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
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....