Stats are funny old things. Stats, data, whatever you want to call it. On their own of course, or deprived of context, they can be pretty meaningless, unless it’s a simple, one-dimensional calculation, like ‘this is my 609th post on this blog’. I just had to look that up – shame I missed the 600th, that might have been reason for a party. Percentages, averages and statements like ‘the number of xyz has doubled in the last two weeks’ are open to (mis)interpretation. After all, double or triple-next-to nothing is still next-to-nothing. But hey. What do I know. Only that I learnt the value of this kind of obfuscation many years ago as a marketer.
But here’s another simple statistic: last week, just as I was about to send out my quarterly update of the poetry magazines submission windows spreadsheet, my subscriber mailing list tipped the 1,000 mark. Woop! I decided it would be fun to ‘reward’ the 1,000th subscriber, but I didn’t promote the fact, because those types of tweets tend to attract compers, freebie-fans and lightning-fast unsubbers. In any case it’s not a huge reward, but it’s something – a free copy of my guide to getting published in UK mags. So, after not publicising the forthcoming prize I quietly checked my Mailchimp and identified the winner to be… drumroll etc etc… Jessica Boatright. I was delighted to discover that not only is Lincolnshire-based Jessica a poet, tutor and mentor – but also her Twitter name is @oh_so_boatie – brilliant!
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