DD asked me what my plans were the other night.
“I’m watching Chartbeat,” I replied.
It sounds like I was sitting in front of the tellie watching music videos, but Chartbeat is a tool that tells you how much traffic your website is receiving.
As I’m acting news editor at Kidspot this week, it’s become this digital journalist’s version of taking crack.
It’s scarily addictive.
I compulsively stare at the figures for each story as they go up and down and up and down on the computer screen. Every now and then a story goes TOTALLY OFF.
If I’m feeling a bit blah watching a story go off gets me really high.
Sad, I know.
If a story is a goer it will usually happen within the first 10 minutes of going up on Facebook. If there’s nada in the first 10 minutes there’s nada full stop. So, when I’m particularly obsessed, I duck to the computer 10 minutes after each story has been posted to check on its progress. If I think a story MIGHT go berko I actually sit at the computer waiting for the clock to tick over to the moment the story goes live then I watch to see if it will race to the top of the storyboard.
The other night I was still doing it after 10pm. It made sleep VERY difficult afterwards.
And it’s quite crushing when a great story tanks.
WHY?!!!! You wail at the computer. WHY?????!!!!
Then you’re glued to the computer desk, anxiously hoping the next story will do better.
And the next day it begins all over again because digital media is a very hungry beast.
I started out on monthly magazines. They move at a glacial pace. You only get once chance to strike the jackpot on the newsstands every four weeks.
When I moved to weekly magazines, things got much more exciting. On a Tuesday morning I’d hover over my computer waiting for the email containing my first-day figures to come in. The circulation department could extrapolate from the first day’s sales in Woolies how well the magazine would sell Australia-wide during the week.
It could be exhilarating or devastating in the blink of an eye, then you had to wait a whole week to see if you’d done better or worse with your next cover.
Digital is constantly in the moment. Every minute holds new surprises.
I love it.
Perhaps a bit too much … because I really need to get some sleep.
What’s your addiction?
Song of the day: Roxy Music “Love is the drug”