Thursday, August 04, 2005

Beyond The Blog

Beyond The Blog

Let's get one thing straight. I like comments. If I didn't I'd be writing this in a leather bound diary, carefully concealed and far away from prying eyes. So I love opening my inbox to see that I've got some new comments. Normally I come here to read them but when I'm at work - because I do think there are barriers to be drawn when I'm not working on reception - I read them in my gmail home. And one of the comments that I received today from Aries327 got me thinking. Namely about the wonder that is google and how (and indeed why) some of my readers end up here.

Now I should note that I'm going into this blog with my eyes open. I know this is meta-blogging and talking about your stats is way, way up there in the stab-your-eyes-with-the-nearest-implement stakes. And if there's one thing that you apparently shouldn't touch with a metaphorical barge pole in the eyes of those hardened bloggers it's meta-blogging. But, and maybe this is a product of my relative newness, I don't have a problem with meta-blogging providing that it: i) is done well ii)makes me think and/or iii) maks me laugh. Obviously I'm not in a position to judge my own skills as a meta-blogger, but I do still think this is quite a good entry as DA blogs go. Plus we shouldn't be scared of something because of the term 'meta' where would all those Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists - good and bad - be without meta-theatre? The answer is of course in the theatre without a metaphor. But I suspect that this is turning into one of those baggy jumper monsters of a meta-blog entry so I'll get back to where I was before 'all the world's a stage' started running around my head - my stats.

Not long after I started blogging I got the blogwhore disease. Because let's be honest it is a disease. Suddenly you've had the rush of people reading you blog and you want more. More. More. That I'd settle for 0.001% of the people who visit Dooce is neither here nor there. I like my readers, you're all the reason that I get that horribly guilty feeling in my stomach when I haven't updated within 24 hours. So I am a little interested as to where you come to me from. There are those of you who know me, who were forcibly given the address in the early days. then there are those of you who may know me by name or even sight who came my way from a link from one of the Griffin forums. There are those who come from one of the blogging communities [tip that I haven't read anywhere else, have a random interest listed, I get more from 'cowboy boots' and 'cocktails with odd names' than all of my other - distinctly sensible - ones put together]. My final band of merry wo-men come from the wonder that are search engies, predominantly from the people's republic of google. And it's this little lot that I'm going to concentrate on here. I can see why the others are reading, be it a chance click, a regular occurence or wanting to know exactly what cocktails with strange names I like. But the google group. Oh no. You're all special*.

To get the easy ones out of the way the majority of my google hits come from a certain Mr Alistair Griffin**, especially after a gig. At one point, when the Movin' Out Broadway shebang had just been announced, I got a lot from James Fox. I think I ended up in the Devoted Mod forum too, though since I didn't get any sarky comments after the stream of hits - I got a link to a selection of cowboy boots - so I don't think my ears are burning quite as much as when that happened over on AG. I've had a few from JCS googles and a more surprising one from Riccardi. My Bedford reviwes also garner more than the odd google hit, undoubtedly from fans of those I talk about. My Mel Blatt review was deemed good enough to make one of her forums. But those are pretty much the standard ones, the peasant skirts and low slung belts of the DA world. Gratifyingly, as I suspect these posts don't feature that highly with my regular readers, I tend to get a stream of hits to reviews I've written, undoubtedly caused by the fact that I caught Talking To Terrorists and The Fence early on in their runs. There's also a second batch of more troublesome posts that gain a disproportionate amount fo hits, the ones where I randomly quote literature. The worst offender is Gatsby's Green Light which gets what are clearly literature students looking for some information on Gatsby's dock light and instead they get something which doesn't even mention Gatsby. My own writing, yes. Tony Blair, yes. Gatsby, no. Maybe that just proves the point that those pro-bloggers make about targeting your titles. Get all artsy and thematic and you end up with googlers wondering how on earth they got here. I get a lot of Closer, Chaucer and even the odd old english*** hit this way too, but I feel less guilty about those because they're not quite as random as the Gatsby one. At least I do talk about the book concerned there.

But at least the literature ones are pretty sane and sensible. Every blogger must get their fair share of oddities and with a title that has "aggravation" in it I've had some weird ones. This is not even to go on about the rash of tubicle hits I got following an aside about them back in March. And today's oddest? Someone looking for electricution and motion sickeness. Which does boggle my mind somewhat.

But when Aries327 said that she'd come here from googling secrets of how to get into Oxford, it struck me that, tubicles and electricution aside, a lot of my google hits do come from things that I do know about, that I could write about if I wanted to. So in honour of all of those who've come looking for Gatsby and found Blair, Closer and found Paddy or tubicles and found, well nothing, I'm going to address the issue and write a series of blogs - let's call it the google season - on those topics that I keep getting hits for and yet don't talk about. God, I'll even tackle motion sickness if needs be. And given that Oxford does get me its fair share of hits and this was what started everything off, I'll write my own 'Secrets of getting into Oxford' without the ten pound price tag that you're usually charged for Aries327.

NB: So I'm not discriminating those of you who don't come to the wilds of DA from the people's republic of google if there's something that you'd like me to blog on that I've half mentioned, hinted at or just plain ignored leave me a comment or send me a gmail.

*Not special in the way that I was "special" when I did something slightly embarrassing whilst the tortuous-reality-tv graduate who sounds like a dolphin looked on. Just special.

**Not actually from Mr Griffin I'd hope. That would be odd. And more embarrassing than the last footnote.

***And because rhetoric should always come in threes, not from ye olde english.


bex said...

"Not special in the way that I was "special" when I did something slightly embarrassing whilst the tortuous-reality-tv graduate who sounds like a dolphin looked on. Just special."

tis the power of me mwhahahaha


Anonymous said...

Imperial College is currently willing to pay 'volunteers' sixty quid to investigate motion sickness...they're using some sort of flight simulator...that might be one experience you wouldn't want to relive in your blog!

Billygean said...

Well you know where I come from, though I did just google you to see!

Aries327 said...

Last night I had a dream I made it into Oxford. But I left my husband to go and when I got there, I had no idea how I was going to pay for the school. Plus there were transformers working at the school. Or creatures who looked like something out of the Nintendo Mario Brothers movies. It was strange and scary, but I still want to go to Oxford.

The link to my entry about buying a purse:

Corinne said...

Lol, transformers robots in disguise...sorry, but that popped into my head.

Seriously - go for Oxford, I think it's one of the most fantastic places in the world. And if there's anything you want to know do ask. :)

As for the motion sickness research, as nice as the £60 sounds, I think I'll pass ;-)