Tuesday, April 26, 2005

"People tell me 'Ben, just make up stuff and turn it in'..."

I've been reassessing what I'm doing this for. Not in a petulant, "taking my ball and going home" way, though inevitably such considerations are viewed as such. Maybe a better way of describing it is, I'm taking a look at the blog content--taking stock of where I fit in the current state of blogs, and who my intended audience is. Because, like Ben Folds, "I never was all right with turning in a bunch of s***." I want to provide the best blog I can for you guys.

Lately, this blog has been reduced, really, to Cool Tens, Brown-bag Poetry, and semi-regular Friday Fiction, with the occasional personal anecdote. I link things from time to time, though I'm not quite convinced that more than a handful of you actually look at these. And I understand that--you don't have much time to look at stuff, sometimes. S'cool.

When I consider the blogs I most admire (for various reasons), I find that I enjoy them for their often literary quality, their interesting and entertaining personal anecdotes, or their useful links and/or humor.

Where do I fit in this spectrum? What do I contribute? A little bit of mediocre poetry and prose, a few media reviews, the occasional personal anecdote, and a link every now and again.

What I'm starting to see is that, while the traffic to this site has been steadily rising, the number of return visitors seems to be falling. I've gotten more site hits for the JPEG of the ketchup bottle from the Slackie Award Ballot, than from anything else in the past two or three months.

The consistent readership is shrinking. And I think it's doing so because I'm more and more providing a blog that only I would like. Academics call that "coming full circle."

But I recently had a reaffirmation of a liberating realization I discovered in the past:

I'll never be a Dooce, or a Lileks, or a Protein Wisdom, or a Sheila. I'll never have the traffic numbers of a Michele or a Rob. And really? I'm okay with that.

With all due respect to my favorite high-traffic blogs, they can all kiss my lily-white, low-traffic-blogging ass.

Why? Because I'm ________* TeacherDave, dammit. This is my blog, and if I want to blather like a fanboy about whether or not Smallville has jumped the shark, or the theme of spiritual warfare on Joan, or if I want to obsess about being single or talk about how weird it will be taking a married woman to a U2 concert, then by golly, I'm gonna freaking do that.

I'm not ever gonna be a Top 100 blogger, and I'm never gonna be one of the movers and shakers of the Internet, but I'm more content occupying my cozy little corner of the blogging world, spinning out lists and poetry and short stories, and throwing in the occasional amateur review. (Can you imagine how stressed out I'd be if I did become that popular? Geez.)

So even if I drop to a consistent readership of 6, I'll keep it coming, five(-ish) days a week.

I'm ________* TeacherDave, punks! I'm not going anywhere.

(*Insert typical Sam-Jackson-ism here.)

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