yours, tiramisu

takeaways from blog semi-virality

A few days ago I woke up to a surprise: my blog had a huge influx of visitors, seemingly overnight. More than thirteen thousand people visited my page in a day, when I usually get closer to thirty.

analytics

From what I can gather, someone saw my blog post please don't be spooky and posted it on Hacker News. From there people upvoted it and discussed, driving more people to my blog.

It's amazing how quickly things can pick up steam on the interwebs. I'm sure I see content that snowballs like this all the time, but you don't realize its sheer magnitude until it happens to you. This is maybe the first (or second) time in my life that I've seen one of my creations demonstrate the snowball effect.

My favorite thing about this small popularity boom is that I get to read quite a few comments regarding my post, courtesy of the HackerNews community. Since Bear doesn't support comment functionality natively, I almost never get to hear responses to my thoughts, so even though some people disagreed vehemently with my position, I found reading the discussion entertaining and rewarding.

Initially I was surprised that some commenters vehemently disagreed with my opinions. I didn't have the vaguest notion that my ideas were remotely controversial when I wrote them, so the vehemence with which some people disagreed (and also attacked me) took me aback. I shouldn't have been so naïve, though. Everything is controversial these days, and you have to keep a thick skin when you post things publicly. Just look at some of these dissenting opinions:

sad state of affairs

ridiculous and stupid

And this one, which I found especially hilarious because if they'd poked around my blog they've have seen that I just wrote a blog post about my meditation process.

mindfulness meditation

Luckily, it seemed like the vast majority of commenters agreed with me and found my situation relatable. Many people far more eloquent than I wrote good explanations—here are just a few:

be predictable

bracing yourself

And my favorite of them all: playing with animals

To clarify, the point in my initial article only applies to people above me in the power hierarchy and in remote work settings. It's not a problem when we're all together in person, and my mind doesn't race when someone who's not my boss pings me the same thing (though I still wish they would include context). And I don't expect for everyone to heed my advice. There's always going to be people who disagree or simply don't care, but I just wanted to share some easily implementable tips that can, judging from the looks of it, help a lot of people.

The popularity of that post was fleeting; the number of views I've gotten has exponentially decayed in the days since. Fortunately, I started this blog not to make it big (which I find a silly goal), but to improve my writing. This episode is a gentle reminder that people will see your writing on the internet. And while it can get nasty in parts, it's precisely this exposure and the productive discourse that (hopefully) follows that makes writing publicly so rewarding.

Happy writing!

#blog #english #work