I received an email a while back from a concerned friend, one of the only ones who reads my blog (Okay, the only one who reads my blog.)
She told me that when she went to view it, she instead saw a large yellow banner announcing that my website had been “suspended.” She was worried. Am I okay? Have I been Banned in Berkeley???
Troubled by this myself, I called my go-to tech guy to find out what was going on. He checked it out and reported to me that I was using too much bandwidth. Given that I am technologically challenged, I had no idea what he was talking about.
To me, the term, “band width,” evokes unpleasant images of aging rockers from the 60s with large girths who take to the road for one more reunion tour.
So I asked the web dude to explain it in more simple terms. He said that my blog is getting too many hits for my cheap web package. Again, I was confused, as the word “hits” conjures up some of those top ten songs by my former rock heros.
I requested that he please translate all of this in laymen’s terms. (My exact words were, “Can you explain this as though you were talking to a 5-year-old?”)
He said, “Imagine that your web site is an apartment. You are paying for a studio. But you need the space of a three bedroom.” Given that a three-bedroom place out here costs more than the Gross National Product of several small nations, his analogy truly frightened me.
Finally he said, as patiently as he could, “You’re not paying enough money for all the people reading your site. Your site is being automatically suspended every time this happens. If you don’t want to be suspended, you have to pay more money.”
His explanation took me by surprise. Why are so many people suddenly reading my blog? My blog is modest, to put it nicely. No comments, no videos, nothing to buy or sell. . . I don’t even know how to link articles (as you may have noticed, with some annoyance).
Since the tech guy knows more about this kind of thing than me, I asked him why this is happening. He responded, “Maybe it was something that you wrote about Obama.” I told him that I don’t write about Obama. He reflected a bit more, and then said, “Well, the 2016 election is heating up. Maybe people resonated with something you said about the candidates.” I protested that I don’t know who the candidates are, much less writing about them.
He asked me what I did write about (obvious he isn’t one of my biggest fans.) I said, “God, Berkeley, crime, and litter.” After a moment of deep thought, he said, “Hm. . I got nothing.”
The web guy did say that I could log on to my website with some sort of password that I long misplaced and review my statistics. Sensing my eyes glazing over and my brain freezing, he mercilessly stopped talking, that is, once I forked over more money for more bandwidth.
Now I suppose that it’s a high compliment in the Internet world to have a bigger bandwidth. (He also said something mystifying about gigabytes, but let’s not even go there.) Yet I have to admit that I have decidedly mixed feelings about the news.
First of all, my current rate is more than doubling. Secondly, there is this strange sense of denial that takes hold of you when writing alone on a computer. One assumes that no one other then my aforementioned friend, two people in Albania, four in Texas, and one in Idaho are actually taking the time to tune in.
Given that the readership of my blog will likely return to me, myself, and I, and the two people from Albania, I have to wonder: have I shelled out too much bucks for my bandwidth? Will I be like one of those geriatric rocks stars who were once a “one hit wonder” and now are only a footnote in history? Probably. The Internet world is a fickle one.
Ultimately, all of this — and everything else — is in the hands of the Almighty. It’s all up to Him. As the old song goes, “Where you lead, I will follow, anywhere that you tell me too.” And that includes small or large bandwidth.