An age-old philosophical question and beginning of a lot of groaner jokes asks, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” We true life storytellers may or may not view ourselves as philosophers as we reach into the depths of our experience and cry out – verbally or in written form – the experiences of our lives. But if no one is there to hear or read our stories, is it really storytelling?
Storytellers need an audience. When you tell live in a storytelling show or at The Moth, it’s easy to judge if you actually have an audience. Depending on the lighting, you might be able to see if there are actual butts – oops! I mean “bottoms”:-) – in those audience chairs. If you can’t see their faces, you might hear laughs or, depending on the subject matter, other sounds like gasps, groans and the pin dropping silence of edge-of-the-seat anticipation. But in the digital world, how will I know if anyone is showing up to laugh, tremble, rejoice and cry with me?
A blogger friend has two words for me, “Google Analytics.” Google has created a handy tool that tracks website activity. Not only can I see how many have visited StoryDame, I can discover other handy information including what times they visited, what pages they visited, how long they were there, where they are located and what technology they are using. This information can help guide decisions about content creation as my blog grows in content and “content appreciators.”
To enable Google Analytics, I sign into my Google account. Google Analytics walks me through an easy process to establish an account. Then, Google assigns me an Analytics account ID. I enter the ID into my WordPress theme and voila! I am up and running! For those without ID integrations, Google offers a code that can be manually entered.
It’s exciting watching numbers begin to appear as I tell friends about StoryDame which produces another problem. How’s this gonna impact my social media addiction?