Thursday, April 14, 2011

Technorati Rating

Lately I've noticed a modest spike in pageviews, but I really don't have the experience or knowledge to determine how pageviews translate into actual readership. So I poked around a little and found Technorati, which provides popularity indexes of blogs.

Today My Name is Earl (J. Woods) apparently ranks #25,295, which frankly doesn't seem that impressive. On the other hand, they track over a million blogs - 1,263,882 to be exact. Does that mean that my blog is read by more people than average? Not being a math, statistics or computer whiz, I really have no idea. Looks like I rank #186 in the "comics" subcategory, though, which is amusing.

I often tell myself that I write for the pleasure of it, for the practise, for my own amusement, that I don't care if anyone reads anything I write. But the truth, which is surely apparent to everyone, is that I enjoy the idea of having readers. My friend Bruce, and I hope I'm not misremembering or misstating his position, once argued quite passionately that art wasn't art unless it had an audience. I'm not sure I agree - I think the Mona Lisa would probably still qualify as art even if it had never been popular - but I do think that art needs an audience to attain any kind of meaning.

Of course I'm not claiming that anything I've posted approaches the exalted state of ART in fine gilt letters. I think I may have brushed against reasonably intelligent discourse from time to time, though. Or at least I've amused a few folks occasionally.

Anyway, this post is rapidly approaching self-indulgence, and I'm only allowing myself a ten-minute break from tonight's speechwriting tasks anyway. Having gone this far, I may as well toss in an ad: if you enjoy this blog, tell your friends! And send me a note if there's a particular aspect of pop culture you'd like me to examine. I can always use new ideas.


Anonymous said...

Oh Earl, I just read for the sheer Earlness of the experience! = )


Earl J. Woods said...

I'd never considered "Earlness" a thing before...hmmm.

jf said...

Oh yeah "Earlness" is a thing! That's why I read your blog. Your perpective on the world is wonderfully unique.

"Jeff Of The Dove" said...

I've noticed that for a professional writer, you very seldom talk about your tradecraft in any helpful detail. I realize this sounds like a damning criticism, but this is something that has been on my mind back almost since you put "professional writer" in your profile. Today, finally, I have a diplomatic enough means for asking you to discuss the art of writing more, especially the practical issues.

Earl J. Woods said...

I'd never imagined that anyone might find that interesting, Jeff. I'll have to think about how to approach the topic without betraying any confidences. I suppose I can write about my freelance career (which lies mostly in the past) without revealing any embarrassing secrets...

susan_rn92 said...

I have read books that are alright and then once in a while I get to read a book with an outstanding writer, like Ernest Gann and Fate is the Hunter. With excellent writing I am totally drawn into the narrative. I always try to emulate this, but well, you know, I keep trying.

"Jeff Of The Dove" (a) said...

Having you talk about political writing with a view to politics would be interesting, for sure, but yes, you'd have to blank a lot of stuff out.

I did not make myself clear. I was thinking more of a Writing 101, how you actually assemble the nuts and bolts of writing, and how you deal with the people you are writing for. Typically (I assume) you write monologues. Your blog is something of a monologue, and political speeches are monologues. But the process (again, I am guessing) is more than you and your computer, and more than what you did when you wrote for The Peak.

How the hell do you make monologues work, seem convincing? That would be an example of interesting tradecraft right there. Or break down your writing work into lessons as if you were going to teach it as a course. I would find that terribly interesting.

How do you improve your writing? Reading a lot is the obvious answer, but say you come across Ernest K. Gann (great call Susan!!)from out of the blue. How would you attempt to integrate his flawless, peerless prose style into your own work?

Maybe in terms of political writing, you could just use a fictional party (The New Labour United Party), a fictional backbencher your would write for (Georgette De Lafrancoise), and fictional issues (keeping the national costs steady for tricycle tires). I don't know, I'm just spitballing here, maybe that's a crappy idea. But I fail to see how any of this could be anything but rivetting blogging.