Freedom from the tyranny of metrics

Posted to: Twitter; Hacker News

A terrible tragedy hast befallen my most beloved domain:


My archrival Anthony Dillon hast improved his domain, and now it beats our own! This is, of course, unacceptable.

The culprit - Google!

My site’s homepage only really had 1 single external dependency, gtag.js which of course set up my Google Analytics. Most sites have Google Analytics, but using it still makes me feel dirty. I really only do it so I can have this table:


This is by far the worst performing part of the site, and pulls down my “performance” stat as low as 75% at times. You’d think Google could do a better job.

Tyranical metrics

Aside from the obvious complaints about how analytics invades user’s privacy, and also likely breaks European law, I actually think these metrics carry a sigificant cost on me personally.

I wish I wrote blog posts at least every week, or ideally much more frequently. But if you look at my homepage you can see that I actually blog about once a year. This is at least partly because of the pressure I feel to perform. I fantisise about how each post will be ground-breaking and universally adored.

I’m also kind of addicted to Twitter. On Twitter, metrics are right there. Every tweet has likes and retweets, and these really feel like the point. If your tweet doesn’t have any likes, it’s failed. I think this mindset has infected my psyche. It’s why I take the same attitude to blog posts, and hence why I can’t publish any.

Google Analytics is my crutch. It is the way that I can, at least in theory, see all my adoring fans coming to my site to worship my godlike content. And hence it’s why I can never publish any content at all.

Moving on

So now I get to kill two important birds with one stone - free myself from caring about who actually reads my work, and also claw back the tiniest bit of self respect by not letting the wily Anthony Dillon defeat me in performance metrics. new performance

Next step, quit Twitter. But steady-on, one step at a time.

By @nottrobin