Thursday, July 13, 2006

My new addiction is my old addiction. It's my favorite research tool and I don't know how I would have written Mojo Mom without it. I love independent book stores, but to write a non-fiction book, there is nothing like Amazon's selection and web of connected recommendations. And as the author of a book selling on Amazon, there is a powerful motivation to click on my book and see how your ranking changes day by day. (Katha Pollitt just wrote about her manipulation of her Amazon rankings in The New York Times, and sure enough, her book went up to #462 yesterday.) Checking your own ranking is the ultimate variable reinforcement. The sorrows of dips into obscurity and joys of waves of new interest combine to pay off like a slot machine jackpot when you turn around a downward drift, or reach a new high-water mark.

But my new addiction is a feature I've just added to my blog, the ClustrMap at the bottom of the right-hand navigation column. I am no webmaster, but I finally figured out how to modify my blog's template to add a Technoriati search box and a Blogroll. Last night while reading someone else's blog I came across a new feature I had never seen before, a world map that adds a dot for every visitor's location. I love that. I had created a similar map in real life to track my book sales--an actual map with pins that I keep in my office. That was a lot of fun, and I am instantly addicted to this new blog feature. Rather than just reviewing an aggregated report of the number of my site's visitors, the ClustrMap transforms each blog reader into more of a real person with an actual location. Just knowing that I've reached people on both coasts since the map starting counting has already made me want to write more. As a writer, I have plenty of ideas but sometimes I feel like I need to trick myself into putting in the time to write. I think every writer has days when we wonder if there is really anyone on the other end reading what we have to say!

Reader by reader, book by book, each one means a lot to me. Thanks for being there.


Blogger MommaSteph said...

Hey, that's really cool!

9:00 AM  

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