inessential by Brent Simmons

Nick on Twitter

My friend and former co-worker Nick Harris writes:

I found myself evaluating my professional worth based on who and how many people followed me. All the while knowing that some of the best developers I’ve ever worked with either don’t have accounts or rarely use them.

Caring about your status is a natural and human thing to do. The problem with things like Twitter is that it’s too easy to focus on that way too much.

Every time I noticed my follower count go up, I was glad, and then I felt sick that it made me glad.

* * *

I don’t have any analytics on this blog. I don’t know how many visitors it gets, how many RSS subscribers it has, or which posts are more popular than other posts. I like not knowing.

I did have Google Analytics for a few months in 2014 when I was doing sponsorships. I spent too much time looking at the numbers and trying to make them go up. But no amount of going-up is ever satisfying: I just wanted more.

And that affects my writing. I should write exactly what I want to, when I want to, with no care whatsoever for popularity. (I want to be read by smart people like you, but I don’t want to try to maximize the number of readers.)

I assume my blog gets more traffic than the average blog, and way less traffic than a blog like Daring Fireball, and for me that’s just right. And if it’s not true, in either direction, I don’t want to know — because I don’t want to care.