What Do You People WANT From Me???!!!! (Or “What makes for good Blog-fodder?”)

No, that’s a serious question. I only made it a bit bombastic in the title because… well, you’ll figure that out in a second.

I am not a Magician. I’m not. When I do things, you can see the parts move. You can see the wires. I’m not out to make things look easier than they are, or make anyone think that there’s some kind of supernatural force guiding my hand as I perform superhuman feats that mere mortals may not attempt. Sure, some people wonder, “How do you do what you do?” I get asked that. But the fact is, I’ll be happy to tell you. I have no trade secrets. How I do what I do is by having a mind that works in an interesting fashion, by forcing myself to do the things I think are important, and by working hard.

That’s it. I have no trade secrets, no elusive, patented process.

And when I make decisions, I generally lay all the options out on the table and will happily discuss them with anyone who wants to listen. Or, if I’m honest, anyone who sits still as I talk to them.

So right now, among other things, I’m trying to decide if anyone cares that I’m doing this blog every week, have been consistently for two-and-a-half years, and, if anyone does care, which things they care most about.

Recently, I posted a review of three versions of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. I had so much to say about that story that I wrote a sequel blog the next week. As I write these words, I haven’t posted that sequel blog yet, but I have checked the stats on the first part.

It’s been read by… five people. And the average time they spent reading it? Zero seconds. Wow. So I’m guessing no one even noticed, in paragraph five, that I revealed my secret career as a stripper on Baltimore’s Block, under the stage name of Lolita Juarez-Weinstein. Don’t go looking. I retired five years ago. I developed an allergy to the pink dye in the feathers.

Which brings me to the question all artists face… What do you people want from me?

It seems that sometimes, my entries strike a chord, and lots of people respond. Other times… five people spend zero seconds reading, and no one says a word. Google Analytics helps me keep track of which articles on StevenHWilson.com are popular. I don’t even know what some of my older blog entries did, stats-wise, because I mad the mistake of starting my blogging career on LiveJournal. LJ only lets you see your stats if you pay them. Hardly worth it, in my opinion.

But at least I can see what’s been popular since I moved to my own blog site… sometime last year? And here’s what I found:

Since the inception of StevenHWilson.com, the ten most-viewed pages on the site have been:

  1. Home
  2. /2013/07/22/alexander-martin-gear-1939-2013/
  3. /2013/11/12/thor-the-dark-world-checking-off-the-boxes/
  4. /2013/11/05/leadership-lessons-in-enders-game/
  5. /2013/04/30/helen-noel-kicks-ass-and-other-reflections-upon-reading-the-first-volume-of-james-blishs-star-trek-series/
  6. /2013/07/29/memorial-service-for-marty-gear/
  7. /my-audio-dramas/the-arbiter-chronicles/
  8. /2013/03/03/transition-2000-a-space1999-short-story/
  9. /about-me/
  10. /2013/09/03/carter-hall-is-one-bloodthirsty-guy-a-review-of-the-golden-age-hawkman-archives-volume-1/

Well, the home page makes sense, I guess. It’s linked in my email sig, mentioned on my business cards, and listed in my published bios. Cons I attend link my home page. Similarly, I guess it makes sense that people looking me up the first time they’re hearing of me would want to read the “About Me” page.

My tribute to Marty was very popular, but that says more about Marty than about me. And of course, a lot of people checked the post about his memorial service, just for reference.

Apparently people like my current movie reviews. I seemed to be a little controversial when I slammed Thor 2, but I thought it deserved it. I got both stats and a lot of comments on my Ender’s Game discussion, which I joined with some advice on leadership and management. Not that I want to teach MBA candidates, but I guess I know a little about being a leader.

“Carter Hall is One Bloodthirsty Guy” and “Helen Noel Kicks Ass” I think pulled numbers because of sensationalist titles. So, note to self, make sure your opinions are clearly stated in the title, and it’s catchy. I think my “Something Wicked” review garnered no interest because there was no opinion expressed up front. It occurs that I didn’t even mention Ray Bradbury’s name in marketing it. So, lesson learned.

I’m pleased to see the Arbiter Chronicles landing page in the top ten. That says there’s ongoing interest in my keystone work, and that people are actively seeking links to the stories, novels and audio that comprise the series.

But the from-left-field piece here is “Transition: 2000.” Back in 1982, I started plotting a Space: 1999 fan novel called Rime. It placed Commander John Koenig in the role of Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, and had him returning to Moonbase Alpha after an absence of a dozen years on a failed away mission, apparently mad, warning of impending doom. I’d intended to tie together the very disjointed first and second series of the show, and explain why things changed so much from one to the other. I think I wrote six or seven chapters of it, between 1982 and 1995. Some was in longhand, some was on my PC. Not even sure where all the parts are anymore.

