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Happy Birthday, I Should Be Sleeping!

By Brian | May 8, 2006 | Share on Facebook

Since the occasion is sure to slip by everybody but me (and, to be fair, it almost slipped by me as well), I feel the need to point out that today marks the one-year anniversary of this blog. I thought I’d take this opportunity to take narcissism to a whole new level, and give myself a bit of an annual review. Those who are put off by such endeavors are encouraged to move on now…

This is post #203, which comes out to a little more than one post every two days. Not bad, considering my initial concern was whether I’d have the time or interest to keep a blog updated for any length of time.

The blog itself has drawn 1,292 hits during the year, but I’m assuming that roughly 600 of those hits are from me. As much as I like Blogger, my one complaint is that the only way to verify a post is online is to go to the blog itself, which messes with the statistics. I typically post, bring up the blog page, make edits, and check the blog again. That plus the occasional hit I make to see if anyone’s commented (I get e-mail when someone comments, but I occasionally check from work or from my blackberry, where I don’t have access to my personal e-mail). At any rate, 600 is a conservative estimate, but works for my (self-serving) purposes.

The individual posts to the blog have drawn 6,135 hits for the year, driven mostly by a higher-than-I-can-possibly-explain PageRank in Google.

That makes 6,827 blog hits, as compared to 8,165 non-blog hits on the rest of my site, or 45.6% of my total traffic driven by the blog. This makes sense, given that the rest of the site doesn’t update nearly as often, but is also gratifying in the sense that I’m not completely screaming into the wind over here.

Post Highlights
The average post has received 30.4 hits, but this is very misleading. My top two posts have 4,270 hits (more on that later). Without those two posts, the average is around 9.3 hits, which feels much more like reality. Another useless stat: 28 of the 202 posts (14%) have received 20 hits or more, so again – once in a while, I reach beyond my circle of friends (loyal readers who visit here because they already know me from pre-blog days).

Here are links to my top 10 posts of the year (by traffic):

Concert Review: Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden – 2,936 hits
Billy Joel plays the oldies… – 1,334 hits
What Prevents Crime? – 80 hits
A Review: Billy Joel – My Lives, Disc 1 – 60 hits
Apple takes a shortcut, costs me $30 – 53 hits
Help for the Tech Support Generation – 45 hits
More on the Mactel front… – 43 hits
A Review: Billy Joel – My Lives, Disc 3 – 43 hits
Cats & Dogs Living Together – 40 hits
A Review: Billy Joel – My Lives, Disc 2 – 38 hits

I find it very gratifying that this list composes many of my interests: music (specifically, Billy Joel), technology, and a hint of politics/current events. The big news for the year, however, was Billy Joel’s 2006 concert tour to promote his new box set My Lives. I saw a setlist from the one of the first shows and blogged about it with Billy Joel plays the oldies…. Fans, starved for setlists, took to Google in droves, and my site became a popular link. Even though the post contains nothing very substantial (except a link to a setlist), it quickly became the most popular post on the blog. Then, I saw the show itself. On the train ride home, I blogged a review from my blackberry, Concert Review: Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden, which has single-handedly commandeered 43% of the blog’s traffic in a single post. It’s also set records for comments – generating 45 (including my own responses to commenters with questions). In an attempt to “give the people what they want,” I wrote reviews for each of the four discs in the box set, which have also generated healthy traffic (although nothing like the ones that mention the tour). In fact, it’s occurring to me now that just discussing it here will probably drive this post up in the Google searches, leading people somewhere they probably don’t want to be. If you’re on of these people, my apologies. I can only hope that the title “Happy Birthday…” is enough warning to prevent extra clicks.

The Comments
Since we’ve already established that the whole point of this endeavor is self-serving ego boosting, I’ll go on to admit that the biggest kick I get is when people leave comments. I’ll acknowledge right up front my loyal readers, who also happen to be some of my best friends: Jeff Porten, Michael Weinmayr, and Mike Starr (with an occasional visit from Steve Walsh). Those guys comment all the time, which is fun, but the real ego-boost is when I get comments from people I don’t know, especially when they’re from different parts of the world. Some examples:

From the Billy Joel Concert review post:


thanks mate… nice review!.. am considering buying a ticket for the London show at wembley

International again:

Thanks for this blog, Better hurry before the US soldiers stationed here buy ‘em all up. Will bring a pack of tissues in case Good Night Saigon is part of the set…


Took a few Googles to finally nail down the info you provided. Thanks.

Helping to Sell Tickets:

Thanks for providing the info I needed to decide to go.

Fostering a Sense of Community:

Thanks for this blog it has been great to share in everyone’s experiences.

