Would it help if it came through a window?

As mentioned once or twice, I use a basic statcounter to track visitors to this blog. Partly to check numbers, and partly because I like to see where they’ve come from. This is generally a minor pleasure at best, but every so often…

"Referring link: Google search string giraffe-comes-through-door-cary-grant"

…For the record, it led the searcher to my review of the movie Holiday, which amazingly enough does indeed contain both those elements, albeit probably not in the order they were expecting. I really hope they enjoyed it anyway, though.

For once, I am ahead of the Net-geek curve.

Really, lemme work this for a bit, this is a very big moment for me. I am still quoting Barenaked Ladies lyrics, that is how behind-the-memes I traditionally am. We won’t even get into how the only cute guys in my icon collection date back to the Eisenhower era, and frankly weren’t all that cute even then (unless we’re still counting Dork Cute…are we?)

No, for once I managed to align my stars correctly with the Net fairies’ goodwill, or whatever it takes. While all about me is woe and anxious scrambling to avoid a looming LiveJournal meltdown, I find myself sitting prettily avast thisĀ mirror blog, started a couple months ago. What’s more, in order to create the WP site, I had to find a quick and simple way to import my LJ posts, thus ljarchive already installed and ready to queue up at a moment’s notice. For this brief, shining moment, I am a preparation goddess.

I wish I could say all this was the result of shrewd intuition. The truth is, as noted at the time, I just wanted to play around a bit with ‘real blogging’, with the focus on content rather than the comments. Mind, I do like the community aspect inasmuch as it allows you to more or less instantly access new and fresh worldviews, without losing control over your own individuality. While I don’t have a lot of LJ-friends, they’ve all been carefully chosen, and I’d miss every one.

So in the event it all does go crash, I’ve been carefully gathering up contact notes. I may even watch a couple Futurama eps for inspiration…uh, or is it Heroes, now?

The bemusement is strong with this one.

In the “Hi there! Duh calling!” dept, I do get my share of spam.

Most of it I can trace back either to the source, as for instance the ones that keep promising me A NEW JOB IN MY AREA, or to the general belief among direct marketers that the human race has the collective IQ of dead trout (dead transgendered trout at that, judging by the number of offers I get for discount Viagra. Uh, y’know, the email addy does begin with ‘Scarlett’…?)

But none of this quite explains why, recently, my Junk Mail file has been jammed gillward with offers to help me stop snoring.

In which Shoe gets personal, and we see where that leads…

I have very good friends.

This became evident during this past four-day stay-cation weekend. I had some paid days to burn off and decided to spend them questing a little further in search of feedback. It having occurred to me during that last fit of whining about it that I hadn’t ever actually just, y’know, asked people for some.

My first foray involved an LJ review site. After checking out some of their previous reviews, I applied with the pleasant assurance that they’d find me a step above the herd, at the least. No emo poetry on this journal!

Ah, yeah. I’m still pretty proud of the ‘no emo poetry’ thing, no question, but – well, if you’re reading this, chances are you know where we go from here. The general gist involved too much rambling, also a ‘lack of interesting or engaging content’, specifically the personal touch. I needed to take chances, to ‘spill my guts’…or at least, something like the ‘story of how you once almost got a tattoo on your right breast’.

(The best thing about the whole experience was actually Shoemom’s failure to pick up the hypothetical there, when I asked her to read the review. “You did WHAT? On WHERE?”)

Didn’t help much in dealing with the criticism, though. The ensuing crisis of confidence, here @ Shoe Central, is when I developed a new theory of true friendship: it’s what causes the people you run panicking to over bad reviews, instead of merely patting your hand and going “Mean ol’critic!’, to instead take the time to gently-but-firmly point out that yes, you have flaws, but no, it’s by no means the end of the world, let alone your writing career. Although you’re right, nobody else cares about the damn comedy team already.

Look, the reason I don’t get deep into the personal around here is pretty simple: The Shoe story is just really, really boring, with a side order of unpleasant. There is verbal abuse and depression and struggles with weight and nerdiness, and occasional existential crises, and that one nagging incident where memory tells me I saw an episode of a favourite TV series, I discovered later, about a year before it was actually frelling made. (No, it doesn’t hurt much, but it does make the Matrix flicks rather uncomfortable viewing.)

