I Totally Missed This

img_4606I never got any kind of notification from WordPress telling me that my blog had reached a significant milestone. I found out by scrolling down my blog’s stat page and discovering that, at some point on Wednesday (I think), I reached 2,000 followers. Woo hoo!

I admit that I was surprised that I didn’t get any notification. The last time I received a notification from WordPress was back in October when I was notified that my blog had reached 1337 followers. Now, almost six months later, I reach 2,000 followers and not a peep.

Maybe it’s because WordPress knows that I don’t actually have 2,007 people who are following my blog. Based upon regular interactions (e.g., likes and comments), I may actually have maybe two or three dozen people who are legitimately following my blog, since I never hear from probably 1,950 of my 2,007 “followers.”

Anyway, regardless of whether you really are a follower of my blog, or if you’re just someone who randomly or accidentally clicked “follow,” thank you.

On a different, yet related topic, didn’t WordPress used to have something it called a “trophy case,” where you could see all of the notifications for things like number of posts, likes, followers, etc. that you achieved? What happened to that? If it’s still around, I can’t figure out how to access it. Do any of you know?

Count Along With Fandango

F0DBCFDB-4FB7-4AD4-9AF3-CB80998CE0F7Can you guess what these five numbers mean?

  • 2,000
  • 200,000
  • 31,100
  • 707
  • 1,503

Give up?

2,000 — In late November This, That, and the Other surpassed 2,000 posts. As of today, it’s 2,024.

200,000 — TT&O is currently 63 views short of 200,000 views.

31,100 — My blog is four visits shy of 31,100 visitors.

707 — The highest number of views TT&O received in a single day.

1,503 — The number of followers of TT&O.

9895D394-EC54-4E02-8231-56DD835165D5Okay, I know this sounds very self-serving, but I am stoked.

What can I say? I love numbers.

1337 5p34k

C5664DEF-6BE3-48C6-BE1C-4C38CCB88054Yesterday I received this strange notification from WordPress congratulating me on having received 1,337 followers on my blog.

That seemed to me to be a rather random number to have generated a special WordPress notification. I got one at 1,000 followers and I figured my next one might be when I reached 1,500 or 2,000. But 1,337? Huh?

So I typed “1337” into Google and learned that 1337 means “elite.” Apparently, “1337” is a sort of webspeak kind of symbol for elite. And “1337” is also referred to as “Leet.”

Curiosity piqued, I did a Google search on “Leet.”

LEET (1337) is a written language or cipher used in online gaming, emails, text messaging, tweeting, and other electronic communication. The root of the term “leet” is the word “elite” — translated as 31337 — and 1337 was initially developed as an exclusionary language: a way to encode text so that messages could only be read by the initiated. The defining characteristic of 1337 is substitution of symbols and numbers for letters (for example, in the term “1337,” 1=L, 3=E and 7=T).

Apparently there is this whole language called “leet speak,” and its alphabet is a specialized form of symbolic writing. According to Wikipedia, leet originated on bulletin board systems (BBS) in the 80s. Back then, having “elite” status on a BBS allowed a user special access and privileges.

Leet symbols, especially the number 1337, have become internet memes that have spilled over into popular culture. I guess I’m not so in touch with pop culture because I’d never heard of leet speak or was aware of any special significance to the number 1337.

And while doing my Google research, I also came across “1337 5p34k,” which translates to “leet speak” in, well, leet speak.

So essentially, “leet” is shorthand for the word “elite,” which, in leet speak, means “better than everyone else.” And apparently, the 1337 badge from WordPress is WordPress’ way of telling you that your blog has somehow achieved elite status for having reached 1,337 followers. Woo hoo!

I suppose this is a good, albeit weird, kind of recognition. But I came across another definition of leet speak that defined it as “the language used by geeks to help them identify one another.”

Now I’m not so pleased anymore. I’ve been called many unflattering things in my life, but “geek”? Seriously?


Apparently when I was off entertaining our out-of-town visitors, this happened:img_1922I am totally blown away! And all I can say to those of you who follow my blog, especially to those who really follow my blog, is thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to read, like, and comment on my sometimes nonsensical flash fiction, my political rants, my weird takes on various prompts, and my periodic whining about the curse of technology glitches. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate you being here and interacting with me.

Pat yourselves on the back, bloggers. You are members of a great community. Thank you for welcoming me and accepting me. I’m honored to be just a small part of it.


Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

img_1349I got a notification yesterday from WordPress that I had “registered” for this blog a year ago. Woo hoo!

I guess it took me five days after establishing this blog to publish my first post, Practical Pragmatist. It was posted on May 14, 2017 and it generated all of five views, one like, and not a single comment. A rather auspicious start, right?

And now here it is, almost a year later. This is my 995th post. My posts have received almost 14,000 visitors, more than 36,500 views, 10,765 comments, and my blog has 752 followers. So stat-wise, anyway, not too shabby.

As I reviewed my posts over the past year, I was surprised that I categorized 426 of them as “Flash Fiction.” When I started this blog, I had planned on posting about my observations and perspectives on the world around me. On life, politics, and on society. I really hadn’t planned on writing short pieces of fiction.

In fact, my blog was six weeks old before I posted my first flash fiction post. It was in response to a daily one-word prompt. And that’s when I discovered how much I enjoyed writing short fiction. I also discovered a whole host of flash fiction writing prompts and, as they say, I was off to the races.

But my point for this post is simply to say thanks to all of you who have visited my blog, read my posts, liked what you read, and took the time to comment. And to those of you who follow my blog, thanks, especially to those of you who truly follow it and actually read my posts.

You are a great, diverse, and talented community of bloggers and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.