Saturday, February 15, 2014

"No one reads your boring blog"

Well, I know that's not exactly true, Blogger collects statistics on hits and I've got it set so it doesn't count my hits so there are more than four-hundred of those most days, at times several thousand,  other than my checking up to see how badly I wrote something and, sometimes, managing to fix it.

But the lack of popularity leaves me entirely free to say whatever seems to need being said, removed from questions of audience approval, ad revenue, something I've been tempted to change, only to be held back by my worry that I'll write to increase hits instead of for a better reason.   I look at Charlie Pierce who, after decades of scribbling away in relative obscurity, finally attained a national audience commensurate with his abilities.   His pointing out some unpopular truths about Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald brought an enraged reaction, threatening the loss of his newly found popularity, and, after that, he varied his tune for that particular dance.  I doubt I have a more resolute character than Pierce, I don't want to test what my reaction to mass popularity might be.  Happily, providence seems unwilling to lead me into temptation in that way.

I don't care if you don't read me but complaining about what I wrote, even in your fragmentary skimming of it, isn't any way to convince me that you don't hit on it.


  1. Well, you seem to be getting a helluva lot more attention than I do.

    I honestly prefer obscurity. Popularity simply means you appeal to a mass audience, and I'm not sure what the really measures. The "crowds" attracted by Jesus, according to the Gospels, are largely read as retrojections and exaggerations by most scholars. 5000 people, for example, in the famous story of the loaves and fishes, would have emptied out several villages in the area of every man, woman, and child available. It's an impossible number, in other words, and meant only to shoe Jesus had popular support.

    Fat lot of good that did him, in the end.

    Which is a terrible way to make the point, because it sounds so grandiose. I'm not; I just care only mildly about how popular I am, and I'm generally relieved no one is paying close attention to me. It doesn't mean I'm doing anything right or wrong; it just keeps me from playing to the peanut gallery.

    Most of the time, anyway.....

  2. Or the PZ nut gallery.

    I do look at some of the popular bloggers and it looks like they're terrified of losing the audience. That's why those whose shtick is based in hate have to keep ratcheting it up. Though some of those, such as Jerry Coyne, I think it's just the progress of his mental illness on rather morbid display.

    Thank God I'm not popular, thank God I wasn't in school. What a burden.

  3. I enjoy the intimacy of small places like ours. Never dug crowds.