Thursday, May 28, 2009
Happy Birthday to my Blog!
This blog turned 1 year old on Saturday and I gave it the weekend off. If that makes it seem like I’m a kind and nurturing blog boss then it’s misleading.
In fact, I’m a tyrant. I push the blog as hard as I can. I make ridiculous demands on its time and insist each and every one of its efforts be of a respectable quality equivalent to what any hungover Journalism 101 student could produce, the professional standard to which I’ve held myself since earning a gentleman’s C in Journalism 101 back in 1984.
I do this because I resent the blog for being everything I am not.
It’s punctual. It has produced 156 out of the past 356 days, or about three a week with at least 700 words per posting. I haven’t come close to matching that many words over the same time period and that includes word counts from things like grocery lists and scribbled “Be home in time for dinner . . .” lies I leave on the kitchen table.
It’s creative. The posts have ranged from industry-saving solutions like edible newspapers to why, for the good of humanity, Mt. Everest should be lowered by about 15,000 feet.
It has followers. Twenty-nine friendlies have signed up to testify that they keep up with the blog and will follow it wherever it leads. I look behind me and there’s no one there.
It earns money. Just yesterday, Google Adsense sent me a notification that it owes me chump change for people who’ve clicked on the ads that lean against the blog copy. One of my biggest scores from the past year involved the $9 I earned while serving eight hours of jury duty. Honest.
It gets scores of great comments from far-flung strangers who say they love the blog (not me). I can’t help but notice them on the end of many of the posts. The little brown noser shows me each and everyone of them.
But as much as I resent the blog, I grudgingly admit it’s been a smashing success. It’s gone from no readers to a feisty squad of loyal followers. Let’s be fair-minded and conservative -- something the liberal little blog would never dare be -- and confine the readership to the 29 followers.
If in one year the blog’s gone from zero to 29 readers, that’s a increase of -- correct me if I’m wrong (if I could do math, I wouldn’t be blogtending) -- 290 percent. If I exponentially increase 290 percent each and every year then in five years it will be this blog, and not Howard Stern, who can claim to be King of All Media.
The great thing is this zero to 29 leap took place in a year when nearly every other major media outlet -- NY Times, Esquire, Sports Illustrated -- all suffered substantial readership losses.
The trend is unmistakable. Many of the publications that routinely reject the words found on this blog are going under. The blog is not.
So here are some of my linked favorites from the past year. If you’re enjoying the blog and want to share it with friends, I thought this would be a handy way to catch them up on the last year. Most of the ones I picked were from the first part of the year when the blog readership was utter desolation.
Since then, I’m pleased to report that scores of new readers have climbed aboard through my friendly associations with www.redroom.com, Gumbo Writer and The Unbreakable Child.
If you enjoy it, I’d encourage you to sign up to be a follower. The more substantial the blog’s readership, the more likely someone influential is to sign me up to do work that might involve actual payment -- and wouldn’t that be something!
Thanks so much for reading. I’m thrilled to have each and every one of you as a reader. Really, it means a lot to me.
Just please don’t share that mushy sort of sentiment with the blog.
I wouldn’t want it to go to its head.
8Days2Amish -- A scattered sampler
• R.I.P. Buster the 19-Year-Old Cat: This is about the cat I stopped loving in 2002 and how I reacted when he finally died in 2008.
• Inaugural Oath Goof and the Right Wing Crazies: I have good friends who say they can’t stand it when the blog is political. I agree. There are far too many gasbags out there pontificating on politics. But the election of President Obama was too compelling to ignore. This one was my highest rated on www.redroom.com by a bunch.
• TV-holics Prepare for Bender: My tribute to John Lithgow, the world’s greatest over-actor.
• Worked to Death: I used this poor stranger’s death to justify my dissolute life. I think it worked . . . even if I rarely do.
• Vanity Zip Codes: Nothing baffles me more than coming up with a fresh, fun story like this and not being able to convert it into money. It strikes me as such an original idea done well, I contest. Yet it was roundly rejected by the pay publications.
• Good Music for the Needy & The Stupid: I’m very passionate about music. Here’s what happened when we sold our CD collection at a local flea market.
• Two Handsome Devils, The Stranger & Me: Most of these take about an hour to write and an hour to polish. This was done and filed 30 minutes after the burnouts made the inspirational remark.
• A Brad Pitt-y Party: If for no other reason, this one will forever endear itself to me because it allowed me to post these fantastic pictures of a shirtless Jack Nicholson eating a hoagie. It’s priceless.
• Surviving the Survivalists: These are dark days. I have a rule to always cast some sunshine against the darkness as I tried to do here.
• Horsin’ Around in the ol’ Breed Barn: This was from just a couple of weeks ago so I probably shouldn’t include it. But one woman posted a comment that said it was the funniest thing she’s ever read. I was deeply flattered, but can only conclude she's either a constitutional lawyer or just got the hang of reading. Ah, heck, parts of cracked me up, too.