Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Delight in the Recognition

For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.” –Edmund Spenser

You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting. This is not logical, but it is often true.” –Mr. Spock

 

[Optional soundtrack for this post, here.]

Sorry. I’ve been away for a while.

Quite kindly, a couple of people have inquired to see whether I’m still writing in this space.

I still am.

Even though I haven’t been.

Can’t say I haven’t had time. The year 2013 has been busy hereabouts; but everyone’s life is busy. The ways in which I spend my time are truly both the cause and the effect of the latest meme / catchphrase, “First-World Problems”. Busy (new) job. Busy side job. Large weather events. A side project or two. The joys of home ownership. The list could go on for a while, and all add up to the phrase my mother has often used: “what a good problem to have.”

Can’t say I haven’t had anything to write about. (Busy new job. Busy side job. Large weather events. A side project or two. The joys of home ownership.)

Also, in the month, there has been no lack of curious things said or done or referenced: on Sunday morning political debate TV shows … in the “laboratories of democracy,” <> as the invaluable Charlie Pierce calls state legislatures … in the news … and elsewhere. As well, in my own life, there have been events that could have been great “written conversation starters” … except that as full of personal observation as this blog has been, there are some topics I opt to back away from; some thoughts that I am happier to keep to myself; some sleeping dogs that it’s better to let lie.

(And I’m NOT talking about youthful singing sensations.)

If I were a genuine newspaper columnist, I’d be under contract to churn out seven hundred words every three days or so. But under the rules my current editorial boss (me) has laid out, I do write a lot … but I only post the results when the results coalesce into a lucid essay with a point that is a bit bigger than can be expressed in a Facebook status post.

Not that THOSE haven’t been fun to generate.

 

This morning, I read an online article that investigates why one particular social media website is as successful as it is, and compared it to a blog, saying this:

What is the No. 1 reason that people quit blogging? Because they can’t find and develop an audience. This has been true of every blogging platform ever made. Conversely, blogs that do find an audience tend to keep adding that type of content. This simple philosophy boils down to the equation: Mo’ pageviews = mo’ pages.”

My blog has, over time, seen its output focus in on issues of music, music education, current affairs, writing, golf, motivational quotes, and … oh. Well. Maybe it’s not quite as focused as some other blogs I’ve read that only deal with travel, or educational philosophy, or photography, or food, or 1970s science-fiction, or thinly-veiled advertising. They’ve been established with the purpose of dealing with one subject and one subject only; and since they’re still up and running, clearly they’ve identified and connected with an audience.

So okay, maybe I have focus only in the very vaguest sense SQUIRREL!! But I think I’m content with my scattershot content, and with my audience being, really, three groups of people:

One: the people who have visited, taken a look, and deemed the material interesting (or bizarre) enough that they want to subscribe to the blog and find out what comes next. As I’ve said previously, here, gracias to those people, for they are brave.

Two: my biggest critic. Me. I’ll go back and read some of the things that I wrote when this space opened for business – after having not read them for a long while – and think that they might suffice. And then I read other similar items and think, well, as long as I get practice via this space, I’ll never write that poorly again.

Three, and not least important: the people who stumble onto the blog and find something to read, whether they agree with the thoughts or not – the people who rarely leave comments but I know they visit because my “Site Stats” webpage tells me so.

 

One of the fun things I can do with this blog’s inner workings is find out what kind of search-engine terminology has brought online visitors here. I particularly like these examples, from just the last fiscal quarter:

[] “george parks starred thoughts” … not difficult to grasp why that’s among the most common searches.

[] “what accent does jared diamond have” … I must investigate this Diamond person; clearly he’s much more famous than I knew.

[] “it’s not the years it’s the mileage” … but I wonder how many of those searchers were looking for Indiana Jones quotes?

[] “colonel potter new year quote damn sight” … lots and lots and LOTS of variations on this search … and I guess if you want blog traffic, you talk about M*A*S*H.

[] “only the sith deal in absolutes” … I wonder how many people came looking for Sith and got saxophones?

[] “was gary burghoff a jerk” … variations on this come up a lot, somehow, and I’m always startled. Are you kidding?: “william christopher father mulcahy jerk”??

[] “linus van pelt douglas adams” … very curious about what these TWO people were looking for. Or maybe what this one person was doggedly looking for.

[] “who are the musicians on bob james courtship basketball theme” … which implies that someone other than me even remembers that song.

[] “meghna chakrabarti husband” … I think I would rather not intrude on that search. It can only come to a bad end.

[] “japanese exchange student ryoko” … now there’s a search whose author I probably know personally!

[] “articles on high school band being pointless” … I fear you will not find much to your liking hereabouts, good sir.

[] “shirley lowe latin” … we should all be alerted when someone is reminiscing about us.

[] “randy newman and battlestar galactica” … and that was not ME searching!

[] “tom wallace arranger bio” … lousy money-making “Hey Baby” chart, grumble grumble …

[] “quiet dignity and solemn grace” … frankly astonished that you were led here, humble reader.

[] “jenson publications inc” … honestly, LOTS of variations on this as well, as if there’s someone else out there in the world who bemoans the Hal Leonard Corporation’s ability to vacuum up smaller publishing companies like so many dust bunnies.

[] “ummb, silverado” … heh heh heh heh heh.

[] “moonraker michael palin” … I don’t have any idea what this person was looking for. I’ll trust that it was something interesting.

[] “is this a dagger which i see before me midi file” … well, I haven’t yet tried to write “Macbeth: The Musical”, but perhaps I ought to try.

[] “jackie evancho middle aged men” … sleeping dogs, dear reader. Sleeping dogs.

 

So, either by luck or design, people have visited. Not by the hundreds – unless the issue I’m writing about has been a pretty important one to people who know me well and know where to find me (or get word of the new blog post via social media communities which tend to be my personal echo chamber!). And in the last month or so, if the blog has had a fifteen-hit day, it’s been a pretty big deal.

But I’m not in it for the hits. WordPress probably would rather not hear me say that, but it’s true. I’m in it for the writing. And for the occasional moments when the writing helps someone else out.

So … I’m still here, quiet though I may have been. This has not been an official hiatus. It has not been a patch of writer’s block. It may have been the equivalent of the windup before the pitch; we’ll see.

In any case, I’ll be right with ya.

 

[Editor’s note: in a very short time, as it happens. As I went looking for a couple of YouTube links to include in this post, I spotted a current event that struck me firmly.]

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February 20, 2013 - Posted by | blogging, Internet, media, social media, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Glad to read your latest blog, Rob! Nice to know all is well and that the quiet simply equates to busy-ness! Looking forward to your next piece. Mary

    Comment by Mary | February 21, 2013 | Reply


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