But the chapter which explained the death of Professor Victor Bergman was one I was happy with, so I published it in a fanzine called Encounters, and also on an online Space: 1999 fan fic archive. When I started my own site, I put a lot of my fan fiction here as well. This is the only one that seems to have drawn a lot of attention. I’m glad. It’s a neat little story, if you’re a fan of the show.

I also took a look at the numbers for just the last 30 days:

  1. Home
  2. /2013/11/05/leadership-lessons-in-enders-game/
  3. /2014/05/28/review-ultraman-mebius/
  4. /2013/04/30/helen-noel-kicks-ass-and-other-reflections-upon-reading-the-first-volume-of-james-blishs-star-trek-series/
  5. /2013/09/03/carter-hall-is-one-bloodthirsty-guy-a-review-of-the-golden-age-hawkman-archives-volume-1/
  6. /2014/06/04/no-new-blog-this-week/
  7. /my-audio-dramas/the-arbiter-chronicles/
  8. /2014/04/08/getting-to-the-heart-of-a-character-captain-america-the-winter-soldier-contains-spoilers/
  9. /2013/03/03/transition-2000-a-space1999-short-story/
  10. /2014/02/25/review-winters-tale-by-mark-helprin-book-to-film/

So this reveals four entries that didn’t make the overall top ten because they’re newer, and also shows which of the older ones are still current and holding their own. Again, movies and sensational titles about characters seem to carry the day. My reviews of Captain America 2 (with a non-boring title) and Winter’s Tale performed solidly. “No New Blog?” Really? That many people would rather read “No New Blog” than a review? Um… okay. Is that telling me that people really want me to just shut up, and enjoy reading an announcement that I will be shutting up this week? I hope not.

The surprise in the last month is that my Ultraman Mebius review is number two. I did not expect that. I thought I was being totally self-indulgent in reviewing a Kaiju kids’ show that I happened to enjoy. But, apparently, a lot of people wanted to know what I had to say about it. It holds the record for the most time spent on the page, too. I have visions of a fan reading it with a Japanese/English dictionary.

So… I guess I’ll keep blogging. And I guess I need to do more movie reviews and less book reviews. Not a single book review has scored. Of my comic reviews, only the Carter Hall one seemed to attracted attention. And that’s because I expressed an off-kilter opinion, and tied the review to some other type of commentary. That’s a formula that seems to work: reviews, especially movie reviews, and commentary on life.

But I can’t review movies every week. I don’t see that many. So, sensational titles, life observations and Ultraman Mebius? I don’t know if I have much more to say about Ultraman Mebius. Perhaps if I wrote a leadership thesis about Mebius kicking bloodthirsty ass? No, wait, I think that was already a title of one of their episodes.

Ah, hell, I don’t know. What do you think? Which are your favorites of my posts, and what can I do with this blog to keep you amused?

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6 thoughts on “What Do You People WANT From Me???!!!! (Or “What makes for good Blog-fodder?”)

  1. I wonder how much the numbers are skewed by Facebook’s arbitrary decisions of what it decides to show me on my newsfeed.

  2. I enjoy your movie AND book reviews, as your opinions are always well thought out and expressed. Many times you have given me something to think about the book or movie that enhanced my own experience with it.

    You may be experiencing a phenomenon that happens a lot in this day and age: If people like your product (blog, book, movie, comic, and even mundane things like a store or restaurant) they’ll tell 1 or 2 people (probably not you). If they don’t like it, they’ll tell 20 people and post a response in all capital letters! Or you’re supposed to be psychic and know what we think of your blog as we’re reading it ;-).

  3. For whatever it’s worth, don’t put total trust in the blog stats, as I had your Something Wicked This Way Comes review open for a good hour while I started it, put the household to bed, and then came back to it. Google just doesn’t want to give you your “props!”

  4. Steve I’ve known you for – well numbers aren’t important here – lets just say a while. In that time we have agreed and disagreed on many things but the one thing I could – CAN – always count on is you giving your honest opinion. More often than not some people didn’t agree with that opinion. Don’t let apathetic or negative responses/people have an impact on who you are and what you say or do. Your opinion on things is just that, your opinion and if some people don’t agree with is that is their choice but don’t let the naysayers have an impact on you. I respect you for who you are and respect your opinions as being uniquely yours – doesn’t matter if I agree with them or not. Continue to be the person I’ve always known who says what he feels and not one who says what somebody else thinks they should say. As far as what I want from you its still the same – sex, drugs and rock n’ roll……

  5. I enjoy your view on just about everything because how you document it is so interesting. Even though I live with you, reading your take on things and seeing how much time you put into delivering your blog is something to behold. As Michael said, never trust stats. Facebook lies to me everyday!!!

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