Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hey Kids, Rock & Roll...'Blog' On!

Had some swell family face time with my two brothers this weekend - one in from Cowtown and the other in from the Big Apple...even though ma mère tried to quell it all with her traditional: "Next time we'll all be together will be for a funeral." Cuz that's what mums say.

My Big Apple bro works for New York magazine. And being the older brother I usually react with derisive snorts and "uh, yeah...whatever..." when he fills me in on what piece they are working on or what accolade the magazine just received. Cuz thats what older brothers do.

Anyway, this year they won the top prize in the circulation 500K category at the National Magazine Awards, which I guess is like the Oscars for them...even I was impressed. And he brought me an issue that had this article on the blog world that the magazine did earlier in the year.

Unfortunately, you can't see all his fine design/creative directoring work in the on-line link, just the text, but it was very cool. Cuz that's what he do.

Now I know I'm just catching up with the rest of the world, but I found this piece fascinating --- it did a great job of getting moi up to speed on the workings of the blog world. How it all started...what are the most popular...why they are much money the A listers are pulling in...

Go. Click. Read it.

Not sure how much I'll be around this week (one thing the article said spells a quick death for any blog... :( ), so I'll leave you with the inevitable wcdixon questions: why'd you start blogging and have you found your niche? Are you an A, B, or C-list blogger? Presuming we are all C's, do you want to become a B or an A? If so, how do you see accomplishing that? Always with the questions, cuz that's what I do.

Okay...(ulp)...getting ready to head off to the 'room'... Jimmy Dean...Rock On...

p.s. first stab returning the favour and added several links worth visiting to my 'blogroll' (BTW the article clarified that term for me)...some serious insider anecdote possibilities from Portnoy at Reel Hollywood, and a special mention to a cluster of cool Brits worth checking out - they all seem smart, clever AND funny...bonus!


Good Dog said...

Oh, I knew I should have turned off the computer once I quit Word. A whole lot of work to do tomorrow, and instead of getting an ‘early’ night, I’m still up reading the New York article. Which is very interesting.

Answering the ‘inevitable wcdixon questions’:

I’m a C. In fact, probably a C-. Reading the NY piece, I checked out the super super-duper blogs mentioned – which I have to admit I hadn’t heard of – and frankly, if that’s what boots you up to an A, frankly I’m happy where I am.

The A-listers I have to admit don’t really interest me. Then again, I’m not that interested in the world of celebrity, which most people seem to dwell on. One of England’s best comedians, the late Linda Smith, was talking about Jeffrey Archer on BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz. When another panellist said "Don't give him the oxygen of publicity," she replied: "I'm not that happy with him having the oxygen of oxygen actually". Which is pretty much how I feel about these people who are famous for being famous.

Good that they’re making money, but they’re really just publishing their own tabloids.

I started my blog after mouthing off about something to the chap I work with, while we sat idly waiting for the computers to finishing rendering on a project. It was his suggestion actually. The title was actually something I said as an excuse for delivering the rant. The first couple of posts are pretty piss-poor and all over the place. So it took a little while until I figured out that – as I said in the comment on MySpace – it could be used as a diary to chart the progress of our work. And when we’re away filming it gives me a chance to write something.

Obviously because it’s a small industry nobody is ever mentioned by name no matter how long ago, because I’ve already been stung by opening my mouth at an inopportune time, or had someone pass along something I said. This actually gives me a little more freedom, rather than sanitising the whole thing.

While I’ve mentioned the blogs I don’t care about, the ones I do read are writers/screenwriters daily entries. Because the industry really has no hard and fast set rules, it’s interesting to see how other people climb the ladder and what roadblocks they encounter.

In the UK, we’ve had a couple of personal blogs picked up by publishers: Belle de Jour, subtitled ‘diary of a London call girl’ and Girl with a one-track mind, ‘diary of a sex-fiend.’ Although written anonymously, the writers were soon outed by the newspapers.

While I read a few posts from each, I have to admit I soon lost interest. Okay, one takes cocks for money and the other takes cocks when she isn’t masturbating. And... oh, that’s it. Marvellous!

Would I want that to happen to me? ...get published I mean. Not really. It’s the writing that I’m writing when I’m not writing the blog that I want to make money from. The blog is a relaxing thing to write as I wind down at the end of the day. Speaking on which, I’m sure my brain has already tucked itself up for the night, so I better hit the sack.

Will, have a good week. I’ll be waiting for your next post whenever you get around to it.

Diane Kristine said...

I started blogging reluctantly but curiously, when a site I wrote for started a blog for reviewers, then found I enjoyed having a place to put stuff I was writing or thinking about anyway.

I found my niche, such as it is, by taking the road not taken. I can happily cash the paycheque of my day job, which I enjoy but which forces me to write some pretty boring stuff, while indulging in purely fun writing based solely on my interests and without the need to market myself.

