If I Had a Million Bloggers

Henri Fantin-Latour. Un coin de table. 1872.

One of the odd effects of blogging is that, no matter how many people visit your blog, you always want more! WordPress enables you, in the drug addiction sense: they provide you with a nifty little series of charts that track your visitors, where they went, how they got there. Personal blogging is necessarily narcissistic, but few things are more pleasant than opening up your stats and seeing a swell in your visitor count, even if you know it’s just Linus checking back ten times in an hour.

If you want people to visit your blog, a lot of people, you have to present yourself as an authority on and write about mainly one theme. That’s why blogs like Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians are such hits: they’re one-stop shopping for all our MWLLOL needs. The sole unifying theme of Krapp’s Last Blog entries is that their subject somehow interests me. Even if that leaves me with a limited (but growing!) audience, I’m content. I love blogging, and one of the reasons I actually manage to post consistently is that I never feel any negative sense of obligation. (For example, a post I started working on a while back turned out so fruitful that I’m going to try to expand it into my thesis. And yet, as soon as I started writing the proposal as an assignment, procrastination froze all progress. I’ll post it when it’s done.) I suppose that my interests cohere somewhat, but if I had more time and resources, and if attracting readers was higher on my list of priorities, these are the blogs I would start. I think they’d do quite well.

If you’re from a state like Oklahoma, you tend to notice every time one of your politicians makes national news. Whether it’s former governor Frank Keating calling Obama ‘a guy off the street,’ or Tom Coburn promoting the death penalty for women who seek abortions and the doctors who perform them, pundits from both parties constantly try to distances themselves from Oklahoma politicians on the national scene. Everything’s Up To Date – named after the Oklahoma! song ‘Kansas City,’ comparing the backwards Sooner amenities with the sterling modernity of its northern neighbor – would keep track of their follies. (An even better blog could be written about the intrigues of Tulsa politics, covering controversies like a proposed – and ultimately rejected – 2005 Creationism exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo to counterbalance a Ganesha statue outside the elephant pen.) I don’t have the political chops (or interest, really) to maintain such a blog, but I’d certainly be a regular reader.

The Rake’s Progress would be the blog I’d write if I had less academic, financial and romantic responsibilities. It takes its name from the series of William Hogarth paintings depicting the sufferings of Tom, a respectable lad, as drink and debauchery incrimentally reduce him to the madhouse. (The paintings also inspired a Stravinsky opera of the same name, with words by W.H. Auden.) The blog would basically follow (lightheartedly) the immoral exploits of a young man as he revels his way towards damnation. You’d either have to do it anonymously, or just really not care about privacy and the potential troubles such a public record could cause. (I sometimes wonder how many positions I’ll be disqualified from based on some of the things I’ve said on here.) You’d also have to be pretty social, or else it would just get depressing.

Volaille à l’intérieur. I don’t know what this would be – I just think it’s a great name. Just seeing it cracks me up. It means ‘Poultry Inside,’ and it’s written on the lid of the street entertainer’s trunk (attached to the back of his bicycle) in Jean Vigo’s film, L’Atalante, the 1934 proto-nouvelle vague classic that I was lucky enough to see in a restored version two nights ago. Maybe the blog could be a weekly survey of cultural events in Paris. I might just put it on a t-shirt. (You can see one of the best scenes from the film here, but don’t watch it if you have access to a full copy. Oh, the music.) Another name I like: Burma Shave. My favorite blog names ever are Ghost Hole and Brown Feeling, but neither Ian nor Mischa, respectively, posts anymore.

I might actually found Hermitage, although I’d have to find a different name; sorry, Sebastian: some Scottish Wiccans already seem to have an artisinal community called that. This would be a collective blog maintained by me, my friends, and whoever else seemed enthusiastic. It would be an unpretentious showcase for our writing, creative and otherwise. I’ve only written a handful of poems and a crappy one-act play, but a few of my friends are aspiring novelists and journalists. It would be fun and constructive to have a forum where we could share drafts of our work. We could do it privately, but having to ‘publish’ your work on a blog gives you some motivation to be serious. We’d try to set deadlines and have a certain number of entries monthly. Every member would have publishing access.

The only problem would be the administration: someone would have to decide who can and cannot post and take charge of those uncomfortable ‘editorial’ matters. Quality control is an unfortunate necessity if your undertaking is to be successful. Then you’d have to worry about all the copyright complications, especially if contributors ever intend to try to have the work published elsewhere. But I’m sure we could figure it all out. Any suggestions for names? Wahnfried, after Wagner’s estate?  Something less grandiloquent, maybe. But it would be nice if it had artistic lineage. Anyone want to be part of it? (If yes, contact me.)

If it does happen, I’m sure you’ll be the first to know.

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~ by ohkrapp on October 24, 2008.

One Response to “If I Had a Million Bloggers”

  1. Count me in for the wiccan blog! I’ll try to think of some potential names. I like really dry, German-style names. I saw a journal the other day called Text und Kritik. Text und Kritik, what more could you want?

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