Stats Challenge Results

Yes, I know… no-one took the challenge. I was laughing when I wrote yesterday’s post because the minute I posted it I was absolutely sure it would make it onto my list of least popular posts of all time.  Thus far the reality is matching the prediction, LOL!

Anyway, the most interesting thing I discovered is that 3 of my all-time personal favorite poems are amongst the least popular posts of all time.

I’m going to share them again now because I’m aiming for the bottom – 0 likes, 1 view – would be nice, or even better, 1 like, 0 views.  This is probably just as difficult to achieve were my goal to be Freshly Pressed (heaven forbid but it seems to be the goal of a lot of bloggers).  Another reason for resharing posts that have absolutely failed, is that I’m exploring a suspicion I have about whether the majority of readers even read this far into the post before they have moved on.  No judgement on readers in that statement, if I’m boring, I’m boring. Voting with one’s feet is fantastically useful feedback!

Enough with the waffle… here’s the stuff you hated – followed by links to the stuff you loved.  Some people eat waffles for breakfast but I’m kind of indifferent to them.


(no particular order, a bottom-dwelling cluster—-)

Weather Time

God bless those who are willing to hear your cry
Oh! Whipping wind lift those hats and dresses high
Before this dawn you tapped rain on my window
Beckoning you said “It’s time to start this show”

I couldn’t read the news the sun was too bright
You threw on a nebula gown of delight
That strobed through the moments and whispered a song
“You can stay way out there, but don’t stay too long”

Writing in the wind or singing in the rain
Kicking up your heels or busking on the train
No matter the plan we will tear it to shreds
Like kids who should sleep but are bouncing on beds

Mesmerise this morning of weather-at-play
Strategise how time could be best spent this day
Then watch as we spin the whole world on its head
Fling time out the door, give us weather instead.


I remember when I was black

The colour was orange and rich tones of earth
Open plains and a lonely tree
A small village hut made of natural stuff.
The fireplace smoked
We made semolina in a big iron pot
Melodious songs of womanhood we sang
and danced and ran free.
We walked with grace and rhythm
Strong-bodied, curve-backed people of my kind
Where are you now?

The sky is clear, the weather warm
I am a solitary seven-year-old against this landscape
With smiling eyes in a mischievous face.
Tiny circles of African hair press close to my scalp.
My pink-soled, chocolate-coated body is wrapped in metres of burnt orange
And I move more freely than in suburban clothes.
Pride and playfulness affect my stance
And though I am a child alone, I am not fearful
For this is where I am myself


Battle Practice

Leave your prejudices at the door
For they’ll only weigh you down my friend
Repartee, riposte, reproach, rapport
Examine the value of what you defend

Behold! a task the ego can master
Duck, weave, dance all about the place
Holding the centre I dance so much faster
I play out the drama that lends this life grace

Momentum can trip or tip or flip
I stand on the same side, we both fall
So I sent it back in a neat little pack
A skew with a prayer and padding for the wall



(comparatively speaking – most popular first)


So there you have it. A lesson that I am likely to forget far more often than I am likely to remember. What I like has nothing to do with what readers enjoy.

All hail survivorship bias!


25 thoughts on “Stats Challenge Results

  1. Tish Farrell says:

    Whipping wind lift those hats and dresses high – what a great line! And
    I really really like the second poem ‘I remember when I was black’ and especially these lines: “My pink-soled, chocolate-coated body is wrapped in metres of burnt orange
    And I move more freely than in suburban clothes.”

    I think you should cross out ‘hated’ and put ‘overlooked’ or ‘yet to be appreciated’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamborobyn says:

      I’ve always been particularly sensitive, Tish, but for most of my early life I needed to be the opposite to survive. At a very young age, I made a conscious decision to preserve all that was precious to me and was ‘yet to be expressed’ in the world behind particularly strong defenses – pending more favourable conditions. The image described in “I remember when I was black” contains the personal vision of what my soul is/was like without those defenses, and it’s always been experienced as a memory – as though I lived a moment like this. Your comment truly means a lot to me. I thank you so much for taking the time to read this post.

