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Shame on You

Have you ever wondered exactly how Professor Myers goes about grading blog activity? After all, with so many new posts and comments added to the account each week, it would seem nearly impossible to gauge each student’s involvement on the site.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to the most intimidating feature of WordPress.com – the so-called “stats” page.

You wont find more heated competition on ESPN.com. The stats page pitches each and every student head-to-head, providing up-to-date information as to number of posts and comments, as well as the popularity of individual entries in terms of “views”, “likes”, and “shares”. And don’t think that it makes any attempt to sugarcoat the truth. The “top authors” section quite literally ranks students based on their online contributions.

In nearly every sense, the webpage is a testament to “quantity” over “quality”.

If I were to begin posting two or three-word entries each day of the week, I am confident that my name would soar to the top of the rankings. I very deliberately choose not to.

I am proud of the quality of my posts and comments. For the most part, I can say with complete assurance that I put forth my best work each and every week. I strive not to make the most contributions to the blog, but instead to provide my classmates with intellectually enriching material.

This doesn’t exactly fit into the WordPress model. After all, there’s no way to quantify the wittiness of a post. Creativity can’t be depicted on a graph. No numerical value can be made to represent the emotional value or tenderness of a comment. The stats tracker simply isn’t… human.

I find it unsettling to think that so many aspects of modern society are evaluated in the context of similarly artificial constructs. The surrounding world will make every effort to measure your success in terms of dollars, cents, and the size of your house. You will be viewed as a culmination of the clothes you wear and the cars you drive. As for morality, empathy, or overall contentedness – they simply don’t compute.

Those things in life that are most important can’t be represented in the form of a number. And in the case of the online blogger, they most certainly aren’t depicted on any stats page.

As a UW student, I am not the number of entries that I post. I am not the number of “likes” that I receive. I am what I write, and how that writing affects my classmates.

WordPress.com, shame on you.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 14, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Actually, I don’t think she only looks at the stats page. One time, I made an offensive comment under a different name and though it directed at myself, she removed the comment. So, I think she does look at the blog posts and comments.

  2. November 14, 2011 at 5:42 am

    And yea, Even though I am the “Top Author” of all time, I do admit that some of the stuff I put out are pretty crappy hahas.

  3. November 14, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I am pretty sure she looks at the stat page but also at the details and depth of our comments and posts, like it says in the wiki.
    I think that when you have such a big group of people it would be hard to find another way to grade more efficiently. There are some flaws to just looking at the stat page because I feel as though it would only weed out the kids who are not trying at all from most of the kids who really are.
    Having said this I think it would be very hard to read every single blog post and all of the linked pages that come with them.

  4. November 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I had not found this, it is interesting. I agree that mostly it shows you the quantity over quality however there is a little bit of it that has quality, the amount of views and comments that one has on a post shows that the other people on the sight agree that the post has quality. If the post has many replied and views then it seems that the other people in the blog thing it is interesting and has some quality to it, but I agree that it is mostly quantity. The stats are interesting to see, I think it is interesting seeing the amount of posts and comments increase at different times (probably around due dates) and how they have decreased overall, especially in the middle around November 4th.

  5. Danika
    November 28, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Since you asked . . .
    I actually don’t really look at the stat page; I read every post and every comment, though I only click through on links now & then when I’m interested and want to see how you’re connecting to other ideas. It’s not actually that useful to me to get the raw numbers from the stats page b/c I need to know when they were posted in order to allot them to my “posting periods”. (If I’m wrong and there’s a way to do this more quickly, DO TELL!.) But I would have to look at all of them anyway, so it kind of doesn’t matter.
    Anyway, basically what I do is make tick marks in a spreadsheet for posts & comments, and I put stars by posts & comments that demonstrate work that exceeds expectations. And I don’t make a tick mark for, say, Haysoose saying, “Hey, can you delete this post?”

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