Outside the immediate region of my navel, there’s also the part where the one Shoesis is a gorgeous slender blonde chick with so little self-esteem Shoemom and I have had to rescue her from no less than five total losers over the past few years… Eventually we’ll have to get into the story of the one paternal uncle who’s contrived to drive three wives to nervous breakdowns while accumulating five kids, and trust me, neither of us wants that.

Put bluntly, I am inclined both by nature and nurture to suck it up, princess. Even listing the above broad outlines gives me an uncomfortable sense of over-reaching both peoples’ interest and sympathy. Thus – not un-naturally I’d thought – I’ve been treating my online life as a distraction from all that, trying to find topics much more interesting and engaging while treating of my personal life in a gentle, inconsequential fashion to avoid it intruding. I do believe this qualifies for both the orthodox and Alanis definitions of irony.

The other problem draws on from that one – I’ve been treating this blog as a writing project. Which is fine as far as it goes, but does leave me alarmingly dependent on the goodwill of audiences; as was gently-but-constructively brought home to me this weekend, you can’t just leave your rough drafts lying around without people coming to the conclusion that they might as well wait until things get sorted out.

Especially when you’re in as dire need of a firm-handed editor as I am. I do ramble hopelessly, I know that; albeit you’d be amazed at what I manage to take out. It doesn’t help that my first taste of online writing success came in an environment (ie, TWoP-style Idol recaps) in which I was not only praised but encouraged to be clever at length on multiple obscure topics. I came away from it with perhaps rather an inflated sense of myself as too precious for words.

So…I have some things to work on, and more to think about. I have to find a more suitable place for my essay-style pop-culture pieces, is what I think first of all. I do have some decent ideas in that direction. In the meanwhile…well, the people that have stuck around in some cases since the beginning, thanks. I now have a much clearer idea of how not to try your patience, as much. Although the comedy team may still be making occasional appearances…look, I don’t get on your case about Dr Who, you leave me to Bob & Ray. And somehow we’ll figure it all out.

Huh. Well.

So the Gender Tracker thinks I’m a man. This is not particularly unexpected, as wherever I post online, people routinely identify me as male. It bugged a bit at first, but I’ve long since learned to think of it as a compliment.

Kind of a weird compliment in this case, though. I mean, didn’t the fascination with Kalan Porter tip anybody off?

…wait, don’t answer that.

Picks self up, glances around cautiously…

…So I rustled up a few ‘How to Attract More Traffic to Your Blog’ articles, and interestingly enough, their advice is the same: Start by taking an active interest in others’ blogs, reaching out to those with similar interests, reading their posts and commenting.

Well. Whaddaya know about that.

[blushes slightly]

*****************************************

In other news, och, am I gonna be grateful when this American election mania dies down. It’s starting to affect even the funnest, most lightweight ‘other blogs’ I visit – of all places the Comics Curmudgeon came down with a bad case the other day, and it still hasn’t fully recovered. Snopes.com has been all ‘Here’re the latest outlandishly stupid rumours an hysterically paranoid populace are taking as gospel’ for weeks now. It gets dispiriting.

(If I could persuade myself that the one troll on the CC was putting on an elaborate, Dr. Strangelove-style show, it would make me feel quite a lot better. Alas, my faith is at al all-time low. These people really do hate each other, don’t they?)

Thank goodness for blogs emanating from Australia, is all I can say. Specifically, that of LJ-friend lizbee, dedicated Tudors-watcher. More

In ur blog, editin ur psyche

OK, an excellent way to kill any possible writing ambitions you may ever have plus experience shame and regret over any you ever had?

How about exporting an entire – as in 125 posts – LiveJournal over to WordPress, which has categories along with tags and different formatting that causes posts to go all randomly wonky, so you have to spend a whole weekend going into each and every frelling post to make sure it’s organised all nice and neat (it helps if you’re a raging perfectionist about this stuff) plus remove the whacky HTML by hand so you end up rereading every paragraph of every post you ever made in your entire online life and oh God I am the most longwinded fatuous pretentious procrastinating no-talent in the HISTORY OF BLOGGING AND PLEASE SOMEBODY JUST MAKE IT STOP…

…kthxbai. [collapses]

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