Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Curse you, google analytics!

I am in a strange position, here.

You see, one of the things I do is, I'm a writer. I have a modest web presence, thanks to publishing on a few dozen niche websites. I do that publishing under my own name, and in fact, I even have another blog. The traffic at that blog is a few hundred visitors a day. I have been running that one over four years. This one a couple months. That one, I'm part of several established online communities and we feed each other traffic. This one, I'm starting from zero. And, partly, I don't know what this one is about. And as I find myself stuck, I don't know whether to disclose more, whether to take a break, whether to move towards more insighftul essay-type postings and less personal ones, that have readers when I write on other topics, or whether to just keep doing what I'm doing here.

I read an interesting discussion by Bennett Haselton on slashdot, for example, about the difficulty getting audiences. The author describes "My own favorite blog that nobody's ever heard of is Seth Finkelstein's InfoThought, which is usually logical and insightful and is only about 25% of the time about how "nobody ever reads this blog, so what's the point"

Here's the other quote I like from that post:

I know plenty of people who could write insightful essays about social and technological issues, essays that would give most readers a new perspective such that they would definitely say afterwards: "That was worth my time to read it." But it wouldn't be worth it to the writers, because they know that their content isn't going to get magically sorted into its deserved place in the hierarchy.

I definitely feel that way about this blog, much less so about my other writing.

And yet, here I am. Why? I think, I think, because there are some things I have to get out, out into the world, before I can properly heal and move on and maybe write in ways that I want to. Is there a thing called blogotherapy? Surely if there is body work, movement therapy, dance therapy, art therapy, blog therapy must be a kind of therapy too. Being able to write everything, to the world, without having to answer for it as yourself (unless someone matches blog with author, though that would require readers), surely that might have theraputic effects?

You'll notice I cracked and added the Naked Loft Party and the puatraining blog to my links. I was reluctant to add both even though I read them both regularly. I was reluctant to link to Naked Loft Party because of all the porn all over the site. I like the porn, but I wish I didn't, and I somehow want to distance myself from it, to tell the world and readers "hey, that's not the type of guy I am". And I think there is something there, to that reluctance, that I should explore. So I'm linking it and will say much more about porn in the future.

I was reluctant to link to the puatraining blog for two reasons. One, because of all the associations of pickup, a similar kind of reluctance as I had with wanting to associate myself with it. And two, because I am skeptical about anyone setting himself up as a 'trainer', a 'guru', on relationship matters. That's one thing I like about the Bad Man - he sees it as a skill, to some extent, but he doesn't set himself up as a guru. It's all very subjective, in any case, and I am not convinced that a lot of these gurus have any more 'game' than I do. I don't like that they talk about it in terms of attaining 'levels', and so on (Strauss's 'The Game' has a funny line about that somewhere, about how guys can't resist systems that involve hierarchical levels of achievement, belts in martial arts or levels in dungeons and dragons). And yet, I find the fellows at puatraining to be endearing (and Kezia to be breathtaking). I like that there's a brown guy there (Dharam), because I wasn't sure about how multiethnic the pickup world was, and I think they have some insights about overcoming shyness, developing confidence, and trying to apply some discipline to going for what you want.

I'm not sure what my next move will be here. Whether I will go into some painfully honest disclosures that might lead to interesting personal writing, do some book reviews or essays on topics that I wouldn't do in my other blog, or do something else entirely.

For now, I'm going to get back to work.

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