Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Heads or Tails #82 -- point

Today's Heads or Tails topic is "point." Gosh, Barb, are you saying that sometimes these essays don't have one?

Actually, it's not just this prompt that makes me ask what's the point of blogging, anyway? In over three years of running this particular blog (I had another one before this one which I deleted) I've done over a thousand posts. In that time, I've gone from no readers at all to a bare handful of regulars. My traffic jumps a bit on Tuesday and Wednesdays (thanks to Heads or Tails) and I'll get a few dozen 'hits' most every day.

A lot come here for particular posts. One of "my" most popular is this one -- but all I did there was lift a cartoon from a web comic, Cyanide and Happiness. I get hits because I used the word "piñata" and, thanks to the logic of search engines, parents planning their kids' birthday parties find it inadvertently. But only for a moment.

Another post that draws a fair amount of search engine hits is "How to argue a motion -- Part One." At least I wrote this one. But it's not as if there's a building public clamor for Part Two.

I did a post about decreased life expectancy among American males (citing an April 3, 2008 news article on LiveScience by Robert Roy Britt). The news article pointed out that the secret to long life seems to be getting born in Iceland. I suggested that American male life expectancy is depressed because American males are depressed -- less than satisfied in their work and their lives generally.

And this was before the economy fell apart.

Nevertheless, that cheery essay has become one that attracts more hits than almost any other. Of course, people who read it immediately sink into despair and never go on line again.

And the post that gets more hits of late than any other? I did a post in February 2008 about getting called for jury duty. I've tried cases to juries... but I've never sat on a jury. Nor was I seated last February. But people search for ways to get out of jury duty -- according to the search arguments I've seen in the stats -- and find that essay. Perhaps a new motto would build traffic: "Second Effort -- Helping people shirk their civic duty since 2005."

On second thought... no.

So, then, what is the point of this essay? What is the point of blogging like this?

Well, in my delusional state, I think that somehow, someday, a book editor or literary agent will accidentally stumble on this page and decide I will be the Next Big Thing in publishing. He or she will find something I've written deliciously droll or, maybe, hysterically funny.

(No doubt it'll be one of my absolutely serious essays, too.)

And the editor or agent won't have to worry that I'll suddenly develop writer's block: There's already a ton of dreck, er, brilliant material already in the Archives.

But just before dangling a juicy contract and generous advance before my greedy, grasping hands, the editor or agent may pause -- may hesitate -- may begin to worry. "Why would people pay for this," he or she will ask, "when for all these years they have had it for free?"

Well, Mr. Imaginary Editor or Ms. Equally Imaginary Literary Agent, take heart. The point of this essay is that all too few people visit this blog... on purpose. The vast, untapped market remains....


Karen said...

I often wonder about the point of blogging. I just do it for myself.

Skittles said...

I used to blog for my "audience" back when I HAD an audience. Back when I paid an absurd amount of money to be at the top of Bestest Blog. :P Now I blog more for myself and that seems to work better for me.

Gee.. one post I get a lot of hits for was a Wordless Wednesday post I did where I showed a redneck smoke detector. (It was a thing of Jiffy Pop popcorn nailed near a ceiling.)

Keep in mind that post you did a long time ago where you wrote about blogs taking the place of letters. In regards to the keeping and retelling of history. Someday all our posts may become memoirs and/or fodder for historians.

God forbid. :P

Tumblewords: said...

Great points! I've served on jury duty a ton of times - once on a capital case - made me realize that there's another world on the other side of the fence.

The Beach Bum said...

Curmudgeon -

I just checked my Blog Stats before coming here. 48 hits before 2pm EDT. It has to be a record for me. 95% of today's visitors entered my Blog at a Blog that I wrote one year ago, titled "Luck of the Irish".

I Blog for my friends and family (as well as myself).

And Barb, I do remember your war with Bobby - I never "donated a cent" and called him a Con Artist in one of my earliest Blogs.

The Beach Bum

Patti said...


Thanks for blisiting (blog + visting) me this afternoon. I haven't been visiting my blog friends much, especially lately. I've been sick as that proverbial dog.

Thanks so much leaving that great joke on my comments section.

There's something wrong with our country's economy? Where have I been?

Your posts are like essays, unlike most. Keep doing what you're doing.

Patti said...

for you:

The first says: "Aye, this is a nice bar, but where I come from, there's a better one. At MacDougal's, you buy a drink, you buy another drink, and MacDougal himself will buy your third drink!"

The second then starts: "That sounds like a nice bar, but where I come from, there's a better one called Quinn's. At Quinn's, you buy a drink, Quinn buys you a drink. You buy another drink, Quinn buys you another drink."

Then the third pipes up. "You think that's good? Where I come from, there's this place called Murphy's. At Murphy's, they buy you your first drink, they buy you your second drink, they buy you your third drink, and then, they take you in the back and get you laid!"
"Wow!" say the other two. "That sounds fantastic! Did that actually happen to you?" "No," replies their friend, "but it happened to my sister!"

Tricia said...

I just blog for myself and the fun of it; but it's always fun to know what people are looking at when they visit your blog. Hard to believe people work to get out of jury duty, I've been called 7 times and only sat on one jury, the case was plead out before the end of the first day.

Tabbikat's Thoughts

Dave said...

Keep auditioning and I'll keep reading. Start charging and we'll see about you and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Ghada said...

I do blogging for fun and money..
and I figure out that when I blogged about what I really love,, the fun turn money :- )