      BTW, I don’t get many opportunities to use the word “hate” as it’s not really the way I think, so I was delighted to be able to put “hated” in my post. It’s only fair, even if it’s not entirely true 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mihrank says:

    You have such beautiful introduction to true factors in our life, and so detailed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rivera says:

    Like.. Like.. Like..!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. trentpmcd says:

    Well, I did watch the video, all 17 minutes, about the flack patterns and those where the ones that made it, etc. I’ve done the challenge in the past. of course when I had 1/10th followers I had far fewer views. Short poems had few hits – people can read a haiku in the Reader. Long stories, say over 1200 words (I’ve had a few over 2000) get few views. Some of my obscure interests, like a recent review of a synthesizer, get few views.

    The ones that get the most views are the ones that are the most connected. A few of my FaceBook friends post it. I’m part of a “blog hop” or other blog event or the few times I’ve done a daily post, etc. On occasion something becomes popular for no known reason or something dies for no known reason.

    I like all 3 poems. Strange, they were all clustered around the same time in September of 2013. Perhaps it was just timing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamborobyn says:

      Wow! thank you so much for that incredibly useful feedback. My first thought was definitely to consider reach. Obviously I had fewer followers back in 2013, but not proportionately less. It’s quite possible the composition of visitors has changed and/or the context.

      I wonder did you get anything out of the video? He’s far from the best speaker I’ve ever heard. Still, after I watched it I sent a reply to my friend, that basically said, “Yeah, not so new to me, but a good reminder.” Then I kind of forgot about it. One hour later, I’m busily rummaging through my WP stats and having a great old time establishing facts and gathering information. So I sent another email saying “Man, that dude worked some kind of voodoo on me, now I’ve got an additional 20 trillion ideas and lots of motivation” and he responds, “Same here, how very weird/fun.”

      In reviewing the stats ‘m not so much looking to repeat past successes or avoid future failures as I am interested in understanding the landscape. Every one of my popular posts is a deviation from what I usually post. But if every post has the same intensity or the same structure as the most successful – each visitor only needs to read one of my posts to know the entirety of what I will ever have to share. I love contrast and the interplay of polarities so I would say the kind of landscape I’ll now aim towards could be represented by the yin/yang symbol.

      What I really want to see is what happens once I apply the concept of survivorship bias to the core framework of my currently held beliefs. Sooner or later I’m bound to give it a try.

      PS. Interesting what you said about length of post. My first and most popular post by at least 1000% is 3000 words long – but I didn’t count it here because it’s a different url.

      Liked by 1 person

      • trentpmcd says:

        I liked the video and I did think about it, but so far it hasn’t come back to “haunt” me. I should probably watch the last half again with no distractions. Of course I studied Mathematics in school, so I get exactly were the statistician is coming from.

        Looking back, my very longest posts weren’t the very worst. My 4000 word short story was maybe in the bottom 15% but most likely not bottom 10% (I didn’t do the math, just a quick estimate by eyeballing the scroll bar).

        My very top were ones that get the most search engine play.

        I agree, you can’t really write to the stats. Just write what you want and hopefully people will like it. I think your yin-yang, hitting some of the contrasts, might be a good way to go about it.

        I can see a lot that can be done with “well, that didn’t work, now did it? Let’s try to figure out why, see if there’s a pattern.” It can be done with a lot of what we do in life. Your core belief system? It could very interesting what you’ll find.

        This is kind of fragmented because I’m working and doing several things at once 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • jamborobyn says:

        The funniest thought just occurred to me, Trent. I posted here the poems that I liked the most. They weren’t the only posts at the bottom of the pile – there were also some extremely dubious contributions that well and truly deserved their low ranking. LOL! Between the dubious ones and those I love that failed – of course, I know exactly how they differ. Therefore multiple factors are at work of which I know at least one of them. Quality. Even though it’s assumed to be an implicit requirement, still I posted some rubbish…

        This conversation had such a good impact on my thinking, Trent. I am grateful to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • trentpmcd says:

        When I discuss these types of things with people it often makes what I think a bit clear, if for no other reason than it forces me to put my thoughts to words. Glad I could help!


