My Life and The Pioneer Woman
Monday, November 14, 2011
[Ed. note: this is an intro piece I wrote which turned into a short series on My Life and the Pioneer Woman. Here are direct links to Part I: Keepin' It Real, Part II: Reference Groups, and Part III: Gratitude.]
So I wrote a post in May after reading about The Pioneer Woman in the New Yorker. It was not a thoughtful, considered post, it was a hmm what can I do right now instead of doing what I’m supposed to be doing right now kind of post. Less than a week later, the roof came down and my life was chaos for a while.
Eventually I got back to my regular work and was looking for procrastination options and got sucked into checking on Pioneer Woman Sux every night. I really couldn’t have cared less about The Pioneer Woman, but I do love me some good parody, and PWS was often hilarious, and even when the post didn’t do much for me, the comments were almost always entertaining.
PWS went offline in September and I had a moment of panic, and then it came back but not really, it looks like they’ve gone underground and are handling things through the forums, which I am really trying to avoid getting sucked into.
Some time around when all of this was happening, a new little graph appeared in my WordPress header. My general strategy on this blog is to pretend that no one actually reads it (except my mom, who often comments on things I’ve written, and it’s probably best that I not forget that my mom reads my blog) and I’d like to not be disabused of that notion, so anything involving statistics or tips on how to get more readers is really something I try to avoid. So I ignored the little graph for a few days but it kept changing and it started to bug me not knowing what it was. So I went to my dashboard to see if there was anything there that would tell me what was going on and there’s all kinds of stuff on the dashboard that really I’d prefer to be ignoring.
But while I was there looking at the dashboard, I saw the list of search terms that led people to my blog, and was struck by the fact that a substantial number of them were related to Pioneer Woman. This seemed very odd to me as at that point I had written exactly one (1) post relating to The Pioneer Woman.
Eventually I figured out what the little graph was and moved on to other things and didn’t think about it much more, until Pioneer Woman Sux went offline and I was doing some searches to figure out what was going on and when I searched for Pioneer Woman Sux, I discovered that my post from May was the fourth hit on Google, after two links to the actual Pioneer Woman Sux site and one to a post from The Marlboro Woman.
I have no idea how this is possible. I think I must be some kind of SEO savant.
And I realized that would explain the many people ending up on my site with Pioneer Woman-related searches. Which I will actually include here because I think it’s kind of funny to see what people were searching for.
pioneer woman sux
the pioneer woman sux
new yorker pioneer woman
pioneer woman sux blog
the marlboro woman and the pioneer woman sux
pioneer woman not as appears
who is pioneer woman sux
pioneer woman cooking show sucks
pioneer woman new yorker
how the pioneer woman got started
pioneer woman new yorker magazine
what happened to pioneer woman sux
pioneer woman sux forum
comments on pioneer woamn sux
pioneer women sux author
why pioneer woman sux
pioneer woman too much oil
wordpress theme which looks like pioneer woman
pioneer womand sux
(My favorite is definitely “pioneer woman too much oil” — I think this post might be what you’re looking for, whoever searched for that. And “pioneer woman not as appears” is also a winner.)
Of the views resulting from searches for the time period reviewed (I don’t remember what the time period was, 7 days? 30 days? I have no idea), 140 of them were from searches relating to Pioneer Woman and 80 were for every other search term anyone used to find anything on my site. That means that the one Pioneer Woman post I wrote resulted in almost twice as many hits as everything else I’ve ever written here.
I was like dang, I should be writing about the Pioneer Woman every day. (But then I remembered that I would like to pretend that no one actually reads this so I decided that was a bad idea.)
Because I was spending so much time on Pioneer Woman Sux, and because I found the whole thing interesting for a bunch of different reasons, I was talking about it a lot. None of my friends read blogs, no one I talked to had ever heard of The Pioneer Woman, and no one could figure out why in the world I was at all interested in it. And let me tell you, they all got pretty sick of it pretty quickly. But do I ever let a little thing like what people are interested in talking about get in the way of my talking about what I want to talk about? No. I do not.
As a result of some of those conversations, I ended up writing some extended expositions on, as one of my friends wondered, where the vitriol comes from, and also on why I thought it mattered. And I was going to wrap them up and post them but then I had Scrap fundraising and then my work recurred, so all of it went back into the box.
This past Friday, I was out with some friends and they were talking about something on the Food Network so I asked if they’d seen the Pioneer Woman show (I have not seen it and have yet to find anyone who has, most of the reviews I read were pretty brutal) and my friend said she had never heard of the Pioneer Woman until she bought a book for her three-year old that turned out to be by Ree Drummond, who the book said was The Pioneer Woman, and my friend said she wondered who that even was and what the deal was.
I’m pretty sure they regretted getting me started on that topic.
And all of that made me look at the post I wrote earlier about why I think it matters and I had a short version of this intro with that longer post, but then I decided to write the intro as its own post to say where it all came from and I’ll put up the part that actually says something separately.
So there you have it. Exposition on The Pioneer Woman coming up this week, betcha can’t wait.