A couple of days ago, I was helping a colleague understand how Google Analytics works; she wanted to analyse the hits and visitor data at the website. After I lectured for about ten or fifteen minutes, she asked, “How do you know this? What made you spend so much time on understanding Google Analytics??”
I told her about my blog, this blog: the beginning years, when the only hits came from visitors who strayed in from Google looking for something else, and leaving quickly because this was not what they wanted. And some, staying a little and reading a little and leaving – or not – comments behind.
I told her about the hours I spent daily on this, following an isolated guest back to where he came from, to his country, to his state, to his city… wondering, and trying to find what brought him here. And a flicker of delight when I noticed that a visitor has returned.
She remarked at the end of this flash-back: “It’s good that you once did all those exercises; today they have come in quite handy for us.”
Yes indeed, all exercises we do, though they seem like a waste of time today – evoking snide, nasty comments from people (“Vere pani onnum ille? Have you nothing better to do?”) – would eventually become useful tools, to us or to others, some day… The lessons we learn today – without even realising that they were lessons – are stepping stones that shape our future.
Everything we do has a purpose, a meaning, a reason. As long as we believe in it, even if it is as small as fiddling with Google Analytics…