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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A crisis of conviction

I must admit, I'm having a crisis of conviction with regard to my blog. I've been blogging for a couple of months now -- 53 blog entries in my blog-every-weekday initiative -- and I can see that my readership is bordering on non-existent. Heck, my site counter shows (down there at the bottom of the page) only 62 visitors since I started counting (which was about the same time I started blogging steadily). Numbers like that certainly include the possibility that there are blog entries that nobody has read.

Feedback, too, is sparse. I've had a total of five comments since I started, and three of them were from Frank Byrns -- thanks, Frank. The lack of comments suggests I am failing to engage my readers at the level to which I aspire. Either that, or my prose is so tight, my arguments so compelling, I've left them all speechless. Honestly, I hold no illusions about what the truth is.

Seriously, the apathy of readership on the Internet is astounding. Not that I can blame anyone. There's so much out there, so much to read, so much to look at, so much to watch and listen to, that even if every person on the planet was randomly browsing the Internet at the same time, the odds of even one person reading my blog are stacked against me.

So, what should I do? Should I carry on, doggedly relying on scant word-of-mouth and the "Field of Dreams" theory? Should I just let it go, chalk the whole thing up as practice sessions and therapeutic catharsis? Being the eternal optimist, I have a hard time seriously considering the latter, even though the former is ludicrously hopeful.

I don't really want to stop -- I have a hard time quitting something I've put time and effort into, unless the arguments for doing so are concrete and sound. Yet I was certainly feeling discouraged today when considering what to write about. (Ironically, having felt this way, I was inspired to write about it, and thus feel far more encouraged by the experience.)

I guess I've decided to keep going, at least for the near future. The problem thus becomes, not a decision about continuance, but development of a strategy for increasing readership. My first thought, earlier on, was go to Project Wonderful, and buy some advertising on sites where the cost is still zero. I figure, if I do enough of them, then I'll snag a decent amount of incidental coverage, all for free. Unfortunately, PW has a policy whereby falsifying information in their registration is grounds for immediate removal from the program -- and since I'm churlish with my identity, this poses a significant obstacle. I even posted a query about it through their FAQ system, but no one has got back to me on that yet.

If I could get a credit card ascribed to my pseudonym, then my anonymity would be pretty much secure -- banks in Canada are highly protective (as regulated by law) of their client information. Unfortunately, I don't know whether that possible, and the logistics around keeping its existence secret from the people in my real-world life could be problematic, and prone to discovery. I'm just not sure it would work.

I suppose what I need is an agent, an Internet friend that doesn't know me anywhere else, but is willing to accept money transfers from me to pay off my advertising costs. Hmmm, I'll have to think about this.

In any case, it looks like my blog will live to see another post. This anonymity thing can be a bit of a pain, though. I wonder if Saki would have had this much problem with it, had he had the opportunity to cruise the ol' Information Superhighway....



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