Saturday, 27 October 2012

Five Thousand Blog Views

Well folks - My blog has been viewed five thousand times since I started it in February!


My new year's resolution was to do one blog entry a week for a year. I believe this one is my 36th, so I'm well on track. I can't remember what the purpose was when I started, but I think it had something to do with sharing my unique vision with the world. Now that I lead a hermit-like existence I am no-longer able to chew people's ears off at the pub with my relentless yabbering, so I now consider this to be my primary pointless-conversation outlet. It's probably a useful mental-health activity, too. It can't be healthy keeping this amount of bullshit to yourself!

In hindsight, it might have been a good idea to find out what a blog was before I started. I'm still not sure. I don't really read other people's blogs unless I stumble across them or else I'm personally directed to them by the author. I know enough about blogs to be relatively sure that five thousand views in nine months is not a particularly good strike-rate. I think it averages out to about one hundred and forty views per week.

I normally attack new projects with an unbridled enthusiasm coupled with unrealistic expectations - and my blog is no exception. Surely there would be an incremental amount of views every week as my fan base sky-rocketed? I naively thought that every one of my blogs would receive views every week, so by this reckoning I should now be celebrating a readership in the millions... Sadly, this has not been the case.

Those that know me well are aware that I'm prone to daydreaming and in my best-case scenario at the beginning of this project I expected by now to be some sort of internet-sensation with perhaps a book deal in the works, a weekly agony-aunt column in a major metropolitan newspaper and the likes of Rupert Murdoch and James Packer knocking down my door; desperate to secure my services to help them steer their media empires into profitability in the new millenium. I would smile and wave my hand casually dismissing Packer and Murdoch saying 'no deal - I'm an artist, not a businessman' - and they would skulk away dejectedly with their shoulders hunched.

Honestly, I think this integrity may have prevented my blog being more successful. One of my most popular blogs on a week-to-week basis was called 'The Tree - Gorillas in the Midst' which was about the invisible hierarchy that existed at my high-school. It wasn't a particularly great piece of writing, but when checking my statistics I noticed that a search for 'Silverback Gorillas' had brought people to my page. The story only has a passing mention of gorillas and a picture. I thought this wasn't fair to all the gorilla enthusiasts out there, so I deleted it.

My most popular blog by far has been about The Kinks and revolves around my love for the relatively obscure but excellent album 'The Kinks are The Village Green Preservation Society'. The Kinks' website 'Kinda Kinks' posted a link to my article which increased my readership about tenfold (for that week, anyway). If I was clever I would have just written about The Kinks every week, but this would have been against my different-story-every-week mandate.

Which is not to say I'm completely without a commercial sensibility. I've reviewed other albums such as 'Talking Heads '77', 'Modern Lovers: Live!' and 'Aaron Freeman's Marvelous Clouds' to relatively successful ends. In other instances I've even left in references to such obscure things as The Salvador Dali Museum, Bob Dylan, Tuxedo t-shirts and Party Zone Pinball because they lead readers to my page even though the blogs are ostensibly not about these subjects at all.

I must admit to writing about 'populist' subjects on several occasions just to see how it would affect the traffic to my site and while '500 Episodes of The Simpsons' was quite popular, other populist attempts such as 'My Thoughts on Prometheus' and the Star Wars-referencing 'Parents Against Light Sabres' proved less-so. It made me consider that a subject can be so popular that any writings about it can be simply lost in the deluge of internet garbage. Writing about subjects with a small but dedicated fan-base seems to produce better results unless you're a big-name writer or writing for a popular website.

Some of my favourite blogs have involved re-posting some of my stories I wrote as a child, such as 'The Beginning of Life on The Moon' and 'The Tin City'. I was literally in tears of laughter re-reading some of these, but I think some of the tears may have involved lamenting that my story-telling abilities have actually decreased since I was ten years old. I think I managed to successfully channel the spirit of the young Trevor in blogs such as 'A Portrait of The Artist', 'Thanks for the Advice, Gina' and 'Omega Man', which involved fictionally extrapolating real life scenarios. At least it seems I haven't lost my passion for science fiction and flights of ridiculous fantasy.

While statistics can be encouraging, they can also be frustrating, because you don't know exactly who those readers are. I often mention that I write a blog to friends to see how they react and am usually greeted by blank stares. This could be taken a number of ways:

1. They haven't read it.
2. They have read it and think it's awful.
3. They are dumb-struck by my genius.
4. There is a secret pact between my family and friends to stage an 'intervention' any day now to stop me from continuing this ridiculous and destructive pursuit.

Ultimately, I do this blog for myself, but I was recently surprised and perturbed to discover my wife doesn't regularly read my blog. She does ask about it, though and encourages me to keep going.

Other sources of encouragement I would like to thank are: Raychel Plath, David Hannah, Michelle Ransom, Karen Ludlow, Mum and Dad, Ben Corbett, Heinz Reigler, Chris Yates, Cameron Collie, Jo Thomasson, Debbie Winther, Cameron Allen, Matt Lobb, Dan Barrett and anyone else that may have re-tweeted or shared a link to this blog.

Finally here's a link to the trailer for 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II.' It's a steaming pile of shit, but it might inadvertently attract hapless readers.

I'll see you all next week!


Trev x

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