The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

15 June 2005

On the edge of burnout

What it was like for The Downtown Guy:

Over the past few months, I've seen a couple of frequent visitors start their own blogs with an initial intent of also promoting downtown OKC. I welcomed the effort. Why? So I wouldn't feel so bad if I killed this thing. But one blog went dead, and the other became an excellent example of photo blogging. What I do with words, Luke does with photos.

So for now I persist. But with increased visitor counts, I get increasingly uneasy. I'm just an average guy who watches the big things going on in our town and marvels at what is surely the ongoing fruit of MAPS.

Which would also describe me, though I cover some other topics along the way.

But then there's this:

I'm no longer seeking exposure for this site. I don't want it. It scares me. The counter says I'm about to hit 30,000. That's nothing compared to Charles Hill at www.dustbury.com. He has had something like 750,000 visits. He's a far better blogger than I. Same can be said for Michael Bates at www.batesline.com.

This is at least as much a function of longevity as any other factor: I've been counting for nine whole years, after all. The mere fact that 800-odd IPs show up in my referrer log every 24 hours doesn't necessarily make me a good blogger. (And certainly I'm a lot less focused than The Downtown Guy, who largely sticks to one major topic.) What strength I have comes from my occasionally-demonstrated ability to come up with something interesting.

Then again, if I had to read only one Oklahoma blog — and God forbid I should have to read my own stuff — I'd read BatesLine, simply because it ranges over a lot of topics without ever getting into the realm of the Desperately Silly. But there is room for the specialist alongside the general practitioner, which is why I also read TDG every day. (And Bates reads it too.)

As for "exposure," well, there's no exposure quite like wearing your heart on your screen. All I ever wanted out of this site was a soapbox of my own; I keep going because, well, I like having a soapbox of my own. And this was true when I had only four hundred visitors a day. Or forty. Or four.

Addendum, 11:11 am: La Shawn Barber explains it this way:

When I first started, I had the advantage of being a non-blog reader. My expectations were low. I wanted to start an online journal as a place to rant between the bi-weekly op-eds I used to write and send to newspapers, even if I were the only one reading it.

I didn't know what hits were, didn't know who the popular bloggers were, and I certainly wasn't worried about my own hot air. A blog is the place for your hot air, your own corner of the blogosphere. And if you’re a consistent poster and decent writer, readers will come.

I do qualify on at least one of those.

Posted at 8:00 AM to Blogorrhea


TrackBack: 6:10 AM, 16 June 2005
» Scared of Success -> And A Hot Girl In Black Lace from Webfeed Central
I don't know if I would call this "On the edge of burnout". It just sounds to me like somebody that is scared of being successful. When I first started Webfeed Central, I didn't actually think that I would be getting as many visitors as I do, every ......[read more]

"I'm no longer seeking exposure for this site. I don't want it. It scares me."

I really don't understand this fainting-flower "oh noes! teh people are reading my website!" attitude. If you don't want at least a minimum of "exposure" then don't fricken have a public diary site. Buy a blank book at Border's and enter your thoughts in that instead.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 7:47 PM on 15 June 2005

I don't know, I feel a bit of that myself. I shut down my first blog for a publicly stated reason, but in truth was releved to do so. The number of comments and volume of hits kept growing and growing - by my own doing in self-promotion and commenting, admittedly. But it got to the point where I began writing for *them* and not for me anymore.

I love the feedback and community of blogging. In small doses. I don't want to be a 'playa' or set out everyday to write a post that will meet expectations, whether those expectations are assumed on my part or not.

So I blog again. Only a little more quietly. And a whole lot more happily.

Posted by: Jennifer at 8:57 PM on 15 June 2005

I set all my comments to registered-users only, with moderation for new commenters' first time comments. And peace did reign across the blog.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 9:10 PM on 15 June 2005

If I were carrying Blogads at X number of dollars per shot, I suppose I might be more concerned about the reactions I get from the stuff I write.

But I'm not, and therefore I'm not.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:23 PM on 15 June 2005

Hey, who are you calling Desperately Silly????

Posted by: Jan at 10:06 PM on 15 June 2005

Uh, that would likely be me.

Posted by: MikeH at 10:23 PM on 15 June 2005

Wow. All your hits are sure impressive. Way to go. This is the best blog in Oklahoma by far! The rest of us need to learn from the masterblogger.

Posted by: Kurt at 9:55 PM on 16 June 2005

Who was it who said that the use of snark should be reserved for those who know how to wield it with panache?

Oh, yeah. I did, just now.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:06 PM on 16 June 2005

I agree with Andrea.

If people can't understand why they're supposed to want to hear about her teeth being pulled out they
need to go do something else.

Posted by: claretoothloose at 2:51 PM on 19 June 2005

Ellen, dear, it's probably time to get that prescription refilled.

Posted by: CGHill at 2:55 PM on 19 June 2005

I'm trying.

Having a little trouble with the mail order thing.

Posted by: mary,queen of scots at 5:58 PM on 19 June 2005