Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Am I Boring?

Don't answer that. But I've been thinking a lot about blogs as entertainment lately, in particular, what exactly makes a blog popular.

Do I want a more popular blog in the first place? I have two blogging goals: to write more, and to keep in touch, albeit passively, with people in my life. If others want to stop by, that's wonderful gravy. I had to articulate my goals the other day to a perfect stranger, a reporter from "Discover" magazine who called me on another matter, but we got to talking about blogs, and he asked me if I "got" the whole blog thing. I chirped right up and said by gum I did, tried to be clear about my take on the whole phenomenon (well, maybe it doesn't quite qualifies as a that), and offered that even I had a blog. I'm trying to be a bit promote-y about it, so I guess that answers that first question--yes, I do want more readers. No, he did not ask for the url, and I didn't find a way to force it into the conversation.

I do have two blogging rules: Be as vague as possible about work, and don't hurt anyone's feelings. Or offend anyone. Too much. But would I have a more popular blog if I were a bit more unvarnished about my opinions and feelings, and/or if I highlighted the little drama I have in my life? Mentioned sex more (hey, I'm legal now), or titillated readers with my irregular anguish? Proffered more opinion pieces?

I was thinking about the content topic because I read about blogger Stephanie Klein in the New York Times--she does a lot of soul-baring, apparently, disses her dates, discusses her disintegrating marriage, blogs every day about her NY nightlife (OK, I am envious of that), mentions when she's blogging "undraped" as we former professional figure models put the state of undress. Steph's way popular. She just signed a book deal, and is developing a TV show. I read a few entries, but had a hard time following her train of thought. It wasn't horrible, but I thought all the bloggers I read regularly (see sidebar), are way better writers, in my opinion. Is it just writerly jealousy that makes me unimpressed? Well, Gore Vidal left some comments on her blog--that was impressive. There were also several negative comments on her blog. I would have a hard time with that.

And Heather Armstrong of Dooce fame--she's a gifted writer and no longer leads a glamorous LA lifestyle which I'm sure was good blog fodder, but keeps a sexy, sarcastic mommy blog. I'm sure the fact that she's a hottie helps her ratings. But I'm not a regular reader of her blog either--maybe I can't relate to the ever-present parent topics?

It's always good to be reminded to examine what I write, and how. I'm thinking that Stephanie and Heather had help--connections to other popular bloggers that helped raise their readership, so maybe I need to network harder. But right now, I think I would be happy if just more family and friends dropped by for a read.


We made our annual pilgrimage to the county fair today, to watch, wager, and lose at the horse races, spend too much on bad food, cast a critical eye on the works produced by the school-aged artists, ogle the carnivorous plants in the Hall of Flowers, stare at the livestock, and wonder who actually buys all that crap that they sell in the tradeshow-like hall. We also always do the photo booth thing, and we always kiss in one of the photos.


Happy Homeownership Anniversary to us. It's been five years since I borrowed enough money to choke a horse and buy this little Sonoma County hovel. It's doubled in value, and it's frightening to think that we wouldn't be able to afford to buy this shack if we had waited, even a year. And because it's so expensive to buy 'round these parts, I think we'll be here for a long time...


Happy Sweet 16, Felicia! And she passed her driver's license exam today, too, so good on her.


At 9:22 PM, July 27, 2005, Blogger Rebecca said...

Thanks for making me think about the purpose of my blog, too.

I think yours should have an ever expanding readership. Go for it, I say!

On another note, I read Hoot by Hiaason and thought it quite good. I hope Sick Puppy is too.

At 9:29 PM, July 27, 2005, Blogger Rebecca said...

And even though you said "don't answer that" YOU ARE NOT BORING!

At 12:48 AM, July 28, 2005, Blogger Joshua said...

Everyone has their own style and cadence, and we often find that we have a much wider audience than we can foresee. With blogging, of course you can have celebrity in the old-fashioned sense, giving the masses what they desire, but is it authentic? I much prefer the micro-celebrity that blogging affords when one is speaking from the heart and head and soul, about dirty underwear, tired feet, annoying but lovable children, in a style and cadence that is natural. Remember, celebrity/popularity is often in inverse proportion to contentment :).

At 8:17 AM, July 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree you are not boring, but I am quite prejudiced. There was an article in Sunday's NY Times about people who were fired because of blog writing.

At 11:10 AM, July 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary W. said that she buys usually 6 items or so at the tradeshow that you called 'crap'. She said that it is her favorite building, even over the flowers that you are oglying over. She forgives you because you and Mur are wonderful dog parents.

At 9:34 PM, July 28, 2005, Anonymous Lisa said...

I check your blog daily and find it quite enjoyable. Yours is the only blog I read regularly that doesn't belong to someone I consider a friend. I find it kind of eerie/cool that I could meet you and know so much more about you then you would know of me, at least intially. :)


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