Sandra Dickinson, in her comment to my Fear of Blogging post notes:
...the responses to what I have to say are NOT showing up as comments on my own blog. They are showing up in other people's blogs. VERY hard for me to find out about and keep track of and keep going with. So its not just fear in the first place, but some discouragement after awhile, if you can't figure out how to see what the response is.
I'll admit that my reasons for starting and continuing to write the blog are purely selfish. I do this to clear my head. I never anticipated anyone caring enough to read this, much less comment, link, and blog about anything I have to say.
That said, to my surprise and delight, I find myself tapped into a robust community of like-minded souls. This has made me curious. And more narcissistic than necessary.
Strategies I've discovered so far....
The blog reader (currently using Google Reader).... it always surprises me when I find my name in the post. I think it is some other Wendy, until I follow the link and it takes me to my site. BTW: Googling yourself is quite an education, if you are one of the few who have not done so yet.
Technorati - From this, I can tell that Tony Karrer has linked to my blog a lot. :' )
Google Analytics - I started playing with this tool this past week. Very informative and eye-opening (who knew that people from China, Turkey and Burnsville, Minnesota were looking?). Downside - it doesn't keep track of RSS subscriptions. For the curious, I'll add techie notes in another post.
Bloglines - I just started playing with this tool today - hoping to answer Paul Fender's question about my RSS feed. Very cool that it keeps track of how many people have RSS subscriptions to your blog within Bloglines. Wish Google Reader had that features....
I also noticed the BlogRoll feature in Bloglines. Aesthetically, I'm not a huge fan of buttons and links and other stuff on the sides of my blog. I'd rather shout about (and link to) someone's cool idea from the rooftops. But that's just me. I'll probably play with Blogroll over the next couple of weeks.
In my ideal universe, everyone would make their blogs feed-reader friendly, with full posts, so I don't have to click on the site at all unless the blog owner points out an interesting comment stream or I want to link to their post on my own blog. I am lazy.
Speaking of keeping track....anyone out there have any other suggestions for keeping track of what is going on with your blog?