A couple of other blogs I read regularly have mentioned some of the surprising keywords that brought visitors to their blog (one of the more tame, but nonetheless interesting, sets of keywords was “Jesus please remove the evil from my PC“). I doubt that those same people would have happened across my own blog through their various keyword searches. My interests (and my blog) are not focused on hot topics, nor is the style and format sufficiently sexy to lure in people with a deep desire for the latest news and pictures. The keywords that lead people to my blog are just the sort one might expect.
The truth of the matter is that some topics are sexy and some are not – and some are sexier than others. My current research on oral tradition is unlikely to have much draw. I do try to avoid unnecessarily technical and academic jargon – why write XXX when 30 will do? No need to use Roman numerals rather than Arabic. Yet we often make things more complicated than we need to.
The fact that my blogroll includes many biology-related blogs means that perhaps someone looking for information about horny toads might happen across this one. But on biology blogs, just one spelling error can be the kiss of death. A quick typo that turns organism into orgasm can make one’s blog a laughing stock, especially if the post was already about mating habits and genitalia.
But for the most part, the types of academic intercourse that typify this blog are not going to lure people in. And I, for one, refuse to prostitute myself just to increase the size of the ‘number of visitors’ figure. After all, does size really matter? Is bigger better if all one is doing is increasing the size of a number rather than the community of the genuinely interested?
In a pornographic society, people really do choose a picture over a thousand words, but I think that it is the words and not the pix that draw people to one’s blog. The thoughts I share are free – no credit card required, no password, no hidden fees. No dirty tricks or naughty tactics to deceive people into visiting. I know that if I pretended to be able to help people get jobs, to secure the position of their dreams irrespective of whether they are guys or girls, age 18 or age 69, people would flock to this site. But I can’t do it. A little commentary on science fiction and fantasy, genuine personal as well as academic interests of mine, is as far as I’ll go.
This is a blog for intellectuals. Many visitors probably graduated summa cum laude. At the very least, I have a serious shot at attracting visitors of that sort. You never know who you might touch. There are lots of amateur opinions out there – and so a pro in any given field who has a blog can become master of all he or she surveys.
I don’t want to become the sort of person who is anal about his blog. I do hope my posts may may achieve penetration into settings and audiences I might not have anticipated. But I know that if I blow one chance at doing so, I may not get another. Fortunately, blogging is not a job, but only a passion. Indeed, sometimes I feel like a slave to my blog, in utter submission to its whims. I do not do this out of a lust for fame or fortune. This is just a spanking brand new forum for the exchange of ideas, and I want to be a part of it. The potential is huge, and can only increase. Class, race and sex do not constitute barriers in the blogosphere. Asian and European, American and African, all interact instantaneously through the web. Gay, lesbian or straight, one often doesn’t know due to the anonymity the web provides (as long as you turn off your webcam). And yet because one interacts with people from far and wide, one may feel free to be oneself. It is always a pleasure to get to know new people.
The internet need not be viewed as the Great Whore of Babylon. Any form of technology can be perverted. But those who pervert it are not using it in the only possible way. In a sick society, there is a need to reclaim what has been lost. The naked truth, without clothes that hide its true character, undressed and laid bare for a voyeuristic culture to gawk at. No attempt to massage the truth to make it fit someone else’s expectations. There is nothing particularly deep about this. It is all right there on the surface. Beauty may be only skin deep, as they say, but who decided what is beautiful? There are all sorts of enemies who might oppose the dissemination of information, but a dedicated blogger can lick them every time. Bloggers arouse deep seated feelings in their readers. How could it be otherwise?
Just because I don’t mention George Bush or Dick Cheney doesn’t mean that my blog has no appeal. But of course, some of the things I say are tongue in cheek. I don’t, as a rule, make politicians the butt of my jokes. Humor is all a matter of taste. It really sucks when people don’t get my jokes.
There are so many other topics that I would love to post on, if I only had the time. Have I ever mentioned that I enjoy bird watching? It has only been a couple of years since we put the bird feeder near our window, but we’ve seen pileated woodpeckers come land by it (the climax of my birdwatching experience thus far), as well as the usual tits and jays and sparrows and other much more common birds. If you watch, you never know what you might see.
I hope readers of this post won’t be too hard on me. This is just a random rambling about the many things that won’t grab potential readers. But who knows? It all depends what people are looking for. In the blogosphere, keywords can be the key.