  5. I enjoyed them too. I just wasn’t home yesterday. 🙂
    Blogging is an odd thing sometimes. What you think will be a great hit isn’t and one you think is sort of “meh” really touches people.
    Keep writing anyways. You are great at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamborobyn says:

      Yeah, it is odd, but kind of interesting too. I do like good surprises – when a post goes better than expected, not so excited about the bad ones though… Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Much appreciated.


  6. I like them all because they reflect you, and that is what your blog is about….YOU. So, you’re not going to please everybody all the time. Forget it. Keep on posting what you please….please.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lorraine Spencer says:

    I liked them all and actually examined your challenge carefully. lol. I did like the piece but should have also written that when I had more time to devote that I would give it a looksie. You just keep going. I think you may have gotten some more response if you put the post on Facebook in a community, public figure or fan page. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamborobyn says:

      Exactly Lorraine. To increase popularity – go for reach first. You are the master of that one and I am sure I learnt it from you. One day soon I’ll focus on it.

      Most interesting is what I overlooked whilst I was investigating. As mentioned in my comments with Trent – initially I still managed to ignore the majority of failed posts and focus solely on those failed posts that I liked. How is that for missing what I’m missing? doh LOL!

      So the most important thing to learn is that I have an automatic filter/bias even when I think I am being objective.

      This concept can be applied to every area of thinking and, as I noticed, is the perfect motivator for me when things are stuck.

      I cannot get into Facebook even after all this time – I just don’t understand it. But then again I don’t understand most forms of social interaction.

      Even though I knew when I posted about survivorship bias that it would take a while for people to get the time and inclination to check it out, I carried on regardless. I wasn’t really interested in my WordPress stats so much as I was interested in finding out the extent of the filter I am running around with. WP stats are a safe, controlled area in which to highlight how frequently I overlook things whilst assuming that I’m working with a complete set of information.


  8. Nomzi Kumalo says:

    Funny because I was just questioning our support team about the “YOU MAY LIKE” option that feels clogged like a traffic jam most of the time. Only to undestand that I follow too few blogs.

    “Weather Time” is almost tactile. I love that aspect. Some poems capture our hearts today, others a decade later. Some are hyped. Persist Robyn. It has to be true to you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamborobyn says:

      Nomzi, the majority of my followers and “likers” are people that I follow, People that I have met by searching WordPress for keywords and visiting hundreds of blogs and commenting on those that inspire me. I have almost no followers on other social media platforms. I take this approach because I love reading.

      The problem I have now with that approach is that I very much dislike using the WordPress Reader, it keeps scrolling up and down on it’s own and if I click on the “read more” link I will lose my place. There is no way to mark what I have read and what I haven ‘t. Even though I may read some lovely posts during a session, I always leave the WP Reader annoyed, frustrated and exhausted. I have been searching for a replacement tool for reading subscribed blogs – but so far I haven’t found anything viable other than my desktop email client which isn’t ideal because then I’m tied to the desk.

      I get email notifications for some people’s blogs, but every few months it seems to reset to the reader only and I have to go through and resubscribe…


      • Nomzi Kumalo says:

        Yes, most of the action is inside WordPress. I never expected that but it is what it is. Security.

        Oh yes, that Reader situation. Yikes. It makes me reluctant to follow too many. One should be able to place a marker where one last read. Or separate pages for read and unread. Where one can skip posts where one needs more time to read. Right?

        Emails, I have not got there yet. 😀


  9. Steve Morris says:

    I like the second one best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamborobyn says:

      Cheers Steve, I appreciate the feedback. The whole exercise has clarified my thinking. Even with advance warning and a focus on what I might be overlooking, I demonstrated to myself with this post that I had fallen into the habit of shying away from information that didn’t fit my expectations or view of the world. So survivorship bias, whether it contains made-up words or not, has proved it’s worth to me as a concept. Thanks so much for stopping by.


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