dozen or two. Delawarians and South Dakotans are, by far, the least interested in what I have to say. Each of those states only has one MM.com reader. If you happen to be one of those two people, could you please leave me a comment? We need to talk.

I’m not sure what we should do, but we need to do something. We need to figure out a game plan. We need to start advertising, or, better yet, start taking out our competition Karl Rove style. (“Did you hear that the most popular Deleware blogger once fathered an illegitimate baby… of color?”) Part of me likes knowing that there’s just one person in South Dakota reading, and one person in Delaware though. Part of me doesn’t want more. The mother bird part of me just wants to nurture them along, and maybe, when I feel the time is right, introduce them to one another. “Wouldn’t it be great,” I imagine, “if they fell in love, and did something spectacular with their lives?”

As nice as that would be if they got together and solved the world’s problems, though, I think I’d rather have more readers in their states right now, laughing at my ball shaving humor and cheering me on as I tip at windmills, so I’m thinking about launching a couple of dirt cheap marketing campaigns.

So, this next part is just for the one individual in South Dakota and the one individual in Delaware. Please do not read it unless you are one of them, or are in their employ.

If I made you a t-shirt that said “Please Join Me at MarkMaynard.com,” would you wear it? And, I hope this isn’t too personal, but I’d also like to ask if you’re the kind of person that, if you were to wear such a shirt — objectively speaking — would be helping or hurting the cause? I guess what I’m trying to ask is if you are horribly ugly and/or mentally unstable. Actually, mentally unstable is OK, as long as you don’t look it. We don’t have incredibly high standards for our spokesmodels… Or, how’s this for a plan? What if every state gets one MM.com ambassador who serves until such time that someone else in the state feels as though he or she can take them in hand to hand combat and/or an MM.com trivia quiz? If I quit my job, abandoned my family, and dropped everything else, I think I could make 50 really cool uniforms by next year at this time.

Oh, you might also be impressed to know that we have three dedicated readers in Saudi Arabia, and one in Guyana. And, somehow we have seven times as many people reading in Australia as in China. That puzzles me. I know that a lot of people in China probably don’t care much for Ypsilanti politics, or, for that matter, speak English, but the country’s so damned big. For some reason I was expecting it to do better. And, you might also find it interesting to know, the average time spent on the site in Norway is just five seconds, while in Chile, if you can believe it, it’s seven minutes and twenty-three seconds. (I’m guessing there’s a retired SS officer there who likes my posts on America’s Next Top Model.)

The image here is supposed to be of Michigan. It’s from Google Analytics. It looks to me kind of like an MRI scan of Bart Simpson after eating a roll of quarters. It’s supposed to be of my readers in Michigan today. You, most likely, are one of those pock marks.

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20 Comments

  1. Posted November 21, 2007 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Not to be a downer or anything, but I don’t think you need to do anything in particular to get a more widely distributed readership. I lived in Ypsi during the 1973 OPEC oil embargo. Quite a few people moved to other states. The same thing happened during the Reagan recession of the 1980’s. I assume the same will happen with the economic crisis that is developing now. Probably people will keep reading MM, even after they leave Michigan.

    As for marketing, I think bumper stickers are the way to go. Just the URL, no explanation. Or perhaps a simple curiosity-provoking drawing and the URL. Maybe a unicorn head. Something like that.

    The other thing that might work would be YouTube videos.

  2. Ken
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Poor Michigan! She has lost her definition!

  3. Dick
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    I’d prefer to think that Dick Cheney “peppered” Bart Simpson with a shotgun blast while hunting.

    Does anyone else remember how they kept trying to use the adjective “peppered” to describe how Cheney shot someone on the face? Priceless.

    As for marketing. I think you should blow something up. I’m a firm believer in old school gorilla marketing.

  4. Posted November 21, 2007 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Not to be another downer, but since MM.com is in my laptop’s feeds and I was in South Dakota and Delaware (and 24 other states) last month…

    Similarly you might have had 2-3 readers in Slovenia and Croatia.

