Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Succeeding in Blogland

August 22

I am going to tell you a story about a blog besides this one that has featured a review of Meet Me at the Butterfly Tree. As you may know, I started this blog as an adjunct to the website to which it is linked, with the idea of both being ways to promote my little book about the little Utopian colony that Fairhope, Alabama, once was.

I used to write this stuff blithely, heedlessly you might say, hoping there were some of you out there reading, from time to time having my fair hopes confirmed by receiving a comment from the vast black hole that is known as cyberspace. Out of such a nowhere came a comment from a U of Mich student with the felicitous name of Salomé Jones, directing my readers to her blog -- also linked below -- and praising the work I do here. Salomé and I became cyber buddies as I called on her whenever I needed help deciphering the geek-html stuff that I was required to do to maintain the blog. This included the complex task of creating those very links you see to other blogs.

She also informed me that a way to build traffic was to surf the 'Net (see how well I catch on to the hip language -- that phrase probably went out five years ago), leaving comments on other blogs. When you have a blog and you comment on someone else's, your cybername is blue and is an automatic link to your own blog. Therefore, if you are reading the comments, say, on this blog, and you see a blue name and are curious who the writer is, you click on that name and get a profile, which in turn will direct you to that blog. I began frequenting other blogs, and sure enough, have built my daily readership to a whopping average of 35 per day, and growing. (This is modest, I admit, in comparison to the biggies. I think most blogs can claim to have something like 200 hits a day, and the really popular ones, like onecosmos, get at least 600. I'm not linking you there because they don't need my help and I'm not particularly enamored of that spot any more. Besides, if you know how to type you can find it easily enough.)

One of the places I enjoy visiting is written by a college teacher named Justin Kahn. I comment on his blog all the time and Justin and I email each other.This post is to inform you that Justin has written a review of Meet Me at the Butterfly Tree which you can read today on his blog! Even though it's a rather silly review, more about Justin than about my book, he does flog my book. There is one odd thing about his post -- the picture he uses is of the cover of the out-of-print version of the book. I couldn't figure out how he got that book, so I emailed him about it and learned that he downloaded an image of the book from Google. This lets me know that my fame is growing; apparently if Googled all manner of out-of-date information will appear under my name. Never mind. Justin is updating me. (That's not quite like dating me, but let's not reach for the moon.) And not to worry; I shall continue to post pictures of the current cover, which is based on the cover designed for Bob Bell's book The Butterfly Tree, which happened to be designed by an unknown graphic artist named Andy Warhol.

As a rule Justin makes me laugh, and the comments on his posts make me laugh too. The comments on the MMATBT post are stranger than usual, and I wouldn't mind at all if some of my real fans decided to say something cogent over there just to show him I have a following of erudite, witty readers, but even if you just want to marvel at his rather strained attempt to be ironical (and somewhat racy) about the graceful title of my book, I suggest you click on the link I have so generously provided to Justin's blog. One of my friends has already been there (he posts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday), and she took offense at his little wordplay, but let us rise about that and think of Justin as mischievous rather than obnoxious. Gotta love this guy -- okay, maybe not, but you gotta realize that his blog gets a lot more readers than mine does, and that one of them has already ordered the book, bringing the grand total up to five sold this year. So you gotta thank him anyway.

This success in blogland may just go to my head.

11 comments:

Benedict S. said...

That guy is good. See? You don't have to be a mean-spirited cosmologist to say clever things.

Finding Fair Hope said...

A mean-spirited cosmologist? A neocon liberaphobe? A Republican rant-raver? Actually, as far as I know, Justin could be all of those things. But I would guess not. Mostly he's just an overachieving egomaniac with a nice blog.

Peter said...

I really enjoyed this post. I found you by following the COI link.

goldennib said...

You know, they say any attention is good attention.

That's why actors have such high profile crappy lives. Sells newspapers, so to speak.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Come back and see us again, Peter. And golden, with your butterfly twisting in the wind -- you are on my list for a copy of my book!

Bert Bananas said...

As it is my wont to play with words, offerng no real meaning and with no intent that anything be taken from it, I shall now type (watch me now, I'm doing this WITHOUT my reading glasses) suck cess.

Suck cess full lee. hard a starboard, batten down the mizzen masts!

Finding Fair Hope said...

Is there anything I can do here to raise the tone of my commenters? Anybody got a suck jestion?

Benedict S. said...

If you don't do sump thn soon you're gonna gave a cat ass trophy.

The "cosmologist" I referred to was our old friend whatzizname.

Finding Fair Hope said...

benedict, to whom do you think I was referring when I said "a neocon liberaphobe"? At first I had to think what cosmetologist you were talking about, but I got it, I got it. That's why I said what I did, particularly the rant-raver line.

Benedict S. said...

Good, good, good. "Liberaphobe." I missed it completely.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Hasn't anybody noticed you have to think twice when you read Finding Fair Hope, including the comments?