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Day sixteen

November 16, 2016

Here’s a funny thing. (And by funny, I mean peculiar, not ha ha.)

When I post my columns, I always add key words. You never know, some day I might want to easily find the various columns I’ve written about of toxics or nukes, without having to check every months entry.

Back in the summer I wrote a column comparing and contrasting the platforms offered by the Republicans and the Democrats. Not long afterwards I received an email telling me there was a comment to approve. A whiter-than-white, homesteading, home schooling, Bible thumper from Colorado, who has a blog called “Front Porch Bliss” had sent the following message:Love? Murdering babies is love? Oh, right…only the mothers life matters. Smh.” (I had to do a Google search to find out “Smh” was text speak for Shakes my head. Sigh.)

My first thought was: Ugh. Then I wondered if I should approve the comment and have this wretched woman’s opinion tainting my site. Then I thought about freedom of speech, of the famous quote attributed to Volitaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Okay, I was never going to defend to the death this woman’s right to her opinion, but what the hell. I approved the comment.

There was a lovely response to her comment: “So much hate? Are you for real? If you want to look at hate, take a long, hard look at Donald Trump. He’s an equal opportunity hater. He hates women. He hates Latinos. He hates black people. He hates muslims. Would love to hear what you believe hate really means, bet you call yourself a Christian too…”  And then I couldn’t help getting in on the act: “Dear Front Porch Bliss: Thank you for taking the time to share your views, which I find as abhorrent as you no doubt find mine. I would be grateful if you could run grammar check before posting any future comments. The rules which apply to apostrophes are not difficult to master.” I just couldn’t resist. If you want me to take you seriously, use proper grammar.

Anyway… It was only after I’d approved the comment that I wondered: How the hell did Front Porch Bliss find me? How? Finally realised it was probably the keywords, one of which for this column had been abortion. Obviously this virulently anti-choice homesteader trolled the internet looking for references to abortions. Ugh.

Because I was in the habit of using keywords for the columns, I did the same with Black Dog Diary entries.

I’ve had a few comments (always more positive than Bliss woman) on columns since I set up the website. I’ve had post likes and gained a few followers – some of them people I don’t even know.

But here’s the funny thing. As soon as the Black Dog Diary started I began to get two, three or four post likes and followers per day. At first I couldn’t figure it out. And then I realised, oh, right, it’s the keywords: depression, anxiety, nothingness, etc. Most of my new followers seemed to have blogs that touched on these subjects. I stopped using keywords for two days. Nothing. I started using them again. Three new followers.

I don’t think of myself as an old fart. (Not yet, anyway.) But I am genuinely baffled. I can manage setting up a Google alert. Out of curiosity I tried a Google search. I typed in my name and the word depression. Sure enough some Black Dog Diary entries popped up. But (and this is that big but) I had to know my name to find it. So how are these people finding me? Obviously there is something I don’t understand about the blogosphere. And that’s fine. But it is a mystery.

I mentioned this the other day to The Nurse. I said I was absolutely fine with people stumbling across the Diary. I had no idea what they might get out of it, but if they found something of interest, great. If anything I am writing is helpful to anyone, even better.

Brief pause while, again out of curiosity, I do a Google search for “black dog diary”. Turns out mine is one of many. I really shouldn’t be surprised and I’m not. Perhaps this is how people are finding me? Doesn’t matter.

To my new followers: I’m not even sure what I’m getting out of this, but if you’re enjoying the ride, welcome aboard.

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