  5. Posted November 21, 2007 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Waving from Chicagoland (but I regularly read from Saline).

    I have a friend who lives in SD, do you want me to beg her to read your blog? If you put a picture of David Tennant up (the latest Doctor Who), she’d probably even spend more than a minute here.

  6. mark
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I can change over to an All Dr Who format. I can do that. Just tell me what she wants. I can post her family photos too. I’m ready to do whatever it takes.

  7. mark
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    And that’s brilliant, Leighton. I’d never thougth of it. I’ll increase readership exponentially by just hiring a handfull of long-haul truckers, like yourself, to add MM.com to their RSS feeds. Then, when my readership numbers explode, I’ll sell the site to Phillips for their viral ball shaving initiative or some such thing.

  8. mark
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    And, Joseph, I love your idea as well. All I need if is for the Michigan economy to continue tanking, and for people to keep leaving the area. As they flee, my out of state readership will mushroom. I knew there was a silver lining to Michigan’s fucked economy.

  9. Posted November 22, 2007 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Damn. I messed up, Amy lives in ND. Well, I’ll send her here anyway. Maybe she has friends that live south of her.

  10. Amy
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I’m not THAT bad Sandy, geeze. So I go a little bit fangirl over Tennant sometimes. LOL

    But, she is right, I am in ND, not SD. If you want, I could drive down to SD for a day and post from a library there or something.

  11. rodneyn
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    …so now we’re just pockmarks on Bart Simpson….. depressing. Thanks, Mark.

  12. Chelsea
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    You need to do regional theme parties. Get, say, your New York readers together for an event, try to get them to start meeting on their own. Do the same for all the other states (except for DE and SD). Could be fun.

  13. Ol' E Cross
    Posted November 23, 2007 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I just look forward to the not-so-distance future where Google Analytics knows me well enough to analyze my past posts, accurately predict how I would respond to new posts, and automatically generate comments on my behalf.

    You know, like it does for Robert.

  14. Ol' E Cross
    Posted November 26, 2007 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    I just look forward to the not-so-distance future where Google Analytics knows me well enough to analyze my past posts, accurately predict how I would respond to new posts, and automatically generate comments on my behalf.

    You know, like it does for Robert.

    This post brought to you by Google Analytics (TM).

  15. South Dakotian
    Posted November 27, 2007 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    More talk of honey. Expecially honey mixing. It’s taboo and we love it.

    South Dakota is a leader in honey production. In recognition of its importance to the state’s farm economy, the honey bee (Apis Mellifera L.) was adopted as the state insect in 1978. Our mild, clear clover honey is often shipped out-of-state to be blended with darker honey.

  16. Posted November 27, 2007 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Am I in trouble since I’m not in DE or SD and read the special part of the post just for them? I have a friend in Nebraska, who’s originally from SD and he would read if you’d post about Ron Paul.

  17. mark
    Posted November 27, 2007 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    But, I did write about Ron Paul, Kathleen. I wrote that he was by far the favorite of American Nazis. I believe I also pointed out when the Libertarian group minting “Ron Paul dollars” got raided by the FBI. And, if someone could find out where he stands on the mixing of light and dark honeys, I’d be happy to post that too.

  18. mark
    Posted November 27, 2007 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    And you’ll notice in the image I used to illustrate this piece that we’re located at Bart Simpson’s anus. I thought for sure that someone would point that out… I guess Demosthenes is right and you really are all stupid.

  19. Robert
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Ol’ E Cross, I do like my auto-comment generator, but whenever it notices that my name has been referenced in a comment, and it doesn’t understand the comment, it just posts the response, “Point well taken.”

  20. rodneyn
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Mark: “And you’ll notice in the image I used to illustrate this piece that we’re located at Bart Simpson’s anus. I thought for sure that someone would point that out… I guess Demosthenes is right and you really are all stupid.”

    …or slightly less uncouth. Trust me, we noticed. Does Ypsilanti need any more bad press? I can see the headline: “Google Reports Ypsi-Anus-Bart Simpson Link.”

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