In the past eight months, Pan Kisses Kafka has grown exponentially. EXPONENTIALLY. I never knew my stats during the Early Years (2003-2007), but during the post-hiatus, pre-Thesis Hatement year (2012-2013) I averaged about 150 views a month during a good month (some were as low as 15, probably just spam crawlers). After Thesis Hatement, I started getting a tad bit of traffic again, thanks to becoming active on Twitter (though in April I think I had 150 followers), and gaining the attention of Sarah Kendzior, Karen Kelsky, William Pannapacker, and others whose links brought in hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of views. In May of 2013 I had 7,500 views, and my mind was blown. I said “fuck it” and put ads up, figuring I’d get paid every ten months or so (WordPress makes you rack up $100 before they’ll release the dough).
In December 2013, the month that just ended, I had 74,000. I now get 3,000-4,000 views a day (my all-time max is 6,100, thanks almost entirely to Claire Potter, and yes, I am thinking of sharing my December ad revenue check with you, Claire! It’s the least I can do). Anyway, 74,000 views. Almost 30,000 unique visitors. Who are you people? Why are you reading? You know what? I don’t want to know–JUST KEEP DOING IT. I love you. I love you all so damn much. Even the hate-readers. Honestly, especially the hate-readers, because I used to be such an avid hate-reader myself before I promised my husband I wouldn’t do it anymore–my favorite targets were ultraconservative Christian blogs, and what do you know? I BECAME FRIENDS with a bunch of the bloggers, because Rebecca Schuman Turns Enemies to BFFFs and That Is How Shit Rolls. I am actually kind of obsessed with seeking out and befriending people I think I’ll hate, or who think they hate me. Kind. Of. Obsessed. So if you’re an A-#1 Schuman Hater, you might be next, and know that I DO knit things, but I don’t cook (but I do really enjoy treating people for meals out, even if I don’t have any money).
Anyway. The only “consequence” of the community that’s grown around this blog (and to my regulars, may I say once again that I LOVE YOU?) is that now I get quite a few comments. Until today, I had an email alert to notify me every time I had a comment, and especially if one was waiting for moderation. I still moderate every comment from someone new, and if they’re too mean, I’ll trash them. But after several months of waking up to 10-30 email alerts, most alerting me to conversations that readers are already having with each other (many of which are really awesome!), it’s begun to disturb my sleep, because when I wake up to use the little girls’ room at 5 a.m. I immediately get a pit of dread in my stomach about what kind of comments are awaiting me, and I know it’s no good to check your email at 5 a.m. and that NOBODY SHOULD CHECK EMAIL AT 5 A.M. so I don’t, but then I just sit next to my husband in bed with my eyes wide open and a pit of dread in my stomach, and sometimes he’s a light sleeper, so my anxiety wakes him up too, and he’s like I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON HERE, BUT I BLAME YOU, SCHUMAN, I BLAME YOU. And when it comes out that it’s something to do with my self-obsessed post-academic stuff, he gets (rightly) pissed, and then I have both a pit of dread AND my husband’s pissed at me, so I have a double pit of dread, and get a shitty night’s sleep.
So what I’m saying is that I’ve turned email alerts for comments off. I’ve also added a thing that makes you put a name and email address when you comment (though obviously both can be fake!). I will still moderate comments from newbies, but now it might take me days to get around to it. I hope that this does not discourage regulars from keeping up the conversation–I read every comment, usually (but not always) every day, but unless I’m way ahead on my deadlines I don’t respond to all of them anymore, because it makes me too anxious.
So if you don’t see your comment appear a few days after you’ve made it, accept my apologies in advance, and know that unless it was downright cruel, I’ll approve it. I just want to wake up to my usual morning inbox, of dog pics from my mom, the daily IT “outage” alerts I get from UMSL, the occasional fan/hate mail, articles needing changes from my editors (love you DK, JT, BR, DH!), and offers from Spanx.
In conclusion, I love Spanx.