Thursday, September 25, 2014

An unexpected emergence.

PROLOGUE: The post below was written Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 - a little more than a week ago. I hesitated to post it because I got bogged down in uncertainty about whether or not it would provide value for readers. But I will leave that determination up to you.
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There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear.

Over the past month, my review of Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" has racked up 534 views, bringing its total views to 877, and causing it to displace "Internet journalism and the Black Church's $420 billion" as the second-most-read post on this blog.

I have no idea how or why this has happened. I have done nothing to promote that post. What is more remarkable is that I can't tell that anyone else is promoting it either. Googling my name and the film's title shows no evidence of anybody recommending the post or referring to it.

I wish I knew what was going on, so that I might also know whether and how I could replicate it.

Anybody have any thoughts on this?

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But then, I have never really promoted this blog. I've never really promoted any of my work. I have placed it before the public, but I have not consciously and conscientiously sought the public's attention for it.

Which, put that way, seems dumb.

There is too much noise in the world to assume that my work will magically generate the attention that I would like for it to receive, on its own. And I do believe that at least some of my work deserves more attention than it gets.

I work hard at creating stuff. When I don't work just as hard to promote it, I'm insulting my own work. 

That's not just dumb. That's extremely stupid.

"Let people find it" may be arrogance, or modesty, or insecurity. But in any case, it is stupidity. And it cheats the world. No one will benefit from what they don't know about. Work that the world does not know about will not change the world.

If word of mouth really is the most powerful means of promotion, then let my mouth be first.

To quote Walt Whitman (I think), "If you done it, it ain't bragging."

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So, this is what I have done: I have blogged here for 12 years, since July 22, 2002.

I know that only because I just looked it up. I didn't realize it had been that long. And saying that I have done it for 12 years is definitely not bragging, because...(deep breath) doing something for a long time is not the same as doing it well. It is possible to do something poorly for a long time. Especially if you don't care enough about it to do the work needed to do it better.

Ouch.

The question, "What have I done to make this blog better?" immediately yields to the question, "What *can* I do to make this blog better?" And then, "What constitutes 'better'? What are the criteria?"

One criterion is "reaching more people." I can pretend as much as I want about not caring how many people read this, but that's dumb pretending. I write in hopes of being read, and of making a difference for my readers. The more difference I make, the better. The more people I make a difference for, the better. The more people who read, the better.
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EPILOGUE: On second thought, "reaching more people" is a result, not a metric for the quality of the product. AND, it's not even a result of the quality of the product - at least, not of that alone. It is at least as much a result of the effectiveness of the promotion of the product as it is of the quality of the product itself.

One well-established criterion for quality blogging is frequency of posts - even if those posts are just a paragraph, or two or three. I need to learn that. So, dear reader, expect more.
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