So I'm happy to be a C lister, since for me it's about the writing rather than the being read. Blogcritics, where I cross-post my less random stuff, I guess rates higher than that if they're measuring by inbound links and daily hits.

Plus there's the free stuff. Free stuff is good. It makes me feel warm and happy and loved. That's where being higher than C comes in handy, I suppose - I only get review materials because of my association with that site.

Jutratest said...

I started blogging because a friend told me it changed his life in unimaginable ways.

I wouldn't go that far, but it's been interesting.

Not really interested in blogger fame. Would rather be too busy getting paid to write than to blog.

One interesting phenomenon: Whenever I meet friends for a drink they've already heard what I have to say

Optimistic_Reader said...

Thanks for posting that article W.C, even though it took me forever to read it. And thanks for the link.

I think I am Z-list, even in the blog world! I don't have any desire to be an A or a B list blogger, but C-list would be fine with me! I started out the blog as a way of giving myself a regular writing routine, and making some contacts in a way which doesn't terrify me! I've accomplished that - I've met a few other bloggers in person now.

Kelly J. Compeau said...

I dislike celebrity gossip sites such as Gawker, Smoking Gun and PerezHilton immensely and if could sabotage their servers and take them off-line forever I would. I don't like people who spread malice by talking trash about others and flinging personal insults which they believe are funny and witty. It's a form of schoolyard bullying elevated to an international forum, and it's just despicable. Professionally speaking, these kinds of blogs/websites keep me chained to my computer for 12 to 16 hours a day as I gather info about my clients and plan/execute damage control strategies. It just drains me, physically and spiritually, and makes me feel embarassed to be a member of the Humam race.

I am not a C-list blogger -- or even a D-lister. I have no demographic, theme or target audience. My blog has a mix of personal, professional and humorous posts that are fit for anyone to read and, hopefully, enjoy. I'm not interested in page visits. That number means nothing to me. I want my blog entries to enlighten and inspire, to make you laugh and cry and get all fired up over an issue that is just as important to you as it is to me (i.e. animal abuse, child sex slavery, envirmonmental protection, growing your own indoor herbal tea garden, finding a decent foundation and finishing powder that doesn't cost $50). My posts are all over the map, and so are my readers. Some are teenagers from Canada, the U.S., Britain...all over. They're wealthy, over-achieving preppies, slacker wannabe rock stars who think school is for losers, and black lipstick-wearing Goths who cut themselves to relieve the pain of their miserable lives (been there, done that). Some readers are 20-40 year olds who are bouncing from job to job, still trying to find their niche in life, while others are rock stars, actors, producers, screenwriters...Some are 40-60 years old, married/divorced with grand-kids, who make furniture in their spare time, live on a farm and raise sheep, work in construction, government or retail.

I'm generally a very friendly and open individual and as long as you're a good person with a good heart I will consider you a friend and take the time to get to know you better, learn more about who you are, you're life philosophies and ambitions because I really and truly care about you.

When I lay on my deathbed I want to be able to say that I made some truly awesome friends along the way, not that I had a strong readership in the male 18-35 demographic, y'know?


wcdixon said...

Thanks for reading and some great answers...KJC and Good Dog get kudos for covering all the bases...

I like Diane's gig - write about stuff you like and get free Reminds me the days when I did a little deejaying and we'd get stacks of free preview record albums every week. Lot of crap but got my first taste of Dire Straits and the Police out of those piles...

Diane Kristine said...

Of course I was being a bit tongue in cheek and I didn't think about the free stuff when I started - that's just a side benefit. And getting to interview cool people, and cover some cool events, is actually a bigger hightlight. Still, I never say no to the free stuff. Unless it's crap.

Riddley Walker said...

Ooh, took a look at the article. Nice piece indeed.

Is there a letter before A? That's what my blog is. Definitely. I reckon my hits per minute is in the high-millions, and I charge my advertisers over a thousand pounds (real money - grin) per hundredth of a hit. I'm not quite sure how the tech guys work that one out, but I'm so loaded with cash now I don't care!

A-listers all want to be me, B-listers think of me as a god, and I'm so far up the blogging evolutionary ladder that C-listers haven't even heard of me.

Or is it that they *all* haven't heard of me?

Who cares?

I blog to feed the love of my trillions of worshippers across the universe. Now there's a base you didn't have covered!

Seriously, I think about four people read my blog, one of whom works with me, one's a mate who tries to work out who it is I'm talking about and/or whether I'm kidding, and the other is YOU, Dixon, you foolish mortal! Quit while you still can and save yourself...

I pushed Good Dog into blogging (because he's ferociously a talented writer) and he returned the favour (because I talk a lot). I couldn't care less about becoming a "blogebrity" - got too much other fun stuff to do. Plus, my writing style's all over the place. :-D

My niche? Rambling Englishman. Probably quite a big damn niche, I expect...

@Diane Kristine: There's FREE STUFF?? Lemmeatit! ;-)