Every once in awhile, I’ll post something a bit controversial or confrontational. Not every week, not even every month, but search long enough, you’ll find something. On the whole, I try to restrict my posts to industry-related issues.
A while ago, I had a long talk with some friends and decided that it’s best to cut fandom from my blog subjects. While I deplore exploitative fan cults, have been the victim of same, and have seen many friends abused by them, I just don’t have the stomach for it all anymore. I don’t believe my posts on those subjects make much of a difference since there are so many effective fan resources that seem to manage it all just fine. There will always be con artists at conventions, but I simply don’t have the time or energy to follow it all anymore.
Industry pariah Rick Olney comes back over and over, and there’s been enough written about him to power the entire internet for a year. It doesn’t matter. He never learns.
Rob Granito got outed as a professional plagiarist and spent months dancing in what he believed was the spotlight he’d earned for his pains. And he keeps coming back.
I only blog about things that interest me and fulfill me, and this sort of thing does neither anymore. It just makes me sad and disgusted.
I suppose blogging fulfills some basic need in me to protect people from the exploitative creeps that made my early years in fandom and publishing so horrible. I have a strong urge to make things right. But I can’t protect people from themselves and their bad choices. And I believe I’m making a bad choice in continuing to try.
I frequently receive letters from people asking me to blog or link to some fannish scandal, and now I have an inbox with 864 messages in it. I have a buttload of work to do before I leave the country to go work a job in another country. If I spend only a few minutes on each of these letters, it will take me over 43 hours just to answer my mail.
I’m not blaming any of you who write me, I’m blaming me for not making better time management choices and better choices about where to place my focus.
Every once in awhile, someone (usually the subject of one of my posts) makes the ridiculous argument that I blog about these things for the massive attention they bring me, for surely on a site like mine, I must be raking in the dough every time I blog. This particular accusation was hurled at me by Rob Granito’s unfortunate wife who had no idea what her husband was up to. Like any loyal wife, she angrily defended her spouse. She did, eventually come to learn the truth about her husband. I have nothing but sympathy for her, and wish her the very best.
Here’s what I wrote in the comments thread at Ty Templeton’s blog about whether or not blog posts about fan scandals make for big traffic.
200,000 hits, and they think that makes them popular?
Here’s how that math really works out.
Rich has about 60,000 regular readers.
If only 10,000 of them click on a story 20 times to read the comments thread, you get 200,000 hits. Those are not Granito’s readers, those are Rich Johnston readers. It would be easy for just a small percentage of Johnston’s readership to account for many hits with 100 posts and readers coming back over and over again to read the posts.
I’ve written several blog posts on Granito on my site, and Rich linked back to one of them. These posts showed no significant increase in the page views on that day over any other day with a new post. As a matter of fact, the post that brought me the most hits over the last month was not the Granito story – even with Rich’s link back – but a day where I posted about educational programs for immigrant artists, and a sale on my graphic novels.
Granito is not popular, Rich Johnston’s blog is. I routinely get over 300,000 page views on my site every month, and my stats show as many as 90,000 unique visitors per month.
However, deeper analysis shows that of that number, only about 20,000 of them are dedicated readers.
No one with a modicum of web savvy confuses hits with popularity or actual readership. And most people would be smart enough to distinguish between hits and page views. If I pick up a new reader, they may sit down and read my entire webcomic, running through 500 pages in one sitting. Because my site got 500 views, that does not mean I got 500 views from 500 people. What I got was 500 views from one person.
200,000 people did not sit down and delight at the wonder that is Granito, anymore than I have 90,000 regular readers of my blog, just because that’s what my stat counter indicates. There’s a big difference between a hit and an individual reader, and a page view and a hit, and a unique reader and a visit.
I suppose you could all consider this public declaration of freedom from fannish drama a flouncity flounce, but I just want some of you to understand that even though I know there are some very unpleasant things in fandom, I need to move on and concentrate on other things. I just have too many great projects going on, too many great friends, too many things to do, and I feel like all this mess poisons the well.
For the record, if I wanted to blog about something that really interests people and brings in the traffic, I would restrict my blog to posts about my garden. And Sandman.
We moved servers last year which wiped out much of my traffic data, but I think you’ll find this interesting: my most popular blog posts are:
Look up there. Ten Things to Do with Those Pesky Green Tomatoes. Yeah, that’s right. A post about gardening. Biggest Post Ever.
And the blog post about Death and Dream got a plug from Neil Gaiman a few weeks back, hence the traffic.
Some dude liked it so much, he made it into a tattoo. Nice!
Alas, I can’t recall the name of the cool guy who sent me this pic, so email me and I will link. But be aware, it may get lost in all that email. I’m about to do a mass deletion.
Anyway, the occasional accusation of massive attention hogging and big bucks made from fannish wankery is pure nonsense. These posts really don’t bring in much traffic, and the most trafficked of them brings in about $1 in advertising income at most. I have no financial incentive to blog about uber drama. Really, people. Clue stick.
I’m just tired and sad at the constant wankery and fighting that never ends, all the con creeps that come back year after year like a polluted tide.
I need to move on.
I’ll continue to blog about art and industry-related issues that have a more positive focus and meaning for me.
With a major emphasis on the positive.