Monday, November 18, 2013

A Late Anniversary

So without much fanfare or notice, we passed the ten-year mark here at Grubb Street, which was longer than a lot of my employment at most places over the years.  The first post was a modest one:
This is a test. This is only a test. In the event of real content, enlightenment would be provided. 
And real (well, mostly real) content followed. The next post was about the history of the original Grub Street. The next entry I learn how to do headers. By the end of the first month, I'd done a restaurant review (Canlis), a book-on-tape-review, made fun of a local politico, and called someone a pinhead. After that I was off to the races.

Over ten years. According to the sidebar, over 2000 posts. Mostly the same backdrop and organization as we started with. Most of the same spelling and grammar errors. It has slowed a bit, and part of that is because one-shot comments or pictures now go out to Facebook or Google+. But for long-form tomfoolery I keep coming back to blogging.

This is not, and was never intended to be, a successful blog. Blogs that survive by bringing traffic back again and again do so by selecting an audience and a theme and sticking with it. If you want to talk about broccoli, every post is about broccoli, and your audience comes to your blog because of your broccoli knowledge, and both you and your audience self-select. Similarly, if you hatge asparagus, and your blog is filled with every asparagus recall and health warning about asparagus and crackpot theories about how asparagus was responsible for the Fall of Rome and again, you end up with an audience of asparagus haters. ("Yeah, I hit all the red lights on the way to work today. Thanks, Asparagus")

But I find that boring. It is tough enough for me to get through a full political season, or a theater season, or talk about collectible quarters on a yearly posting without freestyle medication. But I will confess that I am sympathetic to those who follow this blog in the faint, faint chance that I will get back to talking about games. And we will. Sometime.

By the same token, this is hardly a personal therapy blog where every problem is suddenly blog-cast out to the rest of the world. I don't write anything I don't want my Mom to bring up when I call home. But I do like the sense of variety. If this blog is selling anything (other than my most recent book or game - say, did I mention that Scourge is a really good Star Wars novel?), it is selling my public persona - amused and amusing (I hope). Thoughtful and on occasion thought-provoking. Not scary. Creative, capable, and available for the creative odd job.

Anyway, with the non-anniversary, I finally went back to the Google Dashboard and starting looking at feedback. I don't take comments on this blog (I do take email, but since that denies the public posturing of comments, I don't get a lot of them), but I can scan the number of hits particular entries have received. Here's what the top scorers since 2007 (which is when the feature apparently came on line) are:

An article about Spelljammer.
An article about Christmas Layoffs at WotC.
A political article about the recent Advisory Votes. Seriously, what's the deal here? Was I the only guy in King County writing about this?
An article about how D&D always competed with itself.
An article about the original Marvel Super Heroes game.
An article about the Forgotten Realms comic books.
One of my "DOW Breaks" articles, which became a regular feature where I pretend I know anything about economics.
And article about Lovecraft, and the difficulty of loving the writing and hating the writer.
A review of Playing At The World.
A link-filled summary of the first year's anniversary of Guild Wars 2.

So, were I smart guy, I would obviously fill my blog with stuff about the "Good Old Days" and not deal with anything else. But I don't, because this blog is for me, which means that sometimes I will talk about interesting stuff, and sometimes I will talk about interesting stuff FOR ME. And I'm pretty happy with it, and you know, the Internet is a big place, so you asparagus-haters can go off an find some other blog to follow.

And oh yeah, I'll get back to talking about gaming any time now. Really.

More later,