Forgive me, this is one of those administrative “how the sausage is made” posts.
I’m giving serious thought to revising my comment policy. When I started blogging, I wanted to show a strong respect for free speech and open dialog, and so I committed not to delete anything, no matter how offensive or worthless. I’ve only ever done so when the comment contained a threat of violence.
But that was almost 20 years ago, and the Internet was a different place then. There was no Twitter and no Facebook–ie, no central place where users could engage in conversation. My sense was that I wanted my page to be a place where people could toss out conflicting ideas and make their voices heard–but in today’s online environment, that sounds ridiculous and grandiose. Continue Reading
I went a little crazy experimenting with a lot of different channels in 2014, and it ended up being the quietest year around here since 2010. I suspect these two things may be related. I’m not going to lie: a 67% drop in traffic incites a little panic in me, but I have to remind myself that I blog for my own enjoyment, and not for commercial gain.
My Top 5 Posts
- Breaking Bad Outside the US
- The Myth of the Brown Recluse Spider Bite
- True Detective Finale / Will the Yellow King Return?
- The demons within the walls
- In case you’d like to debate about yesterday’s cartoon
Of my top five posts in 2014, only two were written in 2014. Two are tied in with the Breaking Bad cartoon that went viral last September, and one (the fourth) is my perennial traffic-driver. This is the first year it’s been overtaken by anything other than the Breaking Bad cartoon, which is interesting (to me, at least).
I had a little over 28,000 visitors in 2014, or about 77 folks a day who stopped by this site. Last year, that number was closer to 234 visitors per day, or about 85,000 visitors in total.
In truth, my blog traffic has generally been dropping over the last seven years. I think this is a general trend across blogs as an “industry,” as online communication moves more toward centralized services like Tumblr, Facebook, etc. I’ve also made decisions in the last few years that have cost me traffic–removing my early attempts to mimic Gawker and Perez with photos of half-naked celebrities (which were great for traffic, incidentally) and then purging my site of photos whose copyrights were questionable.
2013 was my biggest year, thanks to that Breaking Bad comic that went viral. Before that, my biggest year was 2009, before I moved from WordPress.com to a self-hosted blog, and before I decided to commit myself to quality content and a sense of basic decency. Last year, 77% of my traffic came in September, the month I published that cartoon. Take out the top month of each year (September 2013 and March 2014) and 2014 was actually a bigger by almost 20 percent.
Is there a bottom line here, or any kind of theme? Not really. As I said, this blog is something I keep because I want to, not because I’m looking for traffic. Ultimately, my hope is this becomes a place to connect with people who are interested in my writing. We made some progress on that front in 2014… but that’s for another post.
I’m not a believer in New Year’s resolutions; in fact, I’ve gained about 3 pounds in the past few days just to make a point. The whole “New Year” thing is just an arbitrary system for recording hitory. Woo-hoo, the Earth went around the sun again!
But I’m thinking this year I might give it a go. I have a few things I’d like to improve, so why not? If nothing else, I figure January 1, 2008 gives me a convenient starting point to know how long I was successful.
To start with, I’m going to try and post to this blog a little more often. I actually have some readers here (though I’m pretty sure every single one of them is just waiting for more photos of Jessica Alba’s ass) and I seem to post less than four times a month. So I’m not going to vow daily posts or anything, but I’ll try and keep this fresher. Most will be my thoughts etc, but I’ll try and slip in sexy photos here and there, just to keep my fans happy. I’m just not expecting much out of Ms. Alba for the next 9 months or so.
Secondly (and more importantly) I’m going to concentrate more on my writing career. For years now I’ve worked in fits and starts, and though I’ve had a promising start with some interest from a publisher in my first novel, I am working so slowly it would take me centuries to achieve any kind of success. So I’m going to focus more on what’s important, spend less time with hobbies and World of Warcraft, and make progress. I’m totally opposed to silly goals that I don’t have control of like “I’m going to get published this year,” but I think I can aspire to a 3-pages-a-day output, MOST days. That’s something I do have control over.
So in the meantime, I’m going to put up a couple of celeb-worship posts today. Enjoy.