A Million Words Or Less

This morning I noticed that I’m approaching one million words. I have a widget that counts posts, words, comments and so forth. I’ve never paid much attention to the total word count until I noticed the odometer was about to turn over somewhere in the next post.

Allegedly the word count excludes the quoted texts from links so those million words are all mine. That sounds like a lot, but the math says it is roughly 700 words per day. I don’t post every day, but I often post more than one thing in a day.

This is the officially the millionth word: Hurray!

I try to keep my essays at the 1000 word length on the theory that most people have the attention span of a gnat. The interwebs has damaged our brains, making long pieces unreadable. I still read long form essays, but I do so in stages. I’ll read a chunk and then put it aside and then read another chunk. Part of it is the medium, but like everyone, my attention span has shrunk thanks to the interwebs.

Looking through the activity logs, it appears I have about 25,000 regular readers. There’s a gizmo on the site to tell me how many non-robot visitors I get every day, week, month and so on. I never look at it as I’m not running a storefront. If I ever tried to make money from this then maybe it would mean something to me. As it stands, I have 25,000 readers who come by multiple times a month.

I’m a little surprised by the number as I have done nothing to promote the blog. The readership is entirely word of mouth. Most of that mouth is Gerard Van der Leun from American Digest. I also get a ton of traffic from Maggies Farm. Both are great sites by the way. Doug Ross also sends a lot of people my way. There are others, of course, but those are the top three referrers.

I get most visits from US readers, but number two on the hit parade is Britain. Someone sent me a message claiming to be a UK based reader and thanking me for my efforts. They said they have to read US sites for this type of content as it is largely banned in Europe. Strangely, I get very little Canadian traffic. Maybe they have enough domestically produced vitriol and bile. Maybe they are too drunk to work the internets.

As has been pointed out, I’m starting to cast a shadow. My Overton Window bit with regards to trump turned up in a lot of gentile places, suggesting some good thinkers are slumming it with the bad thinkers like me. That makes this site like the slave quarters in the bad old days. Instead of coming here for the hootenanny, the beautiful people come to the ghetto for ideas and insights. Z is the new black!

Anyway, thank you to all the folks who spread the good news and thank you for being a reader. I appreciate it greatly. After the revolution, your contributions will be noted.

22 thoughts on “A Million Words Or Less

  1. Why the trash mouth for canadians?? LOL although based on the last federal election here i think a great many of my cohorts up here are drinking far too much. But keep it up, i actually enjoy the insight, now excuse me i need another breakfast beer

  2. I found you through either Ace of Spades or iSteve, I can’t remember which, and you actually inspired me to start my own (far inferior) blog. I usually post under a pseudonym (it’s complicated), but I might as well post this under my own name.

    I work for a newspaper — a dying profession, but we hang on because we’re in a market with tons of elderly retirees who are scared of the Internet. As part of my duties, I read a lot of reader mail. One of the things I noticed when I first started at our paper was that I thought our retired readers made a lot of great points, but they had difficulty expressing themselves in a coherent fashion.

    Your blog is like the complete opposite of that. As I said to my wife: “It’s like this guy is one of our cranky regular letter writers, except he’s a literal freaking genius who is way, WAY smarter than me. Instead of reading him and thinking, ‘that’s a good point, but I could have phrased it better,’ I find myself thinking, ‘damn, that’s brilliant. Why didn’t I ever look at it that way?'”

  3. I don’t remember which site initially linked me to your page, but it doesn’t really matter. You are one of my daily reads.

    Thank you for the effort you put in here.

  4. “Strangely, I get very little Canadian traffic”

    Canada just seems to be completely whipped. I have yet to meet a Canadian I would classify as conservative. I’m sure they exist but where are they?

  5. Greatly enjoy your work, check the feed every day when online, agree with you in large measure (certainly one reason I like the blog!) and wonder if there are any other readers from Argentina.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. Congrats! I found your place from American Digest and it’s been near the top of my bookmarks toolbar ever since! Good stuff!

  7. Hey, Z-Man, nightly reader here in Ottawa. Send link regularly to 4 or 5 trusted confederates this side of your northern border. Particularly relish your insights into forgotten (by most) wars and their parallels to our present, parlous times.

  8. Great place. Did you know you’ve got the circulation of what was a good small city newspaper back in the day?


  9. You write a hellava piece, Z man – that’s why your word of mouth has been so good. That, and because you offer a perspective that readers can’t find at the NYT, WaPo, or even the websites of the “mainstream right” like The National Review.

    As for your traffic coming from outside the US, well, numbers don’t lie:

    UK Population: approx. 65 million
    Canada Pop.: approx. 35 million

    And a number of Canadians’ first language is not English, so the ratio of British to Canadian readers will be still more pronounced. In any case, I just cannot imagine that our neighbors to the North are more drunk than the Brits.*

    *The USA isn’t Saudi Arabia, but we’re still too puritanical to be in the running for drunkest English-speaking country.

  10. I discovered your site only this year. After being linked here from American Digest (I believe), the first order of business was to devour all of your back posts. A million words is a lot, but I wish that you wrote more frequently and at greater length. Accordingly, I check the site daily to see if there’s anything new. I also read the comments, some of which are quite informative.

    Thanks for writing your thoughts down. You don’t owe me or anyone else fresh copy and you’re under no obligation to share your thinking with the world, but I’m glad that you feel like taking the trouble.

    Cheers, RW

  11. It is difficult to find work that consistently challenges one’s thinking, and does so in a way that shines a bit of a different light on things than most other places. There is also the matter of the added insights of the comments. This site excels in both areas, and is one of my few political/social daily go-to sites. You may not change the world (I hope you do), but I always feel a bit more informed after each visit. I imagine that putting your own thoughts into writing clarifies and sharpens your own thinking. Thank you!

  12. On the other hand, a five thousand word essay which is expressed in a one thousand word essay may be an improved essay.

    The money shots in the Great Books of politics and such are doled out by paragraph, sometimes two or three. When the melody is strong people will grasp it without preamble. It may even drive them to read the book.

  13. Love you’re work, fun and enlightening. I read a lot and rate you among the best. It is me that thanks you.


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