Describe blogs and the internet in general: traffic, traffic, traffic.
I know, that's cleverly stolen from real estate, but there's an interesting thing going on that I want people to consider here, and that's readership. Now that the internet is becoming such a global thing (I hear IBM is shipping Thinkpads out to tribes of pygmies in Borneo with geosynchronous sattelite connections) that it's starting to engender a whole new way of doing things. In small chunks.
I know when I was growing up, if it was an LP (you know, those big round black vinyl thingies) or a book (that'd be bound, printed paper) if I liked the author or creator I would end up going out and buying more of the same, until I had exhausted the supply or the creator died. I was always a very linear, complete-ive sort, and I'm extrapolating to the population in general because I don't have the resources to make some sort of big study of millions of people, so here we go with the control group of one.
Now that the internet is widely available, and because of the vast resources that it contains, people tend to be more bite-oriented. No longer does one have to sit still for an entire book, or for the news. All you have to do now is Google it and you've got ten thousand different dishes on the same subject, just waiting to be forked in. I've noticed it in my own behaviour, too, on the internet. I was introduced to the world of blogging by a place called "Gus Oppenshaw's Whale Killing Diary" or something to that effect. It was a very funny blog, given to wild flights of fancy concerning Mr. Oppenshaw and his prediliction for killing a certain near-mythical white whale. I found it, read backwards through all the archives, then read it forwards to the current post. From that point I would read each post as they came along, usually every couple of days, and laugh, and go on. And then one day I realised I had stopped. I had completely lost interest in it, and I'm still not sure why.
I know this argument isn't going anywhere in particular, and isn't one of my best, but it's leading me to this point--I've got the little sitemeter down there that tells me how many people visit the site daily, and I've got the "Hot or Not" thing from the guys who brought us Rate my Cat, Rate My Dog, and Rate my Tatas, and I watch the numbers on each going up and down, and wonder just what is going on. How many people have I gained or lost by a turn of phrase that they found particularly distateful or extraordinarily funny? I got one very pleasant comment from a nice lady in south Louisiana for whom my post about the turning of the fields brought back pleasant memories of her time growing up in the country. I know of more than a few friends of mine who read regularly, for their own reasons, who really look forward to hearing from me, even if it is indirectly. I genuinely like knowing that I am able to reach people this way, to know with at least a vague certainty that I can make them smile without being there in person, can keep the connections open even at a great remove.
So what about the rest of the people? The ones that blunder into here quite by accident, the ones who use the little "Next Blog" arrow at the top, like I often do, just relying on pure happenstance and luck to find something good (rarely.) When I sit and start writing in the mornings, still bleary, first cup of tea beside me, cats tear-assing around, I thing about those first few lines. I wonder if they're enough to catch someone's eye, tickle their fancy, start some line of thought long enough to make them want to stick around for the rest, or if by the second or third line they've simply had enough and are going back to "John's World Of Tig Ole Bitties." And sometimes I wonder if I even worry about those people. *lol*
I took a look at my Hot or Not graph this morning--ten ratings, one of which is from my wife, and then way at the bottom I've got ones and twos up there, five ratings under "5." Wow, am I that boring? *lol* Do I suck outloud so badly that I rate a 1? Maybe if I showed more trunk, or if I was a goth chick who was always writing horrible whiney poetry and posting pictures of how pale I've gotten. Or maybe if this was a NASCAR site, and I was writing about my personal experience as Dale Earnhardt's foot rest.
Or maybe I could just, as Polonius said, be true to my ownself.
as an aisde, I will be in Baton Rouge for a corporate orientation seminar this evening and all of tomorrow, so my apologies in advance for those of you dear hearts who tune in each morning for my dose of witicism and foolishness, my tiny bite added to the smorgasboard. I'll be back in the saddle Thursday, latest.