A Vote for Quality (and again, international):

What a great review- sounded real- not all sugar!! Thanks again. Meic- the Isle of Man [mid-way between England and Ireland]

Here’s one from Apple takes a shortcut, costs me $30:

I wanted to thank you for your post. I too am new to the video ipod and was getting frustrated beyond belief…as of this morning, all problem videos are working perfectly. Thanks again!!

I’ve discussed Google’s ability to help people solve technical problems several times over the year. It’s such a kick to know I did the same for someone else without ever being asked.

Finally, some comments from a recent post, Why Watch United 93:

Thanks, Brian, for a very thoughtful and informative response. Your perspective now makes a lot more sense to me now.

I’m glad I clicked over here to read your perspective, Brian.

This came from a conversation on Simple Tricks and Nonsense with Jason Bennion and his girlfriend, Anne, who live in Utah, and found my thoughts and feelings about 9/11 and the recent United 93 movie helpful in thinking about what the event (and the film) meant to them. Again, this kind of personal connection, especially about something so emotional, would have been inconceivable without a blog.

While I Should Be Sleeping has been mainly a self-standing entity, it has received links from a few other blogs. First and foremost, of course, is Jeff Porten’s very cool blog, The Vast Jeff Wing Conspiracy. He has linked over here on posts about technology (About The Cult of Macintosh, Spending My Summer in Boot Camp, and Quantifying Wintel Macintoshes to name just a few), about politics (Menschenhawks, for example), and even about Penn Basketball (Penn, the Mourning After). His site generates a lot more traffic than mine, and I’m sure the residual effects of his links have been invaluable in achieving the (very) modest degrees of success I’ve seen over here. Thanks a bunch, Jeff!

As I said above though, the real kick is when people I don’t otherwise know get into the act. Two quick examples:

First, another case of “I inadvertently help someone I don’t know with a technical problem.” In this case, it’s PunditMania, who gave me a hat tip for helping solve a Blogger template problem in Solving Template Problems Arising since the Introduction of Blogger Images.

And then, of course, there’s this guy, who’s a fan of the rapper, Daddy Yankee, and thinks I’m a bad influence on my son because I take him to Yankee Games. Easily the funniest link I saw on the web all year…

Where Do I Go From Here?
As I’ve said, the blog’s generated a small modicum of good in the world, and I’m having a blast writing it, so I’ll certainly continue doing what I’m doing. I can’t think of anything to change, really – I’m pretty happy with the frequency of the posts, the topics, the page layout, etc., etc. If you’re reading this and you have any suggestions, please drop me a line.

The only thought I had was, as kind of a birthday present to myself, to register IShouldBeSleeping.com and redirect it to this site. Unfortunately, someone already owns that domain. Fortunately, he’s willing to sell it (I think he bought it in the hopes that some anti-insomnia concern would want to pay big money for it). Unfortunately, e-mails to his published address bounce back with a “Sorry…this mailbox is full” message. Apparently, he’s purchased more than 300 domains in hopes of selling them off, but doesn’t seem to be checking his inbox too frequently.

If anyone’s still reading this diatribe, and has any suggestions about how else I’d go about obtaining this domain, I’d be happy to hear about it. I’m not looking to drop a ton of money on it, but I figure at least start a negotiation and see where it takes me…

That’s about it. As is typically the case on this site, it’s insanely late at night and I should be, well…you know.

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Topics: Blogging about Blogs | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Happy Birthday, I Should Be Sleeping!”

  1. Jeff Porten says at May 8th, 2006 at 6:09 pm :
    Aw, shucks. Thanks for the kind words, but I assure you, the only reason I get more traffic than you do is because I travel in a more intensely wired community.

    I *strongly* feel that you should stick with your current domain name; I’m a dot-com striving for brand identity, you’re not. If anything, your brand is better called “Greenberg” than “I don’t get enough rest.” The domains I’d suggest are ones that keep your name, but maybe dropping the “family”, since I think about Swiss Family Robinson everytime I come here.

  2. Brian says at May 9th, 2006 at 9:24 am :
    I agree with you. If I could get a hold of IShouldBeSleeping.com, I would just redirect it to this URL. The rest of my site is truly about my family, and hence FamilyGreenberg fits nicely. It’s also a fairly easy e-mail address to remember, which was one of the major reasons to get my own domain in the first place.

    I would have loved Greenberg.com or even BrianGreenberg.com (like you have), but the sad fact is, there are a lot more Greenberg’s in the world than Porten’s. For that matter, a lot more Brian Greenberg’s, Brian M. Greenberg’s, etc…

  3. Jeff Porten says at May 10th, 2006 at 4:05 pm :
    I looked up monteverdi.com, which to my way of thinking is the coolest transmogrification of your name, but someone’s got that, too.


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